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Special Collections Online at UT

Knox County Health Department Records

Identifier: MS-3301

  • Staff Only

This collection houses vital statistic reports, notes, photographs, scrapbooks, slides, disease studies, publications, and administrative files documenting the Knox County Health Department. The bulk of the collection is composed of news articles collected in scrapbooks dating from 1931 to 1991 and vital statistics showing Knoxville, Knox County, and Tennessee between 1909 and 1996.

Series I: Vital Statistics, 1874-1996, contains reports published by both the Knox County Health Department (Sub-Series A) and the state of Tennessee (Sub-Series B). The items in Sub-Series A are a mix of annual reports, local disease studies, sanitation surveys, health condition assessments, and ambulatory care reports. One report titled The Prevalence, Distribution and Sources of Typhoid Fever in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee was conducted in collaboration with E. G. Morales of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Annual reports, studies on industrial hygiene, and community sanitation plans are also found in this sub-series. The majority of the items in Sub-Series B are Tennessee vital and morbidity statistics reports ranging from 1927 to 1996. This sub-series also includes The Early History of the Tennessee Department of Public Health, which chronicles state health services from 1876 to 1909.

Series II: Reports and Publications, 1935-1992 houses Board of Health Minutes from 1935 to 1992 (Sub-Series A), Board of Health Regulations from 1949 to 1980 and from 1986 to 1987 (Sub-Series B), brochures published from 1937 to 1964 (Sub-Series C), and Yearbooks dating from 1977 (Sub-Series D).

Series III: Visual Materials, circa 1930-1985, contains photographs, proofs, negatives, and slides from the Knox County Health Department depicting a wide variety of scenes, including a slaughter house, health examinations, dental examinations, waste disposal, and public outreach events.

Series IV: Scrapbooks, 1930-1991 contains scrapbooks filled with news clippings and photographs. The majority of the scrapbooks contain news articles from a single year arranged according to topic. A few of the scrapbooks focus on a single health issue, for example seatbelts and children's health.

Series V: Administrative Files, 1877-1998 houses administrative materials created by the Knoxville Health Department. These items include Topical Filings (Sub-Series A), Newsletters (Sub Series B), Personal Files (Sub-Series C), Manuals (Sub-Series D), and Other Files (Sub-Series E). The items in Sub-Series A are taken from topical filings found in the collection. Sub-Series B includes publications from both the Tennessee Department of Public Health and the Knox County Health Department. The bulk of Sub-Series C comes from Dr. A. G. Hufstedler's files, which date from 1948 to 1960. Sub-Series E: Other Files is composed of items housed in three boxes that had no discernable original order. These items may have been pulled to write a history of the Health Department or from the Education Department files, as several are marked History or Education. Series IV: Oversized Materials contains items too large to be stored with those of like content.


  • 1874-1998

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


43 Linear Feet


This collection houses vital statistics reports, photographs, slides, budgets, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting over a century of health care in Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee. The bulk of the material is composed of news articles collected in scrapbooks dating from 1931 to 1991 and vital statistics showing Knoxville, Knox County, and Tennessee between 1909 and 1996.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Knox County Health Department has been a major source of information on the health and welfare of the people of Knoxville and Knox County since its establishment in 1928. According to a typed history of the department, its duty is to keep the people well by educating them in the sound practices and principles of Public Health. As such, its earliest recorded activities include holding typhoid and diphtheria immunization clinics in local large consolidated schools, conducting Chest Clinics with follow-up for tuberculosis cases, and inspecting such places as schools, public buildings, establishments that handle food, and septic tanks.


Collection consists of thirty-two boxes divided into six series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Vital Statistics
  2. Series II: Reports and Publications
  3. Series III: Visual Materials
  4. Series IV: Scrapbooks and Newspapers
  5. Series V: Administrative Files
  6. Series VI: Oversized Materials

Acquisition Note

The Knox County Health Department donated these records to the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections in January of 2008.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA