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June 2010 Issue

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UC Awarded Grant to Digitize Sabin Archives

By Melissa Norris
Published June 2010

The University of Cincinnati has received a $314,258 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize the correspondence and photographs of Albert Sabin, MD, developer of the oral, live-virus polio vaccine and distinguished service professor at the UC College of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Research Foundation from 1939 to 1969.

The primary source documents to be digitized include 35,000 letters totaling 50,000 pages of correspondence between Sabin and political, cultural, social and scientific leaders around the world.

Also included will be 1,000 photographs documenting the events and activities worldwide that were part of Sabin’s crusade to eradicate polio.

"The impact of Sabin’s influence on biomedical research and global public health won’t be fully understood until scholars have a chance to mine his archives effectively,” said Stephen Marine, UC Libraries assistant dean of special collections and the project’s principal investigator.

"By digitizing and publishing his papers on the Web and enhancing those documents with metadata, scholars worldwide will not only have instantaneous access to the materials but will also have tools—available for few other such collections—to explore names, subjects and themes.”

Sabin’s wife, Heloisa, donated his papers, medals and other artifacts to UC upon his death in 1993.

They reside in the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, located in the CARE/Crawley Building on the medical campus.

The project will begin in July for completion in June 2013.

For more information, call (513) 558-5120 or e-mail

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