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Albert Waldo Snoke papers

Call Number: MS 1471

Scope and Contents

The Albert Snoke Papers document the professional life of a hospital administrator known for his contributions to improved patient care. The papers will be of interest to those studying the history of hospital administration, the development of health care delivery systems, and the growth of community hospitals into research centers affiliated with schools of medicine. Though the files contain references to Snoke's work as executive director of Grace-New Haven Hospital, the vast majority of the records of this period are found in the records of Yale-New Haven Hospital (MS 835) in Manuscripts and Archives. These records also contain Snoke's retrospective notes, in which he explains issues and events documented in the executive director's files in MS 835. Snoke created the notes when contemplating writing a history of the hospital and also in anticipation of transferring his papers to Manuscripts and Archives. He may also have used them in preparing for the oral history interview he gave in 1987 (Series II, folders 184-185).

The Snoke Papers focus on Snoke's participation in professional organizations and his role as a consultant, advisor, and author. They also contain personal papers of Albert Snoke, which document his early interests in scouting and the outdoors, particularly Mount Rainier in Washington. Papers of other members of the Snoke and Storey families are also in these files. They focus on life at Stanford University and in Palo Alto, California, but also include a Civil War diary of Riley Storey.

The diary is the oldest item in the papers; other memorabilia of Thomas and Parnie Storey also dates from the nineteenth century. The bulk of the papers, however, dates from 1946, when Snoke moved from Rochester, New York to New Haven. The papers, which include correspondence, hospital consultation files, reports, subject files, writings, research material, and photographs, are arranged in five series, by record type: General Files, Writings, Topical Files, Personal and Family Papers, and Photographs. Thus material on a particular subject might be found in several series. For instance, those interested in Snoke's years in Illinois would need to look in the General Files for correspondence with and memoranda to Illinois Governor Richard Ogilivie, but they might also look for articles and reports from this period in Writings, background material and notes in Topical Files, and pictorial material in Photographs. The inventory of folder titles includes cross-references which are extensive but not all-inclusive. Unless the cross-reference includes a series number, the citation is to a folder number within the same series.


  • 1861-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1946 - 1988


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Original audiovisual materials, 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 for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by Albert Waldo Snoke has been transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

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 Albert W. Snoke, 1987, and his estate, 1988.


Arranged in five series: I. General Files, 1917-1988. II. Writings, 1937-1988. III. Topical Files, 1937-1982. IV. Personal and Family Papers, 1861-1988. V. Photographs, 1907-1988.


27.5 Linear Feet (59 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, hospital consultation files, reports, subject files, writings, research material, audiocassettes, and photographs, which document Albert W. Snoke's career in hospital administration and his interest in health care. The papers also include material concerning the career of his wife, Parnie Storey Hamilton Snoke, and the Snoke, Storey, and Hamilton families. The papers form part of the Contemporary Medical Care and Health Policy Collection. Albert Waldo Snoke was born in Fort Steilacoom, Washington, in 1907. After receiving a B.S. degree from the University of Washington in 1928, he attended Stanford University Medical School and received his M.D. degree in 1933. In 1936, Snoke joined the staff of the Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, New York, and became its assistant director in 1937. Snoke left Rochester in 1946 to assume the directorship of Grace-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. In New Haven he also taught hospital administration at Yale University and oversaw the development of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, serving as its executive director from 1965-1968. From 1969-1973, Snoke worked in Illinois as coordinator of health services and later as acting executive director of the Illinois Comprehensive State Health Planning Agency. In 1987 his book,Hospitals, Health, and People, was published. Snoke died on April 18, 1988.

Biographical / Historical

Albert Waldo Snoke was born in Fort Steilacoom, Washington, on July 19, 1907. Snoke was active in Boy Scouts and attained the rank of Eagle. In 1924 he was part of the United States troop which participated in an international jamboree in Copenhagen, Denmark. After graduating from Puyallup High School, he attended the University of Washington and received a B.S. degree in 1928. Snoke then went to the Stanford University Medical School, where he received his M.D. in 1933. He was a resident in the Stanford University Hospital until 1936. During the summer of 1931, Snoke served as a park ranger in Mount Rainier National Park. While at Stanford, Snoke became acquainted with Parnie Storey, a fellow medical student and the daughter of Parnie and Thomas Storey, the latter being the general director of the school of hygiene and physical education at Stanford. They were married in 1934.

Snoke's residency had been in pediatrics, and he went to the Strong Memorial Hospital, in Rochester, New York, expecting to continue in this field of medicine. In 1937, however, he was offered the position of assistant director of the hospital, under Basil MacLean. Snoke remained in this position through World War II. In 1946, he was asked to become the director of the newly formed Grace-New Haven Hospital. In New Haven, he faced the problems of fusing two medical facilities, their staffs, and budgets, while building a new memorial unit. Snoke was instrumental in balancing the interests and resolving the tensions between the private physicians, who had used the Grace Hospital facilities, and the faculty members of the Yale University Medical School, who had brought their classes to the bedsides of patients in the New Haven Hospital.

Snoke was known for his concern for patient care and for his interest in the role of the university teaching hospital. It was under his influence that the hospital developed the concept of "rooming-in" to allow newborn babies to stay with their mothers in the mother's room. He also developed a training program for hospital administrators and encouraged the improvement of the university's nursing school. Snoke played a major role in the formation of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Inc., which raised funds and served as a coordinating structure for the university medical school-hospital partnership.

Snoke was a national leader in hospital administration and was active in professional organizations. He served the American Hospital Association (AHA) in numerous ways, chairing its Councils on Hospital Planning and Plant Operations, on Prepayment Plans and Hospital Reimbursement, and on Professional Practice. He was president of the AHA from 1956-1957 and received the AHA's Distinguished Service Award in 1965. Snoke also served as president of the Connecticut Hospital Association (1954-1955), and was a member of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, the Joint Commission on the Improvement of Care of the Patient and the National Commission on Public General Hospitals. He was often called upon as a consultant on hospital operations and worked in partnership with his wife Parnie, who, besides having an M.D., received a degree in public health from Yale in 1961.

For reasons he did not entirely understand, Snoke was forced to resign as executive director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital on December 31, 1967. He was then named the acting executive director of the Illinois Comprehensive State Planning Agency and Coordinator of Health Services under Governor Richard Ogilvie and held this post until 1973. His resignation followed Ogilvie's defeat for reelection. While in Illinois, he helped develop a model Emergency Medical Service and Trauma Program.

Snoke deplored the tendency of health professionals and health institutions to be preoccupied with the business of medicine rather than the care of patients. He sought ways to bring about cooperation between all types of health care institutions to ensure a continuum of care which would include prevention and post-acute care as well as the treatment of acute illness. Snoke spoke out for a national policy for health and welfare. He was active in the formation of health maintenance organizations and supported the creation of the Medicare system. He was also an advocate of the Connecticut Regional Medical Program. In 1987, the Yale University Press published Snoke's Hospitals, Health, and People, containing his reflections on his long career and such contemporary problems as reimbursement and cost containment, patients' inability to pay for medical care, program management, marketing, and corporate organization. Snoke died on April 18, 1988.

Guide to the Albert Waldo Snoke Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan
January 1996
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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