RG 21: Department of Health Annual Report Photographs, 1938-1973

Collection Number
RG 21
The Arlington County Department of Health began operating in 1919 and is still functioning today as the Arlington County Department of Human Services. In 1919, the Arlington County Department of Health was one of the first full time county departments for health services in the nation. Unique for this type of county service, the Department received most of its funding from private rather than public resources.

The Department of Health was organized to improve the county's state of public health by enforcing laws regulating sanitation and disease. Over the years, the Department evolved into a social agency serving the community and enhancing the quality of life through many local social programs. The same spirit of community service has prevailed throughout the Department's history.
Scope and Content
Record Group 21 houses six linear feet of scattered records generated by the Arlington County Department of Health from 1928 through 1984.

This group of records is only a small portion of the department's records and covers a limited time span. Many of the items, however, are truly noteworthy. Of particular interest is the collection of scrapbooks that were compiled for the Health Contests of the Inter Chamber of Rural Health, 1938 1943. The scrapbooks contain miscellaneous materials which outline the achievements of the Department for each year represented. The materials include photographs, charts, posters, pamphlets, and textual narratives.

The record group also houses additional scrapbooks, photographs, departmental annual and miscellaneous reports, surveys, and countywide reports concerning civil defense and disaster survival. In addition, two comprehensive histories of the department are included in the collection. Subgroup 3, Series 2, holds ephemera such as federal and Virginia state blank birth certificates and other health forms.
Arrangement and Description
RG 21 is arranged into three subgroups according to general types of materials. Subgroup 1, Scrapbooks, is organized chronologically. Because of the deteriorating nature of the original scrapbooks, the scrapbook’s contents were removed from the mounting and filed in the order they appeared in the original scrapbook. Subgroup 2 first has department annual reports organized chronologically, and then other department-wide surveys chronologically. Finally, Subgroup 3 is organized into series by type of material: other department documents, ephemera, and photographs.

There are 507 black and white original print photographs in this record group. They can be found within scrapbooks and unmounted in Subgroup 3, Series 3.
This collection of documents was transferred to the Library from the Department of Human Services in 1988.
There are no research restrictions on this collection.


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