College of American Pathologists

  CAP Archives


Updated December 2, 2008

The CAP Archives was established as a unit at CAP headquarters in 1991 and occupies a newly renovated 1,400-square foot facility at the College’s Northfield, Illinois office. Its principal collecting focus is the College of American Pathologists and its programs; it does not attempt to document the entire profession of pathology. Materials housed in the CAP Archives include:

  • Historical files on the College’s extensive laboratory improvement programs, which have been in continuous operation since the early 1960s
  • College publications, including periodicals such as Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and CAP TODAY, and monographs and brochures on various aspects of pathology and laboratory medicine
  • Minutes, agendas, and supplementary materials documenting the CAP Board of Governors, Councils, Commissions, and Committees
  • Vertical file materials including general reference, biographical reference, and historical writings files
  • Transcripts and audio tapes of more than 40 oral history interviews with important figures in the College’s history
  • A small but wide-ranging photograph collection
  • Correspondence, articles, speeches, and other papers from distinguished officers and other members of the College

Especially notable in this latter category are the Frank C. Coleman Papers, 1953-1988 (9.8 cubic ft.), which contain extensive documentation of the CAP’s activities in the legislative and regulatory arena, including the implementation of Medicare in the 1960s.

As of January 1, 2003, the CAP Archives contained about 800 cubic feet of material—the equivalent of about 400 letter-size file drawers. Approximately 40 percent of the collections are fully processed and cataloged. Cataloged materials are described in a local on-line database.

Using the CAP Archives

The CAP Archives exists primarily to serve the information needs of the College’s members and staff, but also welcomes outside researchers who can make legitimate use of its resources. Often, quick “ready reference” questions (e.g., for a single date or name) can be answered immediately, or within a few minutes, via telephone or e-mail. Photocopies of specific documents can also be furnished by mail. Researchers with broader topics are invited to visit the Archives in person. Since the physical facilities are limited, ample advance notice is necessary and appreciated.

Most materials in the Archives’ collections are available without restriction to all users; however, certain documents, such as recent correspondence of College officers, may be subject to access restrictions.

Photocopying service is available on-site, and at this writing a limited amount of photocopying is provided to users free of charge. Reproduction of non-textual materials, such as photographs, must be arranged on a case-by-case basis with outside vendors.

Contacting the CAP Archives

Prospective users are invited to contact the CAP Archivist, Tony Smith, in any of the following ways:

  • By mail at:
    Mr. Tony Smith, CAP Archives
    College of American Pathologists
    325 Waukegan Road
    Northfield, IL 60093
  • By telephone, at 800-323-4040 ext. 7267
    (from the Chicago area, 847-832-7267)
  • By e-mail, at