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Department of Public Health records

Identifier: RG016

Scope and Content

Early records are primarily correspondence and local surveys for Dr. Charles W. Chamberlain, the first Secretary of the State Board of Health. Chamberlain, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 21, 1844. He graduated from Brown University in 1867 and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City in 1871. He settled in Hartford and quickly became an authority on public hygiene and sanitation questions. He probably had the most responsibility for the establishment of the State Board of Health. He served as its first Secretary from 1876 to 1833. He also served as Secretary of the Connecticut Medical Society. He died on August 21, 1884.

Most of the early correspondence concerns routine matters. Some local correspondence, however, when used with material derived from two town surveys, is useful to researchers interested in community or state health conditions. The most controversial early issue involving the State Board of Health came after the legislature passed an act in 1880 requiring eye examinations for railroad employees. Correspondence directed to the Secretary concerning the implementation of the law, together with 133 petitions protesting against its harshness, provide an excellent example of the work of the Board of Health in its efforts to promote health and safety. Further material in the record group includes divorce statistics from 1878 to 1883, occupational breakdowns for employment in four counties, copies of legislation and petitions, vital statistics forms, copies of circulars, and copies of speeches written by Dr. Chamberlain.

More recent records cover the broad spectrum of programs administered by the department including the Nation’s most comprehensive tumor registry and the licensure of health professionals and institutional programs in the state.


  • 1799-2014
  • Majority of material found within , 1877-2014

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Historical Note

The Connecticut State Board of Health, now called the Department of Public Health, was established in 1878. The original legislation designated a membership of six persons including at least three physicians. The Governor was to appoint the members with the advice and consent of the Senate. The six members then elected a Secretary who received a salary of one thousand dollars per annum.

The General Assembly mandated the Board of Health to "take cognizance of the interests of health and life" of the people of the State. It was to make sanitary investigations, inquiries into the causes of disease and sources of mortality, to collect information about these matters, and issue appropriate reports. The General Assembly also empowered it to distribute sanitary information to local health authorities upon their request and likewise to gather information relative to sanitary conditions, health, and disease from local officials. The new State Board of Health was also given general supervision of birth, marriage, and death registrations.

Over the years, the department’s mandate has been very fluid. In 1919 the Board of Health was reorganized into the Department of Health. In 1979 it was reorganized again into the Department of Health Services. In 1993 it merged with the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission into the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services. In 1995 it became the Department of Public Health when programs dealing with substance abuse and addition were transferred to the new Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

See also the Department of Public Health Agency History.


951.5 cubic feet


The Department of Public Health is the State's lead agency in public health policy and advocacy.


Series 1-13. Early records, Accession: T000516, T000508, and 2023-017, 7.75 cubic feet

Includes Connecticut and general correspondence, town surveys, rail road worker eye tests, malaria survey, divorces, occupational survey, plans and maps, legislation and petitions, vital statistics forms, circulars, speeches, certificates, and miscellaneous papers.

Series 14. Connecticut State Planning Committee for Mid-century White House Conference on Children and Youth, Accession: T000516, 2 cubic feet

Series 15. Governor's Conference on Children and Youth, Accession: T000516, 4 cubic feet

Series 16. Connecticut Advisory School Health Council, 1954-1971, Accession: 1989-012, 2.25 cubic feet

Series 17. Medical Registration Applications, 1893-1976, 86 cubic feet

Accession: T000512, Medical registration applications, 1893-1940.

Accession: 1989-013, Doctors' licensure files, 1941-1976

Accession: 1996-017, Applications for Healing Arts certificates, 1925-1975, LPN licensure files, 1935-1941, RN by exam licensure files, 1905-1941, RN ENDO/Reciprocity licensure files, 1915-1941

Series 18. Not in use

Series 19. New Haven County. Census Statistics, 1884-1897, Accession: T000501, 1 volume (.25 cubic feet)

Series 20. State Board of Health, 1878-1917, 1 cubic foot

Includes meeting minutes and reports.

Accession: T000507, .25 cubic feet

Accession: 1987-030A, .75 cubic feet

Series 21. Tuberculosis Commission / Tuberculosis Control, Hospital Care and Rehabilitation Division., 1909-1988, 3.25 cubic feet

Accession: 1985-029, Minutes, administrative files, photographs, scrapbooks, 1909-1975, 2.5 cubic feet.

Accession: 1989-051, Photographs, 1979-1988, .25 cubic feet

Accession: 1998-017, Photographs, 1957-1958, .25 cubic feet

Accession: T003188, School vaccine plan, circa 1937, .25 cubic feet

Series 22-23. Not used.

