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Recent News

Johns Hopkins Phase I Re-opening Plan for Archives and Special Collections

On July 6, 2020, Johns Hopkins archives and special collections will begin offering limited access to Johns Hopkins faculty and graduate students. Access options for Johns Hopkins undergraduates, faculty and students from other educational institutions, will be designated for later dates in the phased Johns Hopkins re-opening plan. Protecting the health and safety of staff and researchers is paramount in plans for every phase of the re-opening process.

We expect that guidelines for archives and special collections may change during the course of the summer as government agencies and the University issue additional directives. All services are contingent upon the availability of staffing.

Phase I Access to Chesney Medical Archives


Mount Washington Campus
McAuley Hall – Suite 235
Use the main entrance of the Davis Building to reach the archives. The guard posted at the entrance will provide directions to the archives suite.

Temporary Hours of Operation: 6 July 2020 –

Monday 10 am – 4 pm
Wednesday 10 am -4 pm
Friday 10 am – 4 pm

Temporary closure of food and coffee services until further notice.

An area on campus with tables and chairs spaced 6 ft. apart is designated for visitors and staff who wish to bring food, drinks, and snacks. There are restaurants and a Whole Foods Market within walking distance.

Scheduling your visit

Please contact to schedule an appointment. All appointments must be scheduled one week in advance of the dates you wish to come to allow staff adequate time to prepare for your visit. Staff must comply with HIPAA requirements for screening of the documents you request as well as follow Covid-19 safety requirements to quarantine the archival materials that they retrieve for your use for a period of 48-72 hours.

For your safety and that of others

Health status – When scheduling an appointment and during your visit, please keep staff informed if you have a fever or other signs of illness.

Masks/face coverings – The Mount Washington campus requires that masks/face coverings be worn throughout all buildings. If you are not wearing a mask/face covering entry will be denied. The Chesney Archives requires that staff and researchers wear masks/face coverings at all times.

Hand sanitizing – All visitors, staff, and researchers are required to use hand sanitizers posted at the entrance of the archives. After entry to the archives, handwashing with soap and water is required for those handling archival materials.

Safe social distancing – All visitors, staff, and researchers are required to maintain a safe social distance of 6 feet throughout the Mount Washington campus and within the archives

Protecting you while on campus and at the Chesney Archives

Common areas throughout the campus - These areas include the designated eating area, restrooms, stairways, and elevators. They are regularly cleaned and sanitized during the day.

Reading Room – For the safety of researchers and archives staff only 2 researchers may be accommodated at a time. Tables and chairs are spaced 6 feet apart to maintain safe social distancing. Staff and researchers must wear masks/face coverings at all times. Staff will disinfect all table surfaces before and after each researcher visits.

Archives materials that you request – These materials will not be disinfected but will be quarantined before and after use in accordance with safety guidelines to protect you from exposure to the corona virus.

Please contact us if you have questions or need additional information at June 27, 2020

Your Stories in the Time of Covid-19!

The Chesney Medical Archives is reaching out to the diverse workforce and student population of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health to collect your personal, on-the ground stories during the time of Covid-19. We want to capture and preserve your experiences at this historic moment. Also let us know if you have photos, videos, or other items that you would like to share.

Some collections are available digitally, and staff are available to answer many of your questions. Below is a list of commonly requested services that our staff may provide during this time.

1. Online resources: Our staff is available to assist you with searching our online catalog to find digitized photographs, artifacts, audiovisual materials, and publications which you may use freely for teaching and research purposes. The archives has also created a number of online exhibits that feature our collections.

2. Permissions: The archives can help you secure permissions for use of Johns Hopkins images and audiovisual materials in publications, films, and for other uses.

3. Digital reproductions: We can provide high resolution documents, images, sound recordings, and videos to you via direct download.

4. Verification: Our staff can search official reports and catalogs to verify dates and basic information pertaining to departments, faculty, students, buildings, and facilities of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health.

5. Collection information: Our collections are extensive and diverse, and we are here to help you find any collections or records that pertain to a given topic, department, individual, and/or date range.

