• Guidelines for Using the Collections

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) is dedicated to facilitating an understanding of the history and development of general practice, family practice and Family Medicine in the United States. The CHFM is open to all interested scholars and researchers from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.  You can access the collections in several ways:

    • By searching our online catalog(2 MB PDF)
    • By visiting our facility in Leawood, Kansas, just outside Kansas City, Missouri
    • By calling, writing, or emailing

    Research Resources

    Research Checklists

    Family Medicine Research Checklist(2 page PDF) -- For use by anyone conducting historical research on the history of Family Medicine or any of the Family Medicine organizations.

    Family Physician Biographical Research Checklist(2 page PDF) -- For use by anyone conducting biographical or genealogical research on general practitioners or family physicians.

    Research Presentations

    The History of Family Medicine(31 page PDF) -- Download the history presentation of Steven Dennis, MD

    The History of Family Medicine and Its Impact in US Health Care Delivery(31 page PDF) -- Download the research paper of Cecilia Gutierrez, MD and Peter Scheid, MD

    History of Family Medicine Timeline(1 page PDF) -- Download the timeline of Family Medicine created by Cecilia Gutierrez, MD and Peter Scheid, MD

    Why the Generalist Became a Specialist: A History of General Practice and Family Medicine(13 page PDF) -- Download part one (of three) research papers reviewing the history of the specialty by noted Family Medicine leader Nikitas J. Zervanos, MD.

    Selected Bibliography

    The following bibliography represents a broad basic selection of reference materials for the researcher in the subject areas of the history of general practice, Family Medicine and medicine in general.

    Books(17 page PDF) -- Includes published books and monographs.

    Dictionaries and Encyclopedias(3 page PDF) -- Includes reference works.

    Indexes(1 page PDF) -- Indexes to medical and scientific literature.

    Journals and Journal Articles(17 page PDF) -- Key journals in Family Medicine and articles about Family Medicine history. 

    Holdings Catalog

    Take a look at our free and fully searchable PDF catalog Guide to the Collections of the Center for the History of Family Medicine, which features a complete listing of the Center's archival, library, and museum holdings.

    Collections in the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) include:

    • Artifacts
    • Audio and videotapes
    • Books
    • Electronic media
    • Film
    • Oral histories
    • Personal and professional papers of family physicians and educators
    • Photographs

    Records of Family Medicine organizations include:

    • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
    • American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP Foundation)
    • American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)
    • American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (ACOFP)
    • Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM)
    • Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD)
    • North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG)
    • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM)

    These materials provide a window on the changing face of family medicine from its rich legacy of general practice to the rise of the modern family physician. The collections include a wide variety of materials, ranging from 18th and 19th Century medical books, diaries, and daybooks to 21st century institutional records.

    The History Center is the only institution dedicated exclusively to preserving and sharing the history of family medicine in the United States. It documents a profession actively involved in education, leadership development, advocacy, and the continuing care of patients from birth until death. The Center celebrates family medicine's distinguished past and looks forward to its promising future.

    View Our Catalog

    View our Guide to the Collections of the Center for the History of Family Medicine(2 MB PDF)

    Access and Use Policy

    The resources of the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) are available to staff and members of family medicine organizations and other interested scholars and researchers. To ensure proper care and use of the History Center's resources, the following policies have been established:

    • CHFM is a closed stack facility. This means that the collections are housed in a secure area that is not accessible to researchers. The Center’s staff will bring requested items to researchers for use in the Center’s Library or another approved location.
    • Printed materials may be photocopied if it poses no harm to the material. However, Center staff will not reproduce some items due to their fragile or unique nature.
    • Center staff will do all reproduction of the collections in CHFM offices or in another approved location. Copies may then be removed for use by the researcher.
    • Some materials may have access restrictions based upon legal or confidentiality issues, or at the donor’s request. Therefore, Center staff reserve the right to refuse researchers access to these materials.
    • The user assumes full responsibility and liability for copyright compliance of all materials used from the Center. CHFM also reserves the right to refuse to copy or permit the copying or reproduction of materials which it feels may be in violation of copyright laws.
    • Fees may be charged for services such as lengthy reference searches, photocopying, faxing, photograph duplication, rush orders, and publication. CHFM staff will provide a copy of the Center’s fee schedule upon request.
    • The researcher must provide appropriate source credit to the Center in any published works for any materials used from the Center’s collections.
    • The researcher must agree to have the following statement accompany each published image from the Center’s collections: “Courtesy of the Center for the History of Family Medicine, AAFP Foundation.”
    • Upon completion, the researcher must send one copy of any publication using materials from the Center's collections to the CHFM. This will become a part of the collections of the Center for the History of Family Medicine.
    • All visitors to Center storage areas must be accompanied by Center staff.
    • Smoking, eating and drinking in the Center are not permitted.
    • The Center is not available for use as either short- or long-term rental or storage.

    Restriction to Access Policy

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) is committed to providing access to the original research materials in its possession on equal terms of access. CHFM's policy is consistent with the Code of Ethics for Archivists and the ALA-SAA Joint Statement on Access to Original Materials in Libraries, Archives and Manuscript Repositories. The following situations however, may require the CHFM staff to restrict access to collections or portions of collections:

    • The CHFM Manager may determine that fragile or damaged materials may not be handled. Under these circumstances, the History Center will provide a suitable facsimile for the researcher's use whenever possible. The researcher will be informed that the material he/she is viewing is not original.
    • CHFM staff may refuse access to unprocessed materials by a researcher. Unprocessed collections are normally not available for research since items may end up out of their original order while being used. This policy does not preclude the staff from informing the researcher of the general nature of unprocessed material that will be available in the future.
    • The History Center will not permit access to materials that are on loan from another institution or that have been temporarily deposited with CHFM unless permission has been granted by that institution to do so. Under these circumstances, History Center staff will inform the researcher of the nature of this restriction and will provide the name of the lending institution.
    • Further access to CHFM collections will be refused to any researcher who has demonstrated carelessness or deliberate destructiveness resulting in endangerment to preservation and/or safety of CHFM's materials, or who has violated the History Center's policies and regulations.
    • The Center for the History of Family Medicine reserves the right to restrict access to its collections if any researcher refuses to provide acceptable identification at the time of the initial research interview with CHFM staff.
    • History Center staff will inform the researcher when a donor has placed restrictions upon a collection that the researcher would like to use. In some cases, donor restrictions are necessary to preserve confidentiality or privacy due to information contained within the material. Donor restrictions are not encouraged by CHFM, but the staff honors these requests when a collection has been accepted under these conditions.