Institutional Collection: FDA History Office Artifacts

Collection Information

Institution Name: 
Status of Collection: 
Accession Status: 
Collection Description: 

The FDA History Office Artifacts collection consists of historical commodities regulated by FDA (though some of these either preceded regulatory authority or were eventually taken over by other agencies), equipment used by agency staff to conduct inspections or analytical work, and ephemeral items that fall beyond the above but nevertheless are relevant to FDA or its responsibilities. The collection represents of FDA’s research, regulatory, and policy-making activities over the course of its existence, more than a century. It includes problematical products that have led to changes in laws and regulations; objects that represent changes in technology that beckon new regulatory approaches; and tools and analytical equipment used to carry out the mission of the agency in the field and the laboratory. Most of the artifacts the History Office possesses are stored on FDA's White Oak campus in Bldg 1, Room 1334. A collection of compressed food packaging from the 1990s that documents the impact of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 is housed in an off-site warehouse in Rockville, Maryland. Some historical laboratory notebooks are kept in the History Office’s book collection, White Oak Bldg 1, Room 1201. Finally, selected other artifacts are displayed in approximately ten cases of various sizes around the White Oak campus. Objects are catalogued, photographed, and maintained in buffered, acid-free containers within Viking style steel cabinets. Some oversize items are maintained on covered open shelving.

Collection Content Type: 
Biological: Other or Undefined
Records: Documents (historical)
Records: Other or Undefined
Technology: Instruments
Technology: Tools
Technology: Other or Undefined
Preservation Type: 
Storage Environment: Other (please define)
Access Eligibility and Rules: 
The FDA White Oak campus is a federally secured facility; only portions are accessible to the public without an agency escort, including some of the artifacts on display. The FDA History Office Artifacts generally are not accessible to the public. However, arrangements may be made to see artifact displays in non-public areas of the campus and possibly other artifacts by contacting Dr. Vanessa Burrows,
Cool URI:

Collection's Mailing Address

Mailing Address 1: 
FDA History Office
Mailing Address 2: 
White Oak Bldg 1, Rm 1334
Mailing Address 3: 
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring
Postal/Zip Code: 

Collection Contact Information

Primary Contact: 
  • Created: 14 February 2017 - 1:06pm EST
  • Updated: 14 February 2017 - 1:34pm EST