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National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm]1892-1930

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division
Processed by John P. Rees
Processing Completed 2005
Encoded by John P. Rees


Summary Information
Title: W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm]
Creator: Haffkine, Waldemar Mordecai Wolff, 1860-
Dates: 1892-1930
Extent: 0.8 linear feet (36 microfilm rolls)
Abstract:
Microfilmed personal diaries of W.M. Haffkine and published materials from the India Home Department related to the Mulkowal vaccination incident of 1902.

Call number: MS Film 36
Language: Collection materials primarily in English
Location: Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Access Restrictions:

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Copyright was not transferred to the public domain.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:

W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm]. 1892-1930. Located in: Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; MS Film 36.

Provenance:

Gift, Edythe Lutzker, 1996. Accession #2001-141.


haffkine36Finding Aid to the W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm], 1892-1930Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division1.0History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, 20894
USA
Phone: (301) 402-8878 (Reference Desk)
Fax: (301) 402-0872
Email: hmdref@nlm.nih.gov
Machine-readable finding aid encoded by John P. ReesFinding aid is written in English

National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm]1892-1930

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division
Processed by John P. Rees
Processing Completed 2005
Encoded by John P. Rees

Descriptive Summary

Haffkine, Waldemar Mordecai Wolff, 1860-W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm] Dates: 1892-19300.8 linear feet (36 microfilm rolls)MS Film 36 Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine Collection materials primarily in EnglishAbstract:Microfilmed personal diaries of W.M. Haffkine and published materials from the India Home Department related to the Mulkowal vaccination incident of 1902.Provenance:

Gift, Edythe Lutzker, 1996. Accession #2001-141.

Access Restrictions:

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Copyright was not transferred to the public domain.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:

W.M. Haffkine collection [microfilm]. 1892-1930. Located in: Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; MS Film 36.

Location of Originals

Haffkine's diaries were microfilmed from materials located in the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem, Israel). The Bomby Plague and Mulkowal Incident materialswere microfilmed from materials located in the National Archives of India (New Dehli, India).

Biographical Note

The son of a Jewish schoolmaster, W. M. Haffkine (born Vladimir Aaronovich Havkin) was born in the prosperous Black Sea port of Odessa. He entered the Faculty of Natural Sciences in the University at Odessa and completed his studies in 1882 with a dissertation on Zoology.

He became the curator of the Zoological Museum in Odessa, but was arrested as a member of a Jewish self-defense organization after the assassination of Tsar Alexander. Released after a trial, he left for Switzerland in 1888 and worked as an assistant at the Geneva medical school for a year.

In 1889 he moved to Paris and started working at the Pasteur Institute where his initial work focused on producing a cholera inoculation. He produced an attenuated form of the bacterium by exposing it to blasts of hot air. A series of animal trials confirmed the efficacy of the inoculation. In July 1892, Haffkine performed his first human test, on himself. During the Indian cholera epidemic of 1893, he traveled to Calcutta and introduced his new prophylactic inoculation. After initial criticism by the local medical bodies, it was widely accepted.

Haffkine came to Bombay at the outbreak of the plague epidemic in Bombay in October 1896. He improvised a laboratory in the Grant Medical College and set to work on preventive and curative measures. A curative serum was tested in four months, but was found to be unreliable; emphasis moved to a preventive vaccine using dead bacteria. A form useful enough for human trials was ready by January 1897, and tested on volunteers at the Byculla jail the next month. Use of the vaccine in the field started immediately.

Recognition followed quickly. The Aga Khan provided a building to house Haffkine's "Plague Research Laboratory" and other prominent citizens of Bombay supported his researches. However, the medical community was not very sympathetic towards him. In 1902 the vaccine apparently caused nineteen cases of tetanus. An inquiry commission indicted Haffkine, who was relieved of his position as Director of the Plague Laboratory. A review of the commission's report by the Lister Institute in England overturned this decision, putting the blame squarely on the doctor who administered the injections, and exonerated Haffkine.

Haffkine returned to France and settled in Boulogne-sur-Seine, and occasionally wrote for medical journals. In 1925, when the Plague Laboratory in Bombay was renamed the "Haffkine Institute", he wrote that "...the work at Bombay absorbed the best years of my life... ". He revisited Odessa in 1927, but could not adapt to the tremendous changes after the revolution. He moved to Lausanne in 1928 and remained there for the last two years of his life.

