Items in New York Heritage are organized into collections, which provide additional context for understanding their significance and meaning.
This collection is one of the largest and finest on yellow fever anywhere in the world. It contains monographs and reprints, representing the development of medical thought on yellow fever over the course of a century and a half. It reflects the confusion of 18th-century physicians when confronted with a new and deadly malady; the static debates between contagionists and non-contagionists during the 19th century; early attempts to identify a bacterial agent; and the consequences of Walter Reed's discovery of a mosquito vector. It also provides a view into the panicked efforts of local, state, and national government to respond to yellow fever's introduction and to check its spread; and to religious leaders' fervent warnings of pestilence as punishment for public sins. The digitization of the Yellow Fever Collection is made possible through a generous gift from Ranlet and Beth Miner.