A better institutional understanding comes from a well-documented institutional history.

About the History Project

The Academic Health Center History Project is a collaborative effort between the Academic Health Center and the University Libraries.

The goals of the Academic Health Center History Project are to identify, collect, and make available the institutional and historical documentation of the Academic Health Center, its six schools and colleges of medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and veterinary medicine, and its interdisciplinary centers at the University of Minnesota. The project will ensure that this documentation is preserved and made accessible for scholarly and administrative uses at the University of Minnesota Archives, in accordance with Board of Regents policies, University of Minnesota records retention policies, legal requirements, and professional standards.

The Academic Health Center History Project will preserve and document broadly the functions of education, research, outreach, and patient care and activities of the AHC. The administrative units, schools and colleges, interdisciplinary centers, and faculty that perform and oversee these functions of the Academic Health Center will be the primary source of materials. These materials include documentation leading to the AHC’s formation and organization as well as institutional records thereafter until present time.

Material from the above sources may consist of, but are not limited to, annual reports, committee minutes, organization charts, policy and procedure documentation, planning reports, publications, correspondence, press releases, financial reports, legislative documents, curriculum and programming materials, photographs, films and videos, and additional media formats. Materials also may consist of the personal papers of identified faculty and administrators and the records of affiliated programs and campuses. Additionally, oral history interviews will focus on individuals who were involved in the formation of the AHC, served in leadership roles, or have specific insights into institution’s history. The oral histories will complement the archival records and personal papers by adding an interpretive element to the materials collected and, where needed, will act as a source of information in areas where there are gaps in documentation. The oral history interviews will also serve as a means to encourage participants to consider what documentary evidence they may have in their possession that is related to the overall History Project.

Once collected, these records are available to researchers, scholars, departments, and the public to better understand the AHC’s role in preparing health professionals and supporting research efforts to improve the health of Minnesotans and the world.


Erik Moore is the assistant university archivist & lead archivist for health sciences. Previously, he worked on digital projects as a program associate at the Immigration History Research Center. He earned an M.L.I.S. degree from Dominican University and an M.A. focusing on environmental history from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He is a member of the Society of American Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference and is a past president of the Twin Cities Archives Round Table.

Dominique Tobbell is the oral historian for the Academic Health Center History Project. She is a historian of 20th century medicine and biomedical science and technology with a particular interest in the history of pharmaceuticals, health policy, and academic medicine. She received her B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Manchester in 2001 and her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Pills, Power, and Policy: How Drug Companies and Physicians Resisted Federal Reform in Cold War America.

Advisory committee

Dr. Frank B. Cerra, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Academic Health Center
Jennifer Gunn, Associate Professor, History of Medicine
Lois Hendrickson, Assistant Curator, Wangensteen Historical Library
Susan Jones, Associate Professor, History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Elisabeth Kaplan, University Archivist
Debbie Miller, Minnesota Historical Society
Kevin Murphy, Associate Professor, History
David J. Rhees, Executive Director, The Bakken Museum
Erik Moore (ex officio), Assistant University Archivist & Lead Archivist for Health Sciences
Dominique Tobbell (ex officio), Assistant Professor, History of Science, Technology and Medicine/Oral Historian