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Atlanta Lung Association Records

Collection number: ahc.MSS322

Scope and Content

The collection contains the administrative records of the association as well as documents pertaining to the association's activities and programs. The records include board of director and committee minutes, correspondence, program agendas, newsletters and bulletins as well as reports pertaining to association activities and meetings. The bulk of the collection documents the association's attempt to educate the public on the pathology of tuberculosis and the widespread implications to the community as well as preventative measures to diminish new cases and spread of the disease. These records include field studies compiled by students from the Atlanta University School of Social Work, 1948-1958, and patient profiles, 1957-1963, from local tuberculosis clinics. Another significant portion of the collection documents the treatment and education of the city's black population. The bulk of this portion of the collection is primarily comprised of agendas and outlines from community and school programs, patient profiles, and patient profiles.


  • 1906-1977, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative History of Atlanta Lung Association

The Atlanta Lung Association, (A.L.A.) was established in 1907 by the Fulton County Medical Society, and was first called the Fulton Sanitary and Tuberculosis Prevention Society. After several name changes, it finally evolved into the Atlanta Lung Association in 1973. The A.L.A. was among the first organizations in Atlanta to offer treatment of tuberculosis to those unable to obtain sanatorium care. Another such organization was the Home Treatment Dispensary, which was administered by private charities. In 1909, the two organizations merged and formed the Atlanta Anti Tuberculosis and Visiting Nurse Association and established their headquarters on the top floor of the Gould building on Decatur Street. The association’s organizational structure included a President, at least three Vice Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Board of Directors. The officers and Board of Directors were elected during the annual meeting held during the first week of February. In addition, the by-laws required an executive committee and provided for the creation of temporary committees. The association's Constitution and By-Laws stated the mission as "an educational campaign against tuberculosis and for health promotion along the general lines indicated by those associations in Fulton and DeKalb Counties; to develop effective methods for health educational work, and to promote all activities for the promotion of community health; to ascertain unfulfilled health needs and to provide, in cooperation with official health agencies, for meeting such needs, either by extension of existing functions of governmental agencies or otherwise." Private donations, fund-raising and city and county funds sustained the Association, which served both white and black patients. The association established separate facilities, staff, and programs to treat the black population of the city. It emphasized health education, early detection, and provided clinic and home care for the indigent and was staffed with paid professionals and volunteers. Atlanta physicians donated medical support in the clinics. The Atlanta University School of Social Work provided significant field services and collected a vast amount of data about those individuals affected by tuberculosis in the black communities within the city. During its time in operation, the national death rate from tuberculosis declined dramatically. Success in treating the disease dictated a change in direction to that of general respiratory illnesses; therefore, in 1973 the Association changed its name to the Atlanta Lung Association.


27.5 linear ft.



Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to subject headings provided by staff.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Atlanta Lung Association, 1977 (1977.618)

Related Materials

Atlanta Lung Association, Photographs, VIS 86, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

General Physical Description note

66 document cases (27.5 linear feet)

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2009

An Inventory of the Atlanta Lung Association Records at the Kenan Research Center of the Atlanta History Center
Inventory prepared by Melanie Stephan
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305