The U.S. Sanitary Commission was founded in 1861, a private relief agency created to support ill and wounded soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War. Primarily staffed by volunteers, often women, the Sanitary Commission raised money, made uniforms, collected food and other supplies, and ran hospital ships and soldiers’ homes for the U.S. Army.
The University Archives for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences collects, preserves, and makes available rare university materials; historical military medical and public health collections; and personal papers of enduring value from administrators, faculty, and alumni for the research use of the university and the general public. The Archives collects manuscripts, oral histories, rare books, audio-visual materials, and artifacts relating to the history of the university and the history of military medicine.
The following are links to other institutions with collections and exhibits that complement the material in the USU Archives.
National Library of Medicine
National Archives and Records Administration
The Sanitary Reporter Collection, 1863-1865, includes the entire run of Volume I and Volume II of the Sanitary Reporter, published by the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Sanitary Reporters reported on the workings of the Sanitary Commission, including information about Army surgeons and their duties, ambulance corps, available supplies, financial reports, hospital reports, and sanitary fairs.
The Finding Aid for this collection is linked below. The other links are a selection of The Sanitary Reporter issues that have been scanned by the Archives. The complete collection can be viewed and downloaded by searching the Archives' digital collection under the heading Military Medical History Documents.
The Sanitary Commission released several reports on topics including the practices and protocols of surgeons in the field, pensions for wounded soldiers and sailors, and support for the families of servicemen. The USU Archives has scanned a number of these reports and they can be viewed and downloaded from the Archives' online collections.
The following links are examples of the Sanitary Commission publications that have been scanned by the Archives. The complete collection can be accessed by searching the Archives' digital collection under the heading Military Medical History Documents.