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Source: The National Archives

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Digitized Document Collection from USPHS Untreated Syphilis Study at Tuskegee


Deanne Dunbar Dolan

CERA is pleased to share the announcement that the NLM has digitized a collection of 3,000 documents related to the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Untreated Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, 1932–1972, and made them publicly available. In 1972, an Ad Hoc Advisory Panel found the study to be ethically unjustified because it did not obtain informed consent, inform participants about the nature of the disease, or offer treatment to research subjects even when it was widely available. The study inspired reforms to protect biomedical research participants. Please find links to the digitized collection and other resources below.

  • National Library of Medicine (NLM) digitized collection of 3,000 documents on the origin and development of the study including correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, reports, and scientific articles.
  • A NLM video that briefly describes the study, its impacts on both the families of the research subjects and research ethics, and the document collection.
  • The recording of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) event, Recognition, Remembrance, and Reflection: The Untreated Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and Macon County, AL, that was held November 30, 2022 in acknowledgement of the 50th anniversary of the end of the United States Public Health Service study.
  • video of personal reflections by family members of the 623 African American men who were the subjects of the study with expert commentary.
  • CDC web resources including a description of the U.S Public Health Service (USPHS) Untreated Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, a timeline, and frequently asked questions.