References

  • http://theory.tifr.res.in/bombay/persons/wm-haffkine.html
  • http://encycl.opentopia.com/term/Waldemar_Haffkine
  • Encyclopedia Judaica (1971)



The collection contains 36 microfilm rolls of original materials collected by Edythe Lutzker during her research. The original Haffkine diaries and letters in Series 1 are located in the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem); The Mulkowal plague disaster materials are located in the India National Archives. Many of the miscellaneous and unidentified rolls are most likely from India as well, but could be from the Public Record Office, London.

Haffkine's diaries are almost indecipherable due to illegible handwriting, further hindered by the microfilming process. However it can be stated that he recorded his daily events almost to the minute. Scattered throughout his notepads are clippings and business cards he picked up throughout the day's travels. Of note is the "Index of Engagements and Appointments, 1917-1929" which denote the date and time of every meeting he had or event he attended.

Series 2 contains a disorganized collection of the published proceedings and exhibits concerning the Bombay plague outbreak of 1896 and the ultimate Mulkowal vaccination disaster for which Haffkine was tried. Included are various reports from India Home Department offices and commissions, letters and memos between local and national officials, and official proceedings. There are also numerous unidentified and duplicate pieces of correspondence and reports related to the Bombay plague outbreak and subsequent public health response.

Index Terms

These terms are indexed in the National Library of Medicine's online catalog LocatorPlus. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog using these terms.

    MeSH Subjects

    • Plague
    • Plague Vaccine
    • Vaccines--history
    Corporate Names

    • Bombay (India : State). Plague Committee.
    Geographic Names

    • India

    Series Descriptions

    Series 1: Diaries and Letters, 1915-1930 Diaries, 1893-19301folder 1 [original targets], undated1reel 220014/11/1915-31/12/1917; 19191reel 22015/4/1919-27/6/19201reel 220210/10/1915-9/9/1917; 1/1/1919-5/4/1919; 2/9/1919-3/11/19201reel 220327/6/1920-8/3/19221reel 22047/3/1922-31/12/19221reel 22051/1/1923-30/6/1923; 8/3/1923-27/3/1923; 1/7/1923-29/9/1923; 20/5/1920-4/1/1923; Jan. 23-8/5/19241reel 22061/10/1923-24/10/1923; 17/9/1924-27/4/1924; 1/1/1925-23/8/19251reel 22071/1/1924-17/9/19241reel 220823/8/1925-21/10/19251reel 220921/10/1925-8/6/1926-26/6/19261reel 221026/6/1926-4/10/19261reel 22114/10/1926-2/3/19271reel 22122/3/1927-27/3/19281reel 221311/3/1928-30/11/19281reel 22141/12/1928-12/2/19301reel 221512/2/1930-18/10/19302reel 2216 Index of engagements and appointments, 1917-19292reel 1-2 Private diaries (Paris) [includes duplicate reel], 1893; Oct. 1895-19082folder 1 Letters from Pasteur, Roux et al (Pasteur Institute) [7 4x5 negatives], 18922reel 3 Miscellaneous letters, TLS [in Russian], 1924-1925 Series 2: Bombay plague and Mulkowal tetanus incident materials, 1895-19142reel 4 Proceedings, Plauge Research Lab, Bombay allegations; papers regarding the Mukowal tetanus accident, 1903-19082reel 5-6 Revenue letters from India (Sanitary), Government of India Home Department. Letters to His Majesty's Secretary, Continuation of Plague Report no. 6; Jenkins Commission Report [2 copies?], 19032reel 7 Malkowal Commissioner's Report, 19032reel 7-13 India Home Department procedings and exhibits: Medical, Judicial, Educational, Sanitary [see separate index printed from film; includes duplicate set of film], Sept. 1896-19142folder 2Index to rolls 7-132reel 14-15 Unidentified plague exhibits: G.D. [General Dept. Bombay] volumes, 1895; 1900-19052reel 17 "Statistics of innoculations with Haffkine's anti-plague vaccine", by W.B. Bannerman (1900); misc. exhibits1reel 16 [Miscellanoues and unidentified plague exhibits--on 3 rolls], undated

    Collection Scope and Content Note

    The collection contains 36 microfilm rolls of original materials collected by Edythe Lutzker during her research. The original Haffkine diaries and letters in Series 1 are located in the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem); The Mulkowal plague disaster materials are located in the India National Archives. Many of the miscellaneous and unidentified rolls are most likely from India as well, but could be from the Public Record Office, London.

