The Otis Historical Archives (OHA) was established in 1968 to take custody of the National Museum of Health and Medicine's institutional records, historical manuscript collections, photographic collections, and rare books, which were previously held by the other four collections divisions. Thus, the Archives document the holdings of the other divisions not only as separate collections with unique specializations, but in a way that emphasizes the interconnectedness of records, artifacts, and specimens that makes the museum unique.
Particularly strong collections within the OHA include the areas of medical illustration, including anatomical drawings and paintings, photographs, and photomicrographs; reconstructive surgery and prosthetics; tropical and infectious disease research; trade literature and advertisements; medical technology and battlefield surgery from the Civil War through to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Archives continues to collect material relating to these themes, with special emphasis placed on the experience of the modern warfighter, medical innovation, and forensic medicine.
The Otis Historical Archives is open for research BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is closed on federal holidays. Appointments must be made at least two weeks in advance. Non-US citizens must comply with U.S. Army policies and should allow ample time for their visit requests to be processed. The Archives encourages remote research requests via email. Researchers interested in consulting the collections are advised to read the Guide to Collections (PDF 1.34 MB) before sending an e-mail to USArmy.Detrick.MEDCOM-USAMRMC.List.Medical-Museum@mail.mil.