The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Dr. Alan Goffe

<em>British Medical Journal</em>, November 15, 1958

British Medical Journal, November 15, 1958

While updating metadata records in the digitized collection, I came across the name “Alan Goffe” several times. I was interested to learn more about this man who frequently communicated with Dr. Sabin. Luckily, I found a book called, Between Two Worlds: The Story of Black British Scientist Alan Goffe. This book was written by Gaia Goffe, cousin of the late scientist, as a high school project. Later, the book was published by Hansib Books.[1] I found this book to be very interesting because it explains the relationship between Drs. Sabin and Goffe, as well as their shared interest in an oral polio vaccine. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: New Finding Aid Available

By Mary Kroeger Vuyk, Sabin Student Assistant

I recently completed the processing of additional materials belonging to the Albert B. Sabin collection. This addendum to the original collection finding aid was received after Sabin’s initial donation of materials and consists of letters, lab data, photographs, and other items. A significant part of this collection reflects Dr. Sabin’s tenure as President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The finding aid for this addendum can be found at the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository.

This photo of Dr. Sabin and Hal Linden was taken at the 1990 Weizmann Founders’ event.

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The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Super Sabin!

By Mary Kroeger Vuyk, Sabin Student Assistant

In 1983, Amanda Magary wrote Dr. Sabin to tell him “Your [sic] my hero!”

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Albert Sabin? While many may view Albert Sabin as a super scientist or a super doctor, I’m not entirely sure that many would consider him a Superhero. And yet… that’s exactly how hundreds of thousands of people worldwide viewed him almost 50 years ago.

While I was aware of Dr. Sabin’s contribution, it wasn’t until I began going through the letters sent to Sabin that I started to fully understand the impact that he had on the lives of others. In one letter, Julie Harrison writes, “How much you have enriched the lives of all of us! Your oral vaccine for polio is surely one of the greatest accomplishments. We do thank you; you are truly an American hero.”[1] Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: More to Check Out!

This fall, the Albert B. Sabin digitization project has been featured in several different places. I wanted to share all of them with you so you can check them out!

If you would like to see the slides from my presentation on the Sabin digitization project, please feel free to email the Winkler Center at

First, I want to tell you about my recent presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Fall 2012 Meeting in October. My presentation, “The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Reconstructing a Collection on the Web while Balancing Privacy, Restrictions, and Access,” was part of the session called, “Student Paper Session: Digital Reconstructions.” This was a great opportunity to discuss how Sabin project staff are dealing with sensitive issues, such as privacy and classified government information, in a digital collection. It was great sharing the project with the group at MARAC, and I even received a couple of questions at the end of the session. (MARAC plans to have all of their presentations from this meeting, including mine, available on their digital repository soon. Be sure to check it out!) Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Essays on Sabin

We are currently in the process of redesigning the current Sabin website, which is very exciting! For this new website, I have been doing some research to create new content and update content already there. Through my search, I came across some essays about Dr. Sabin written by Dr. Allen B. Weisse, a cardiologist and medical historian.

Letter from Allen B. Weisse to Dr. Sabin dated May 18, 1987. Dr. Sabin wrote a reply at the bottom of the letter.

In 1987, Dr. Weisse contacted Dr. Sabin about one of the essays that appeared in a book called Medical Odysseys: The Different and Sometimes Unexpected Pathways to Twentieth-Century Medical Discoveries. (The Sabin Archives has a folder of correspondence between Dr. Sabin and Dr. Weisse that discusses this chapter.[1]) They met later in 1987, when Dr. Weisse conducted an interview for this chapter.

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The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Letters of Thanks

While processing some Sabin material to add to the current finding aid, we came across an interesting box. In 2004, the Winkler Center received a large box full of letters that Dr. Sabin received while he was in the hospital. These letters, and many more, poured into Dr. Sabin’s address at the National Institutes of Health because of an article written by Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene titled, “Rx: Don’t forget Sabin on Sunday.” I wanted to share a bit about this column, as well as some letters found in that box. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: October 24, World Polio Day

"World Understanding, World Peace and Polio" by Dr. Albert B. Sabin

October 24 is known as “World Polio Day,” in honor of Dr. Jonas Salk’s birthday. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, since World Polio Day 2011, the number of new cases of polio has declined by a significant amount. Along with the success of a decrease in polio cases, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has noted, “Polio eradication partners around the world are marking the first World Polio Day since India was removed from the list of countries with active transmission of wild poliovirus.” Currently, only three countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan – are considered endemic for polio. Continue reading

The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: American Archives Month

The clue for #49 down was "Vaccine name."

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate, project staff wanted to showcase some interesting newspaper clippings in the Sabin collection. We hope you enjoy what we have found.

The first seen here is a crossword puzzle that Sabin student assistant Mary Kroeger Vuyk recently found while processing a box in the collection. Ida Sherman sent Dr. Sabin this 1985 newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Constitution after filling out the answers to all of the clues, including #49 down. See whose name is listed as the answer for “Vaccine name”? At the bottom of the crossword, she wrote, “Now your fame is secure!”

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The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: The Microbe Hunter

By Jeff O’Flynn, Sabin Project Student Assistant

[Sabin Archivist’s Note: This week features the first blog post on the Sabin project from Jeff O’Flynn, one of our new student assistants. Jeff is pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He will be blogging on different Sabin-related topics as we work on the project. Please give Jeff a warm welcome by reading his posts! -SB]

The first assignment I handled when I started at the Sabin Archive nearly a month ago was to inventory a recent acquisition. Mrs. Sabin and her son sent us another large shipment of documents, photographs, awards, videos, and almost everything else imaginable. Sifting through these items served as my introduction to Albert B. Sabin’s life and legacy. This donation offered insight mainly into his later years and his posthumous honors with nearly all the items dating from 1970 forward. I learned many interesting things as I sorted through hundreds of fascinating items and I will share some of the most memorable items on this blog. First, I want to highlight an essay Dr. Sabin wrote in 1992 as an introduction to Paul de Kruif’s “Microbe Hunters” which influenced his life greatly. Continue reading

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