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Selected Works

AIDS at 30: A History, by Victoria A. Harden. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2012.

"Harden brings her masterful command of NIH history to bear in a narrative of the first thirty years of this devastating epidemic. With a deft hand she lays out the path of discovery, from finding the culprit virus through the current drug regimens that have brought it under control, all the while making complex scientific ideas available to the lay reader. Its comprehensive survey tells the story from the beginning, and its references will guide students to myriad further research topics, both U.S. and global. Although the history of HIV/AIDS will be continuously rewritten, this work should stand the test of time for years to come and be the place to start for future historians of the epidemic."
—Margaret Humphreys, Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, Duke University

"AIDS at 30 stands out from other books about one of the most important medical challenges of our time. It is not only a good read, but is accurate and insightful. Getting the story right is a big deal in this field.”
—Barbara J. Culliton, president, The Culliton Group, and former news editor, Science, and deputy editor, Nature

"Through the voices of many key players, Harden has provided new insights into the complex history of AIDS."
—Peter Piot, director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and former executive director, UNAIDS

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: History of a Twentieth-Century Disease, by Victoria A. Harden. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.


A history of research on the cause, prevention, and treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever set in the context of the emerging understanding of rickettsial diseases and arthropod-borne diseases in the twentieth century.

Inventing the NIH: Federal Biomedical Research Policy, 1887-1937, by Victoria A. Harden. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.


A history of the emergence of U.S. federal support for biomedical research with emphasis on the period between the two world wars.


AIDS and the Public Debate: Historical and Contemporary Issues, ed. by Caroline Hannaway, Victoria A. Harden, and John Parascandola. Washington, DC: IOS Press, 1995.

Proceedings of a conference held at the National Institutes of Health in 1993, bringing together historians, policy makers, physicians, and scientists to discuss the status of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


AIDS and the Historian, ed. by Victoria A. Harden and Guenter B. Risse. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health (NIH Publication No. 91-1584), 1991.

Proceedings of a conference at the National Institutes of Health, 20-21- March 1989, at which the responsibilities of historians to document the emergence of a new infectious disease were discussed.

Mind, Brain, Body, and Behavior: Foundations of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institutes of Health, ed. by Ingrid G. Farreras, Caroline Hannaway, and Victoria A. Harden. Washington, DC: IOS Press, 2004.

A history of the joint intramural research program conducted during the 1950s at the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Intramural Contributions, 1887-1987, ed. by Harriet R. Greenwald and Victoria A. Harden. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1987.

A commemorative history documenting important contributions during the first 100 years of the intramural research program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In Their Own Words: NIH Scientists Recall the Early Years of AIDS--Oral histories


Interviews with physicians, scientists, and other staff at the National Institutes of Health and other leading public health agencies about the early years of AIDS, especially the 1980s.

Eradicating smallpox in West Africa: Oral histories


Interviews with leading epidemiologists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about their pioneering work in West Africa, demonstrating how smallpox could be eradicated. This project directly led to the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1980.