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Collection 2096 - Rocky Mountain Laboratory Records, 1910-1966

Creator: National Institutes of Health (U.S.). Rocky Mountain Laboratory

Provenance Note: The Rocky Mountain Laboratory records were donated to Special Collections by Dr. William L. Jellison in 1981-82. Dr. Jellison was a parasitologist at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory from 1929-1962. An additional file, consisting of a typewritten court transcript formerly accessioned as Collection 4, was added on July 30, 2009.

Historical Note: Rocky Mountain spotted fever was first recognized in 1896 in the Snake River Valley of Idaho and was originally called "black measles" because of the characteristic rash. It was a dreaded and frequently fatal disease that affected hundreds of people in this area. By the early 1900s, the recognized geographic distribution of this disease grew to encompass parts of the United States as far north as Washington and Montana and as far south as California, Arizona, and New Mexico. In response to this severe problem, the Rocky Mountain Laboratory was established in Hamilton, Montana, 1902 by the State of Montana for the Montana State Board of Entomology and the United States Public Health Service. In 1928 a new building was constructed serve the expanded work being done on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Prior laboratories had been in a shack and an abandoned schoolhouse. The U.S. Public Health Service first leased and then purchased the building. In 1948, after a successful vaccine for the fever had been developed at the laboratory and the introduction of antibiotics made a cure possible, the laboratory became a part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institute of Health. It has continued to be active in research of the interrelationships of disease agents, wild and domestic animals and man. Its location makes possible extensive animal experiment quarters and facilities for work with highly transmissible agents. The laboratory continues to study Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, diseases in nature, the medical entomology of ticks, chronic viral diseases, the molecular biology of microorganisms, allergy antibodies and immunologic aspects of diseases.

Content Description Note: The records in this collection include: correspondence between Ralph R. Parker, a special expert at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory and R.R. Spencer, a surgeon at the Hygienic Laboratory of the U.S. Public Health Service from 1923-1931( they developed the first vaccine for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever); Published papers of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory, United States Public Health Service, Hamilton MT, 1923-1966; Miscellaneous reports and papers of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, 1910-1925. In 16 bound volumes. An additional file, consisting of a typed copy of an original court proceding prepared by Dr. Jellison, was added to the collection on July 30, 2004. This transcript documents the hearing held in the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Montana on July 27, 1927. The hearing, held in Ravalli County, concerned an effort by local landowners to prevent the establishment of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory due to concerns regarding the spotted fever research.

Contents

Series 1 Published Reports, 1923-1966
Series 2 Ralph Parker-R.R. Spencer Correspondence, 1923-1931
Series 3 Reports, 1910-1917

Series 1: Published Reports, 1923-1966

Papers of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory published between 1923-1966 in various government publications and scientific journals. In 8 bound volumes including the index for papers No. 1-751, 1923-1961.

Box 1
Volume 1. Index - Papers 1-751, 1923-1961
Volume 2. Papers 1-300, 1923-1949
Volume 3. Papers 301-500, 1949-1955
Box 2
Volume 1. Papers 501-600, 1955-1958
Volume 2. Papers 601-700, 1958-1960
Box 3
Volume 1. Papers 701-786, 1960-1962
Volume 2. Papers 787-880, 1962-1963
Box 4
Volume 1. Papers 881-890, 1963-1966

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Ralph Parker-R.R. Spencer Correspondence, 1923-1931

Correspondence between Ralph R. Parker and R.R. Spencer during the development of a vaccine for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, 1923-1931, in 5 bound volumes.

Box 4 (cont.)
Volume 2. Correspondence between Parker - Spencer, 1923-1924
Volume 3. Correspondence between Parker - Spencer, 1925
Box 5
Volume 1. Correspondence between Parker - Spencer, 1926
Volume 2. Correspondence between Parker - Spencer, 1927-1929
Volume 3. Correspondence between Parker - Spencer, 1930-1931

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Reports, 1910-1917

Miscellaneous early reports and papers of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in 3 bound volumes.

Box 6
Volume 1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Reports - Bitterroot Valley, 1910-1914
Volume 2. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - Bitterroot Valley, early papers and reports, 1914-1917
Volume 3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever- miscellaneous papers, U.S.P.S. - 1921-1925
Folder 1. District Court of the Fourth Judicial District. G.A. Gordon, et. al, vs. the State Board of Entomology, et. al, July 27, 1927

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 7/30/09