Katherine Bain (1897-1999), Papers, 1920-1976 (C3706)

.7 linear feet


Papers of a prominent Missouri pediatrician, 1927-1940; administrator of the U.S. Children's Bureau, 1940-1972; and a member of the U.S. delegation to the executive board of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 1957-1973. The papers also contain material on maternal and child health care in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, 1956-1970, and information on U.S. contributions to UNICEF.


The Bain Papers were donated to the University of Missouri by Katherine Bain on 8 April 1982 (Accession No. 4420).


Katherine Bain was born September 1, 1897, in St. Louis, Missouri. She received an A.B. degree in biology at the University of Missouri in 1920 and her M.D. degree from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1925. From 1927 to 1940 she was a private practice pediatrician and staff member at the Washington University School of Medicine, and a researcher in childhood allergies at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Bain was administrator of the U.S. Children's Bureau from 1940 to 1972 and a special adviser to the U.S. delegation to the executive board of UNICEF in 1957, serving on special policy committees between UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization, and UNICEF and the World Health Organization. She was appointed alternate U.S. representative to the executive board from 1963 to 1973.

She received certification in pediatrics in 1943 and in preventive medicine and public health in 1949. In 1973 Katherine Bain retired from government service.


The Bain Papers are arranged by type of material. The Biographical Data consists of curriculum vitae prepared for publishers; correspondence; certificates and licenses, including certificates from the American Board of Pediatrics, 1943, and the American Board of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, 1949; as well as memberships in professional organizations. All are arranged chronologically.

Honors and Awards material ranges from Bain's 1920 diploma from the University of Missouri to her certificate as a senior member of the Alumni Association of the Washington University School of Medicine. Included are honorary degrees, tributes, service awards, and acceptance speeches. All are arranged chronologically.

Appointments include correspondence concerning employment beginning in 1925 with Bain's appointment to the Children's Hospital in San Francisco and press releases and biographical sketches at each change through 1967. All are arranged chronologically. UNICEF appointments can be found in folder 32.

Publications and Reprints includes articles published in professional and popular journals ranging from research studies on allergies conducted at the St. Louis Children's Hospital to those on research related to children and reprinted for the U.S. Children's Bureau. A list of publications through 1975 is included.

The range of subject matter addressed in the Drafts, Speeches, Papers, and Articles is from public health care in Puerto Rico to adoption in the United States, health services for mothers and children of migrants, international health care for children, and UNICEF. There is also material on the program of the U.S. Children's Bureau, services to handicapped children, and the use of "Public Law-480 funds" in foreign countries.

The United Nations Children's Fund, Executive Board material includes speeches, statements, progress reports and position papers prepared by Bain and members of the U.S. delegation to the executive board of UNICEF as well as correspondence. The material is arranged chronologically.

Citizens Committee for UNICEF, U.S. Congress, Testimony includes a statement by Bain as a member of the executive board of the Citizens Committee for UNICEF on U.S. contributions to UNICEF.

The International Activities folders contain itineraries, notes on countries, diaries, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and photographs of trips Katherine Bain made to the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas for UNICEF or the U.S. government to inspect maternal and child health facilities.

Public Health, United States material includes reports on public health care in Mississippi and Tennessee in preparation for World War II.

The Photographs document highlights in Bain's career beginning in 1951 with her appointment as associate chief of the Children's Bureau and culminating in 1975 with photographs from the 50th reunion of the class of 1925, Washington University School of Medicine. Photographs from her international travel for UNICEF and the U.S. government are included as well.

Maternal and Child Care, a report of the medical exchange mission to the USSR, October 12-November 11, 1960, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, concludes the papers.


f. 1-3Biographical Data
f. 4-7Honors and Awards, 1920-1975
f. 8-9Appointments, 1925-1967
f. 10-14Publications, Reprints, 1931-1971
f. 15-24Drafts, Speeches, Papers, and Articles, 1951-1975
f. 25-32United Nations Children's Fund, Executive Board, 1957-1973
f. 33 Citizens Committee for UNICEF, U.S. Congress, Testimony, 1975-1976
f. 34-52International Activities, 1956-1970
f. 53 Public Health, United States, 1940
f. 54 Photographs, 1951-1975
f. 55 Maternal and Child Care, 1960


These index terms are the subjects, people, places, etc. under which this collection is listed in all available indexes at The State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia. If you are interested in a specific index term, please contact the reference staff.