Correspondence, reports, minutes, speeches, interviews, notes, scrapbooks, posters, phonodiscs, audiotapes, photographs and artifacts documenting the public health career of Frank A. Calderone, physician and public health official.
The bulk of the Calderone papers dates from 1936 to 1957. There is no family correspondence and nothing on his parallel career managing his family's theater business.
I: Personal correspondence/subject files.
Largely relating to Calderone's education, the series includes class notes on public health (possibly from his time at Johns Hopkins); awards and certificates; speeches and talks; and a small amount of personal correspondence.
II: Professional organizations.
Records of Calderone's involvement with several organizations mostly devoted to public health. His role in the American Committee for Italian Migration (ACIM) and the Welfare and Health Council of New York is particularly well-documented.
The ACIM was founded in 1952 as an outgrowth of the National Catholic Resettlement Council to promote "fair and equitable immigration" of Italians to the US, and to challenge the 1924 immigration laws. Calderone was the founding chairman of the ACIM's Long Island Chapter. Included are financial records, membership lists, newspaper clippings, press releases, programs, copies of the "ACIM Dispatch," and correspondence with officers of the national organization.
The Welfare and Health Council of New York City resulted from a 1952 merger of the Welfare Council of New York with the Health Council of Greater New York. Calderone joined the latter organization in 1950 and remained active in the new association, serving as Chairman of the Health Education Division and being named to the Board of Directors. Records include minutes of the Board of Directors and various committees, reports, publicity materials and correspondence.
III: New York City Department of Health:
Public health work in diphtheria, tuberculosis, diabetes and nutrition is all documented here with a particular focus on the Lower East Side. The Mother's Health Organization (MHO), created by Calderone to improve pediatric nutrition by working directly through neighborhood mothers, is the largest single subject. Included are correspondence, summary reports, newspaper clippings, nutrition pamphlets and transcripts of speeches and radio interviews (including some by Mary Steichen, the organization's executive secretary). A scrapbook relating to this initiative can be found in Series IX.
Records of the "Parade of Nations," planned to celebrate the opening of the Lower East Side Health and Teaching Center, are also voluminous. The bulk is correspondence with the neighborhood's numerous ethnic organizations, the foreign-language press and diplomatic representatives. Another highlight are letters, many in Yiddish, from diabetics writing about their condition in response to an article in the Jewish Daily Forward on the Department's work in this field (Box 3:8-9; Box 4:1).
IV: World Health Organization.
The correspondence between Calderone and Brock Chisholm, Interim Director and, later, Director-General of WHO is voluminous and substantive (Box 6:7-8). A wide range of political and public health issues is discussed, particularly the ratification of WHO's constitution and its relationship with other UN and public health agencies. Calderone's possibly unpublished account (c. 1950) of the early years of WHO, "The World Health Organization - The First Three Years," (Box 7:3) provides a concise overview of the achievements of the organization in its infancy. The audiotapes in Series VIII also document Calderone's activities while with WHO.
V: United Nations Medical Director.
There is little relating to Calderone's time as UN Medical Director, 1951-1954. Included are a departmental handbook (1953) and a report of the organization of the UN Secretariat.
VI: Occupational Health Institute.
The bulk of the series documents a survey on "the future of industrial medicine" personally undertaken by Calderone in 1955 while he was president of the OHI. This was a "qualitative" survey by letter of over 1,000 individuals in leadership positions in industry, labor, insurance, medicine and public health. Their responses were the basis for Calderone's article, "The Economics of Preventive Medicine: A Synthesis of Opinion," published in the March 1956 issue of Industrial Medicine and Surgery. Included are responses to the initial survey as well as to Calderone's article; correspondence with Edward Bernays, who was employed by OHI to consult on the survey and to publicize its findings; and other published material regarding the survey.
In addition, there is considerable correspondence relating to the general activities of the Institute, as well as minutes and reports.
VII: Photographs and artifacts.
Includes buttons and a poster produced to publicize the Mothers Health Organization and two miscellaneous photographs.
VIII: Audio recordings.
Recordings of Calderone telephone conversations, speeches and dictated correspondence dating from his time with the World Health Organization, 1947-1949. Much of the subject matter appears to relate to WHO activities during an Egyptian cholera epidemic. The series consists of reel-to-reel audiotapes and the original dictation machine phonodiscs from which the tapes were made. Because archives staff was unable to listen to these recordings due to their fragile physical condition, description of the contents is taken from notes on the boxes.
There are two scrapbooks. The first volume, entitled "Blueprint of the Mothers Health Organization: Democracy through Health" dates to 1941 and documents this program of the New York City Department of Health to improve childhood nutrition with the assistance of mothers. Contents include posters, flyers, pamphlets and other educational and promotional materials; newspaper clippings; photographs; buttons; and menus;
The second volume bears the title "Global Health," and was produced by the Publicity Committee of the American Public Health Association for its "Wartime Public Health Conference" held in New York, Oct. 12-14, 1943. Calderone was the committee's chairman. The volume records the planning and execution of the conference and includes correspondence, telegrams, newspaper clippings and photographs.