The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Happy Birthday, Dr. Sabin!

Sabin student assistant Richard Jason Sookoor is seen here browsing through one of the many binders the Winkler Center recently received from Mrs. Heloisa Sabin.

The Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives recently received several large boxes full of letters, photographs and realia from Mrs. Heloisa Sabin, which adds to the over 400 linear feet that is already in the collection. It was quite serendipitous that the material arrived at the Winkler Center just a couple days before Dr. Sabin’s birthday on August 26.

Although we haven’t had a chance to look through all of the material yet, I wanted to share a couple of fun things. First, tucked in a little binder was a folder labeled “Conspiracy.” Of course, that label made the folder sound quite intriguing, so I had to open it up! Inside were birthday wishes from a variety of different people in honor of Dr. Sabin’s 75th birthday. So, why was the folder labeled “Conspiracy”? One letter may give a hint as to why. On July 15, 1981, Mrs. Sabin wrote a letter to Senator Strom Thurmond making a special request saying, “[C]ould you find the time to write a brief note of congratulations to Albert on this milestone in his very full and busy life?” It appears that Mrs. Sabin was trying to arrange some surprises for Dr. Sabin’s birthday! Of course, Senator Thurmond complied with her request.

Dr. Sabin (left) and Mrs. Sabin (right) are seen here during a trip to Japan in November 1980.

Another interesting find in one of the boxes was a binder full of photographs from a trip to Japan in 1980. I enjoyed looking through this binder because it shows another side of Dr. Sabin. Many of the photographs already held by the Hauck Center reflect the scientific and statesman sides of Dr. Sabin. The photographs that show other sides of his personality will greatly enhance the collection for future researchers.

The Winkler Center would like to thank Mrs. Sabin, with the help of her son Carlos E. Jardim, for sending us these documents and realia, as well as trusting us with preserving her husband’s legacy for future researchers.

Of course, as these boxes are processed, we will add information to the Finding Aid for the Albert B. Sabin Papers, which can be found in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository.

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.