Food and Drug Administration
Silver Spring, Maryland 20993
Fax: (301) 796-8950
The collections of the FDA History Office generally cover both the history of the government agency that regulates a wide range of consumer products as well as regulatory history in general as it pertains to medicines, food products (other than meat and poultry), medical devices, veterinary medicine, cosmetics, and the history of non-health related consumer products. Access to the collections is by appointment only.
The FDA History Office's holdings include monographs, photographs, slides, posters, artifacts, audiotapes and videotapes, and finding aids to assorted collections of unpublished records, from approximately 1900 to the present. Monographs total about 800 linear feet. The collection of artifacts, including pharmaceuticals, food products, laboratory and inspection equipment, patent medicines, quack and other medical devices, cosmetics, and ephemera, total approximately 9000 objects. Audiotapes and videotapes (including several hundred oral history interviews) number approximately 2500 items, and photos, slides, prints and posters total about 5,000 items. Selected finding aids exist for record group 88 (FDA) at the National Archives, College Park, Maryland, as well as records still in the possession of FDA. Note that most records still held by the FDA can be obtained only by filing a request for specific records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), procedures for which can be obtained on the FDA website, http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/default.htm. Those interested in historical records under FOIA should contact the FDA History Office prior to submitting the FOIA request.