The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Helping the Children

Trip to Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, 1991

Dr. Sabin’s oral polio vaccine has helped millions of children since its first public distribution many years ago. Besides the numerous awards and accolades that Dr. Sabin received for his work, he traveled around the world and advised others on how to implement a vaccination program. Along the way, Dr. Sabin was greeted by crowds, including many children, who expressed their appreciation for his work. The photos seen here are only a couple of the photos we have in our collection from his visits around the world.

Trip to Pavia, Italy, 1967

My personal favorite is seen here, where Dr. Sabin is hugging a young boy in Pavia, Italy. Dr. Sabin was in Italy to receive the Minerva Award, which is “given annually to the highest personality in the domain of science, culture, and art.” My favorite part of the photograph is Dr. Sabin’s smile because he looks happy and relaxed, unlike some of his more serious and studious photos that we have in our collection.

Also included in our collection are the many letters Dr. Sabin received from children around the world, expressing their gratitude for the oral polio vaccine. Some of these letters are on display in our permanent exhibition located in the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies here on campus. If you are interested in learning more about this exhibit, please visit our website.

In 2010, the University of Cincinnati Libraries received a $314,258 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize the correspondence and photographs of Dr. Albert B. Sabin. This digitization project has been designated a NEH “We the People” project, an initiative to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.