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Arthur Jack Viseltear papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 811

Scope and Contents

The papers document Viseltear's scholarly interest in the history of public health, his dedication to teaching and to his students, his enthusiasm for the planning and development of government health care policy, and his energetic efforts to fulfill his responsibilities to professional organizations and the university. Of particular note are materials relating to public health policy and the teaching of medicine at Yale. The papers also provide evidence of Viseltear's interest in health insurance, osteopathy, and oral history.

Dates

  • 1953-1990

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Original audiovisual materials (in boxes 46 and 47), as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Arthur J. Viseltear, 1977, 1985, and 1988, and of Elaine Viseltear, 1990 and 1997.

Arrangement

Arranged in six series: I. Correspondence, 1958-1989, n.d. II. Professional Activities, 1963-1989. III. Writings, Speeches and Other Statements, 1959-1989. IV. Teaching Files, 1965-1989, n.d. V. Subject Files, 1969-1986, n.d. VI. Personal Papers and Photographs, 1953-1990, n.d.

Extent

28 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0811

Overview

The papers document Arthur Jack Viseltear's scholarship and professional interests in the field of public health. They include materials related to his teaching and research, documentation of his professional activities, and personal papers which include his diaries from 1974 to 1989. Unpublished writings include research notebooks for his biography of C.-E. A. Winslow and tapes and transcripts of interviews for his study of the contemporary Yale School of Medicine of his time.

Biographical / Historical

The papers document Arthur Jack Viseltear's scholarship and professional interests in the field of public health. They include materials related to his teaching and research, documentation of his professional activities, and personal papers which include his diaries from 1974 to 1989. Unpublished writings include research notebooks for his biography of C.-E. A. Winslow and tapes and transcripts of interviews for his study of the contemporary Yale School of Medicine of his time.

After earning his bachelor's degree in history from Tulane University in 1959, he spent the following year there studying the history of public health. He then moved to UCLA, completing his M.P.H. in 1963 and his Ph.D. in 1965 in history with a focus on the history of medicine.

During the academic year, 1962 1963, he was a teaching assistant at UCLA. As a predoctoral fellow from 1963 to 1964, he did research in English archives. He returned to UCLA as an associate in Medical Care, 1964 1965, and then continued as an associate research historian and lecturer in Public Health from 1965 through 1969. He sought financial support for his graduate training and received several prestigious awards, a predoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a Wellcome Trust grant for research during the summer of 1965, and a grant from the American Philosophical Society in 1966. In September 1969, he went to the Yale School of Medicine as assistant professor where he taught courses in the history of medicine and public health and seminars which focused on health policy, contemporary health issues, and the physician in modern society. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 1979.

Milton Roemer, Isidore Falk, and George Rosen significantly influenced Viseltear's life and career as colleagues, mentors, and good friends. Roemer shepherded Viseltear's thesis to completion, helped shift Viseltear's interest from history to public health, guided his first teaching efforts at UCLA, and continued to share professional interests. With Falk, who was teaching public health when he arrived, Viseltear shared an interest in the contemporary health insurance movement. Falk supplied Viseltear with information on Winslow when Viseltear was writing an entry for the Dictionary of American Biography in 1977. Viseltear's interest in writing a full length biography may date from that time. George Rosen's appointment at Yale combined public health and medical history as Viseltear's did. When Rosen died unexpectedly, Viseltear took over his course in the history of medicine.

In 1974, Viseltear was one of the inaugural group of six Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows selected for a year of seminars at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C. and staff assignment to the U.S. Congress. The fellowships were established by the Institute of Medicine with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide outstanding mid career health professionals working in academic settings a better understanding of major issues in health policy and a knowledge of how federal health programs are established. The program was intended to create a more constructive relationship between the academic professionals and the government.

Viseltear first worked with Kentucky Republican Representative Tim Lee Carter, the ranking minority member on the subcommittee on public health and the environment. Viseltear contributed to the National Health Education and Promotion Act of 1975. The Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan [CHIP] was added to this proposal. Viseltear also worked on a proposal for a professional standards review organization. For his second congressional assignment, Viseltear worked with LeRoy Goldman, principal staff assistant to the Senate's health subcommittee chairman, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Viseltear interested Goldman in his ideas about health education. They were ultimately incorporated in a bill that became the National Health Information and Disease Control Act of 1976 (S. 1466).

Viseltear also served on the governing councils of the American Association for the History of Medicine and the American Public Health Association (APHA). He was chairman of the Medical Care Section and the Intersectional Council of the American Public Health Association and served as chairman of the NIH Health Study Section on the History of Medicine. He served on Yale University committees including search committees for the dean of the medical school, the associate dean for government and community affairs and the librarian of the Medical Library, as well as committees on planning and priorities, the basic sciences, and tenure policy.

In addition, Viseltear served as a member of the Professions Program Panel of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship Board, and the editorial boards of the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Medical Care, Journal of Public Health Policy, The Nation's Health, and the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. He was named advisor to the Contemporary Medical Care and Health Policy Collection of the Yale University Library in 1975 and in this capacity wrote grant proposals and made solicitations to build the collection. Viseltear's friends and acquaintances are reflected in the collection, which includes the papers of Isidore Falk, George Rosen, Franz Goldmann, and George Silver.

In 1980, Viseltear led a summer seminar entitled "The Physician in Modern Society" sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the same year, he began thinking about a project to create an oral history of the Yale Medical School. He delivered the commencement addresses at the Yale School of Medicine in 1981 and at the School of Epidemiology and Public Health in 1988. In 1983, he was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. He was co recipient of the Francis Gilman Blake Award for Distinguished Teaching in the medical school in 1988.

Viseltear married Elaine Jean Fedors on February 20, 1966. They had two sons, Jason Adam, born September 14, 1970, and Bennet Franklin, born March 4, 1972. He died on January 7, 1990 after a long bout with cancer.
Title
Guide to the Arthur Jack Viseltear papers
Status
Under Revision
Date
July 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)

Location

Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours