The United States Army Yellow Fever Commission

Conquerors of Yellow Fever, a painting by Dean Cornwell, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia

Conquerors of Yellow Fever, a painting by Dean Cornwell, circa 1940, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia

Welcome to the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission online exhibit! The pages that we present here tell the story of how a U.S. commission of researchers proved a Cuban physician’s theory about the transmission of yellow fever. By showing without a doubt that mosquitoes were the vector for yellow fever, the commission gave public health officials the knowledge they needed to control this devastating disease and eradicate it from much of the western hemisphere.

This exhibit is divided into three main sections. The first section, Archives, provides information about and links to the online and physical versions of the Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Collection. The collection, housed at the University of Virginia’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, is a rich archive of materials that documents the history of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission. The second section, History, tells the story of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission including a discussion of relevant historical developments preceding their work and another discussion about the impact of their findings. Finally, the third section, Resources, provides access to biographies, bibliographies, and other resources visitors may want to consult to learn more about the commission and the history of yellow fever.

The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library will be making periodic improvements to this exhibit to ensure that we are providing a rich experience to our visitors in a manner that is sustainable. We will also be making changes to the exhibit content to include the most recent scholarship about the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission and the history of yellow fever. If you have any questions or concerns about the online exhibit, please direct them to the Historical Collections and Services Department of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.