    Haffkine's diaries are almost indecipherable due to illegible handwriting, further hindered by the microfilming process. However it can be stated that he recorded his daily events almost to the minute. Scattered throughout his notepads are clippings and business cards he picked up throughout the day's travels. Of note is the "Index of Engagements and Appointments, 1917-1929" which denote the date and time of every meeting he had or event he attended.

    Series 2 contains a disorganized collection of the published proceedings and exhibits concerning the Bombay plague outbreak of 1896 and the ultimate Mulkowal vaccination disaster for which Haffkine was tried. Included are various reports from India Home Department offices and commissions, letters and memos between local and national officials, and official proceedings. There are also numerous unidentified and duplicate pieces of correspondence and reports related to the Bombay plague outbreak and subsequent public health response.

    Contents List
    Box | Folder Title
     
    Series 1: Diaries and Letters, 1915-1930 [series]:
     
    Diaries, 1893-1930 [subseries]:
    1 folder 1
    [original targets], undated
    1 reel 2200
    14/11/1915-31/12/1917; 1919
    1 reel 2201
    5/4/1919-27/6/1920
    1 reel 2202
    10/10/1915-9/9/1917; 1/1/1919-5/4/1919; 2/9/1919-3/11/1920
    1 reel 2203
    27/6/1920-8/3/1922
    1 reel 2204
    7/3/1922-31/12/1922
    1 reel 2205
    1/1/1923-30/6/1923; 8/3/1923-27/3/1923; 1/7/1923-29/9/1923; 20/5/1920-4/1/1923; Jan. 23-8/5/1924
    1 reel 2206
    1/10/1923-24/10/1923; 17/9/1924-27/4/1924; 1/1/1925-23/8/1925
    1 reel 2207
    1/1/1924-17/9/1924
    1 reel 2208
    23/8/1925-21/10/1925
    1 reel 2209
    21/10/1925-8/6/1926-26/6/1926
    1 reel 2210
    26/6/1926-4/10/1926
    1 reel 2211
    4/10/1926-2/3/1927
    1 reel 2212
    2/3/1927-27/3/1928
    1 reel 2213
    11/3/1928-30/11/1928
    1 reel 2214
    1/12/1928-12/2/1930
    1 reel 2215
    12/2/1930-18/10/1930
    2 reel 2216
    Index of engagements and appointments, 1917-1929
    2 reel 1-2
    Private diaries (Paris) [includes duplicate reel], 1893; Oct. 1895-1908
    2 folder 1
    Letters from Pasteur, Roux et al (Pasteur Institute) [7 4x5 negatives], 1892
    2 reel 3
    Miscellaneous letters, TLS [in Russian], 1924-1925
     
    Series 2: Bombay plague and Mulkowal tetanus incident materials, 1895-1914 [series]:
    2 reel 4
    Proceedings, Plauge Research Lab, Bombay allegations; papers regarding the Mukowal tetanus accident, 1903-1908
    2 reel 5-6
    Revenue letters from India (Sanitary), Government of India Home Department. Letters to His Majesty's Secretary, Continuation of Plague Report no. 6; Jenkins Commission Report [2 copies?], 1903
    2 reel 7
    Malkowal Commissioner's Report, 1903
    2 reel 7-13
    India Home Department procedings and exhibits: Medical, Judicial, Educational, Sanitary [see separate index printed from film; includes duplicate set of film], Sept. 1896-1914
    2 folder 2
    Index to rolls 7-13
    2 reel 14-15
    Unidentified plague exhibits: G.D. [General Dept. Bombay] volumes, 1895; 1900-1905
    2 reel 17
    "Statistics of innoculations with Haffkine's anti-plague vaccine", by W.B. Bannerman (1900); misc. exhibits
    1 reel 16
    [Miscellanoues and unidentified plague exhibits--on 3 rolls], undated