Institutional Histories

70 Acres of Science: The NIH Moves to Bethesda

Written by Office of NIH History curator Michele Lyons (2006) this ebook describes the history of the NIH in the 1930s, covering the story of research, scientists, and landscape architecture of the agency. (PDF - 11 .5 MB)

A Half Century of Peer Review: 1946-1996

This monograph by Richard Mandel, Ph.D. (1996) provides a history of the Division of Research Grants, which oversaw the awarding and administration of NIH research grants during that time period.  The book can be viewed or downloaded (17 MB) at the Internet Archive.

An Administrative History of the National Cancer Institute's Viruses and Cancer Programs, 1950-1972

Written by Carl G. Baker, M.D., (2004) this manuscript (379 pages) tells the story of the background, philosophy, implementation, and outputs of these programs and concludes with the planning for the New Cancer Act. (PDF - 1.66 MB)

Beacon of Hope 1953-1993: The Clinical Center Through Forty Years of Growth and Change in Biomedicine

Written by Richard Mandel, Ph.D. (1993) this publication provides an overview of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, America's research hospital.

Early Years of NIH Research Grants

Written by Ernest M. Allen, Sc.D., in 1980, this essay tells the story of the growth and development of the NIH research grant program in the late 1940s. (PDF - 140 KB)

History of the Eye Institute: 1968-2000

Chronicles of the first 30 years of the NEI at the National Institutes of Health and its programs (2009). These first years were critical for the development and growth of the intramural research program; the strong commitment to investigator-initiated research; the creation of extramural program areas; and the inception of clinical trials for vision and eye disease. 
(PDF - 6.86 MB)

Inventing the NIH: Federal Biomedical Research Policy 1887:1937

Written by Victoria A. Harden, Ph.D. this book details biomedical research in the United States, covering the growth of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal government's chief medical research agency.

The Legacy of the 'Yellow Berets': The Vietnam War, the Doctor Draft, and the NIH Associate Training Program

This unpublished manuscript (1998) by Melissa K. Klein traces the history of the NIH Associate Training Program, exploring the impact of the Doctor Draft on medical research in the 1960s and 1970s. (PDF - 0.2MB). A more recent article is: Khot, Sandeep, Park, Buhm Soon; Longstreth, W.T., JrThe Vietnam War and Medical Research: Untold Legacy of the U.S. Doctor Draft and the NIH 'Yellow Berets,Academic Medicine 86 (2011): 502-8.

Mind, Brain, Body and Behavior: Foundations of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institutes of Health, 2004

Edited by Ingrid G. Farreras, Caroline Hannaway and Victoria A. Harden.
A history of the intramural research conducted during the 1950s at the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (today the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). (PDF - 14.4 MB)

NIAID Intramural Contributions, 1887-1987

This commemorative book represents a sampling of important contributions during the first hundred years of NIAID's lntramural Research Program, as seen through the eyes of several key participants. (PDF - 9 MB)

Intramural Science at the NIH, 1982

A 1982 report on the Intramural Research Program's history and future. (PDF - 10 MB)

NINR: Bringing Science to Life

The National Institute of Nursing Research celebrates the publication of the first history book in commemoration of the Institute's 25 years at NIH. Written by Philip L. Cantelon, the book explores the origins of NINR, the launching of nursing science at NIH, NINR’s advancement from a Center to an Institute, and how nursing science has progressed in the past quarter century. Bethesda, MD, National Institute of Nursing Research [NIH Publication No. 10-7502], 2010. (PDF - 7 MB)

Shining Lady in the Sky: How the Rocket Boys of Buffalo were Launched by a Government Administrator and Committee at the National Institutes of Health

The story of a committee that gave a (small) research grant to a young boy in 1957 and launched a career, as well as a rocket. (PDF - 644 KB)