To: Dr. Abraham Horwitz, Director, Pan American Sanitary Bureau
From: Dr. Fred L. Soper, Director Emeritus
Subject: Report on the Decade 1964-1974
The end of a decade approaches since I came to the National Library of Medicine, sponsored by the NIAID and supported by the
Pan American Sanitary Bureau. Minnis Coe has been serving with me here since October 1964.
I anticipated preparing material for publication on the evolution of international health and the genesis of disease eradication
as related to the prevention of specific diseases. At the NLM found a mass of yellow fever literature of the late 19th century
much of it unknown to me. I spent a great deal of time and many words on the "Prelude to the Conquest of Yellow Fever"
during the period 1878-1900. Passing rapidly over the work of the Army Medical Board, I followed the control campaigns from
1901 to 1916 under the title "The Conquest of Yellow Fever Begins." From this beginning I have developed a number
of related subjects and a certain amount of material partially autobiographical. None of this material is ready for publication.
The move to the Library was made at a time when I was on part-time duty as a Special Consultant to the Office of International
Health of the Surgeon General's Office. This connection was unexpectedly maintained until 1972. This contact and that
with PAHO and WHO made possible my participation in discussions of several projects in international health.
Once at the National Library of Medicine, I found myself inevitably called upon for proofreading, editorial comment, and suggestions
on manuscripts, papers, and books in the medical and international field. This has been a satisfying experience since I have
been able to correct some errors appearing in the health literature. I also found myself participating in scientific meetings
and preparing reports for special occasions. No attempt has been made to prepare formal reports of my work during the past
decade, although significant correspondence and published and unpublished papers have been carefully filed.
In February 1967 the Indiana University Press proposed the publication of a selection of my papers. This proposal was given
the highest priority. The preparation of Building the Health Bridge (1970) and reading proof on the succeeding Spanish edition,
Hacia la Conquista de la Salud (1972), were major activities involving the collaboration of Dr. J. Austin Kerr until 1972.
During the years at the National Library of Medicine, I have continued participating in the Executive Committee of the Gorgas
Memorial Institute of Tropical and Preventive Medicine and in plans for the creation of a Regional Medical Library for Panama
and Central America.
In 1972 and again in 1974 I have been absent from duty in the Library because of illness during several months. During part
of this period, Dr. Kerr continued to work with Mrs. Coe on the manuscripts in preparation.
Mrs. Coe has gone through the files and listed meetings and papers of the period of her service with me. Her lists show the
following activities not directly related to the original objective:
Book published (translated): 1
Papers published (two translated): 18
Papers unpublished: 28
Books (manuscripts) reviewed: 15
- Completely: 4
- Partially: 11
Book Reviews published: 2
Papers (manuscripts) reviewed: 22
Meetings attended: 31
- United States: 25
- Foreign: 6
The continuing contact with PAHO has made both formal and informal contact easy whenever my services were desired or when
I had voluntary suggestions to make.
The above listed activities have been possible only with the support of the Pan American Health Organization. I am grateful