6. Archival advice: Our archivists are here to advise Johns Hopkins departments and offices on which types of documents and records are pertinent for long term retention. We can also give you tips on how best to store or organize materials, both physical and digital.

7. Privacy Board: For our researchers seeking access to patient-related materials, we are available to assist in preparing your Privacy Board applications ahead of our quarterly meetings.

The Chesney Medical Archives is also actively collecting materials that document Johns Hopkins’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a Hopkins student, patient, or member of the workforce at any level and know of something that we should be collecting as part of this effort, please reach out to us at

June 5, 2020


The Chesney Medical Archives has temporarily closed its facilities and reading room to all researchers to prevent exposure to and transmission of covid-19.

While closed, staff are working remotely and are only able to offer limited services to members of the Johns Hopkins community. When we resume normal operations, we will continue to offer services to external researchers as well.

In the meantime, check out new digital resources available through our Public Catalog.

Follow us on Twitter!

March 23, 2020

The Medical Archives is now on Twitter!

Follow us at @JHMedArchives!

Sept 2017

Numbers of Female Surgeons Increase, But More Needed

Read about the changing face of surgery in
The Rise of Female Surgeons at Johns Hopkins in the Johns Hopkins Dome.

Sept 2017

Logbooks Shed Light on
Walter E. Dandy's Neurosurgical Contributions

Faculty and visiting fellows examine the archives collection of early surgical log books and report on their findings in "Walter E. Dandy: His Contributions to pituitary surgery in the context of the overall Johns Hopkins Hospital Exerience" in the latest issue of Pituitary.

Sept 2017

Hopkins and The Great War

Johns Hopkins involvement with World War I (1914-1918) was significant and had a deep impact on the university, its medical divisions, and the hospital. A selection of the medical archives extensive World War I holdings of photographs, correspondence, reports, diaries, memorabilia, and other documents, are included in the Hopkins and The Great War exhibit.


National Library of Medicine Announces "History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium"

September 3, 2010

Read more

Describing Medical Visual Materials Collections for Online Researchers

Timothy Wisniewski
Society of American Archivists
Session 203 Providing Web Access to Medical and Health-Related Visual Materials for Diverse Users

August 12, 2010

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Profiles in Science - The Daniel Nathans Papers

The National Library of Medicine's Profile in Science on Daniel Nathans who received the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics".

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Research, education, and patient care: archival medical film collections at academic health institutions

Timothy Wisniewski
The Medical Film Symposium
Fifth Session

January 23, 2010

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Louise Cavagnaro retires after 25 years as volunteer at Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

December 7, 2009

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Contextual Integrity and Informed Consent: Providing Web Access to Images of Health and Medicine

Phoebe Evans Letocha
Society of American Archivists
Session 502 My Face / Public Space: Privacy Issues for Photographs and Film in the Web 2.0 World

August 15, 2009

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Vicki Mock Recognized in Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

March 9, 2009

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The Medical Archives celebrates its 30th anniversary!
1978 - 2008

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Privacy and Health Information - Web Seminar

From the SAA website: "Health information of both living and deceased individuals is collected in a wide variety of archival repositories from medical archives to local historical societies. What are the legal rights and ethical responsibilities that archivists and others should consider for access and use of this information? How do archivists adjudicate requests for access in compliance with legal and ethical rights to individual privacy? Register here for an overview of available access options and hear the discussion about compliance requirements to protect individuals' privacy."

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Profiles in Science - The Victor McKusick Papers

The National Library of Medicine's Profile in Science on Victor McKusick who "is widely considered to be the founding father of medical genetics".

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Home Movies, The Archive of the People

Dan Rodricks
The Baltimore Sun
December 9, 2008

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JHMI Celebrates the Evolution of Chesney's Dream

Greg Rienzi
The Gazette
December 8, 2008

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The Great Save

Kristi Birch
Hopkins Medicine
Fall 2008

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Values in Design: Defining a Privacy-Aware Model for Web Access to Archives

Michael Zimmer
August 29, 2008

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404 Values in Design: Defining a Privacy-Aware Model for Web Access to Archives

Phoebe Evans Letocha, Nancy McCall, Paul H Theerman, Michael Zimmer
Society of American Archivists
August 29, 2008

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