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Cholera Epidemics in the 19th Century

The Great Plague of London, 1665

The Boston Smallpox Epidemic, 1721

“Pestilence” and the Printed Books of the Late 15th Century

Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919

Syphilis, 1494–1923

Tropical Diseases and the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1904–1914

Tuberculosis in Europe and North America, 1800–1922

The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, 1793

General Materials

Notable People

Related Links


Boston Overseers of the Poor Records

Established by a colonial act in 1692 and incorporated in 1772, the Boston Overseers of the Poor provided relief to “deserving” persons in the form of food, fuel, medicine, and money. The Boston Overseers’ records at the Countway Library contain tickets requesting that specific Boston residents receive smallpox inoculations. The tickets are addressed to individual physicians and are signed by a member of the Overseers. Some of the tickets include ward numbers, and all of the tickets have dates between August and November 1792.

Materials Digitized for the Contagion Collection

17 of 55 tickets.