Site Navigational Tools
Visitors to the site may gain access to the collection in four distinct ways, each one indicated on the menu bar to the left.
The DATE selection organizes the entire collection chronologically, and leads to an index page in which this chronological organization is broken into successive five-year increments. Each five-year period is in turn linked to a page displaying all the items that fall within the indicated dates. Undated items assigned to a specific century (18** or 19**) appear at the beginning of the respective century's list of dates.
The SERIES selection organizes the on-line collection into the physical divisions of the various actual manuscript collections. There are six sections, referencing each of the six original manuscript collections. For the largest of these, the Hench Reed Collection, there are sixteen subdivisions based on several categories, such as principal individual, general correspondence files, later additions to the collection, artifacts, or oversize materials. Photographs and newspapers, though placed within the Hench Reed section, include items from all of the manuscript collections. The series index page displays as appropriate each series name or manuscript collection name. These are followed by the corresponding manuscript box number, and the date or alphabetical range of the materials contained within each box. The contents of each box may then be viewed individually. In this way researchers may browse the collections as they appear on the various library shelves.
The SUBJECT selection leads to an index page with a listing of twenty-two subject categories. These subject categories link to lists of items specifically related to each subject. This method of classification highlights the strengths of the collection, and each item in the collection has been assigned to at least one subject. Since multiple subject categories often apply, individual items may appear in more than one subject list.
The SEARCH selection opens to a general search screen, enabling customized full-text searches of the collection. Researchers may seek items by keyword, phrase, accession number, or date, and may limit searches by specifying a subject category or item type. Researchers may also further refine their queries to the names of correspondents.
Transcription Guide and Useful Information
Content and Format
All text was included in the transcription of the documents in the order that it falls on the page. This includes letterheads, rubber stamps, handwritten notes, and miscellaneous print.
In the handwritten letters, words written on the edges of the letter, and in some cases at the top, are transcribed as a postscript at the bottom of the page.
Proper formatting of the material can be seen by referring to the original.
In the transcribed text, brown words are indicated when a word is unclear in the original. Green words are words that were inserted by the original author.
Handwritten notes were transcribed in most cases, except for those in Walter Reed and Yellow Fever, by Howard H. Kelly, and in the Senate Document No. 822. Notes are added into the original transcription in a place determined by the transcriber.
Linkage of Related Documents
Many documents that were originally enclosed with other documents, such as reports, memoranda, and forwarded letters are hyperlinked. A cross-reference link to each enclosed document appears within the transcript of the original document. Clicking on the link opens a second window to display the enclosure. Typically, links appear in the original documents only, not in the enclosures.
Because not all enclosures were filed in the collections with their parent letters, not all enclosures are linked to their parent letters on this site. The researcher is encouraged to search for enclosures when mentioned if not linked; however, not every enclosure survived to be posted in the on-line collection.
Cross-reference hyperlinks are also provided between foreign language documents and their English translations.
Use of Brackets
Square brackets [ ] are used on the site to indicate text that does not appear in the original document, but was added by the editor based on his or her knowledge of the document's context. Brackets are also used when dates do not appear on the original document but have been assigned based on context or on envelope postmark.
Full dates - month, day, and year - are used when included on the original document; month and year are used when only those are known. Dates that have been estimated appear in brackets, with a question mark if there is a higher degree of uncertainty to the date assignment. In some cases it was not possible to estimate a year, and for these documents only the century, either "18**" or "19**" is used. Documents that have been composed over a period of time are assigned the later completion date if they are reports, and the earlier starting date if they are letters.
Summaries are meant to be brief descriptions of document contents, intended to inform the reader of what the document is generally about. They do not fully summarize the documents, provide details on contents, or interpret contents.
Newspaper articles appearing on the site are dated from 1926 or before. Any materials after that date are protected by copyright and cannot be freely distributed. Newspaper articles are listed by newspaper and date. Article titles are listed in place of, and, without summaries in the index.