Series 24. Hospital and Medical Care Division, 1966-1981, 16.25 cubic feet

Accession: 1985-026C, Institutional licensure files, 1977, 5.5 cubic feet

Accession: 1986-010A, Institutional licensure files, 1978, 5.5 cubic feet

Accession: 1989-035, Institutional licensure files, 1981, 5 cubic feet

Accession: 2013-042, Agricultural Workers Hospital file, 1966-1975, .25 cubic feet

Series 25. Dr. Stanley H. Osborne collection, 1799-1979, 12.5 cubic feet

Accession: T000520, Collection, 1799-1979, 3.5 cubic feet

Accession: 1986-038, Scrapbooks, 1918-1972, 9 cubic feet

Series 26. Commission on Hospitals and Health Care, 1974-1987, Accession1991-002, 20 cubic feet

Series 27. Commissioner, 1944-1945, 1973, .75 cubic feet

Accession: T000510, Annual report, 1944-1945, .5 cubic feet

Accession: 1995-045, Manual, 1973, .25 cubic feet

Series 28. Community Nursing and Home Health Division, 1918-1980, Accession: 1988-028, 2 cubic feet

Series 29. Commission on Long Term Care, 1980-1990, 18 cubic feet

Accession: 1992-002, Coordinator's Records, 1980-1990, 16 cubic feet

Accession: 1996-031, Administrative Records, 1986-1987, 2 cubic feet

Series 30. Local Health Administration, 1931-1981, 12.5 cubic feet

Accession: T000503, Circulars, 1937-1972, 1 cubic foot

Accession: 1996-011, Annual Reports of Town Health Officials, 1931-1981, 11.5 cubic feet

Series 31. Not in use.

Series 32. Tumor Registry Division. Case files, 741 cubic feet.

Accession: 1992-052, 91 cubic feet

Accession: 1993-130, 201 cubic feet

Accession: 1995-073, 99 cubic feet

Accession: 1995-074, 350 cubic feet

Series 33. Public Health Office Maternal and Child Health Program, 1955-1984, Accession: 1995-002, 1 cubic foot

Series 34. Bureau of Laboratories / Laboratory Division, 1943-1976, 2.25 cubic feet

Accession: 1994-009A, Annual reports, 1943-1956, 2 cubic feet

Accession: T003189, Proposal for building addition, 1976, .25 cubic feet

Series 35. Hearing Office, 1893-2014

Accession 1994-020, 2 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the Board of Examiners for Nursing, 1905-1992.

See also accessions 2008-039 and 2011-131.

Accession: 2000-004, 1893-1991, 8 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the following boards: Connecticut Medical Examining Board, 1940-1975; Healing Arts, 1944-1975; Connecticut State Dental Commission, 1965-1991; Connecticut Homeopathic Medical Examining Board, 1978-1989; Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians, 1935-1983; Connecticut State Dental Commission, 1893-1975; Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists, 1941-1979; Connecticut Board of Examiners for Optometrists, 1932-1979; Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine, 1960-1981; Connecticut Board of Examiners of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, 1963-1982; Connecticut Osteopathic Examining Board, 1911-1967; Connecticut State Barber Board, 1949-1980; Connecticut Board of Examiners of Hypertrichologists, 1976-1981; Connecticut Board of Audiologists and Speech Pathologists, 1973-1979; Connecticut State Board of Nursing Home Administrators, 1974-1979; Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, 1928-1972; Connecticut Board of Examiners of Podiatry, 1930-1979; Connecticut Medical Examining Board, 1894-1987.

Accession 2008-039, 2 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the Board of Examiners for Nursing, 1993-2007.

See also accessions 1994-020 and 2011-131.

Accession 2011-131, .25 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the Board of Examiners for Nursing, 2008-2012.

See also accessions 1994-020 and 2008-039.

Accession 2014-032, .25 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee, 2005-2012.

Accession 2023-016, .50 cubic feet

Includes minutes for the Board of Registration for Sanitarians, 1967-1987.

Series 36. Commission on the Care and Treatment of the Chronically Ill, Aged and Infirm, 1946, Accession: 2002-018, 1 folder

Series 37. Division of Health Systems Regulation, 1948-1976, Accession: 2004-005, 3.5 cubic feet

Series 38. Photographs, 1977-1980, Accession: 1994-009, 3 cubic feet

Series 39. Printed Material, 1941-1988, .5 cubic feet

Accessions: 1995-072, 1999-136, 2002-079, 2006-042

Series 40. Bureau of Administrative and Support Services, 1996-2001, Accession: 2013-021, 1 cubic foot

Project files for Quality of Work Life project and Toxicology Laboratory transfer to Dept. of Public Safety.

RG 016, Department of Public Health
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2023-04-21: Added accession 2023-016 and 2023-017.

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository