About the SHHS

Our Mission

The purpose of the Safety and Health Historical Society is to identify, collect, preserve and display materials and objects, publish historical knowledge and recognize historically significant contributions of individuals, companies, and organizations related to the protection of people, property, and the environment.

Contributors to SHHS come from a wide variety of safety and health specialties, including:

  • Safety
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Health Physics
  • Fire Protection
  • Human Factors & Ergonomics
  • System Safety
  • Product Safety
  • Process Safety
  • Occupational Health Medicine
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Safety Engineering
  • Safety Management
  • Biological Safety
  • Mine Safety
  • Transportation Safety (Highway, Rail, Aviation, Pipeline)
  • Insurance
  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Other specialties

Corporation & IRS Status

The Safety and Health Historical Society is a nonprofit corporation in Illinois, founded on September 18, 2015. SHHS began public participation on July 1, 2018.

The SHHS holds 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service. Participation fees and contributions are tax exempt.

Current Operations

With its inauguration, all operations of SHHS rely strictly on unpaid volunteers. Once SHHS grows financially, it will hire paid staff to accelerate its work, programs and services.

Initially, three people serve on the SHHS Board of Directors.

  • Roger L. Brauer, Ph.D., P.E.President and Founder. Editor of The Archives of Safety and Health.
  • Joel Haight, Ph.D. – Board member
  • Joseph Townsend. – Board member

SHHS seeks volunteers to serve as authors, on committees, or in governance without pay. Find out more about how you can lend your talents, skills, and expertise to the SHHS.

Our Products, Programs & Collections


The Archives of Safety and Health

Initially, the main product of the Safety and Health Historical Society is a quarterly journal named “The Archives of Safety and Health“.

The Safety and Health Historical Society will also offer for purchase past individual issues of The Archives of Safety and Health, as well as individual articles from past issues of the journal and digitized publications.


Living History Program

An initial program of the Safety and Health Historical Society is the Living History Program. It will be a collection of written, oral and video reports from distinguished senior members of safety and health practice from a variety of specialties.

Future programs may include recognition of safety and health exhibits and artifacts found in museums or of historical sites that illustrate important safety and health events and accomplishments. Another program may involve compiling names and brief biographies of those who served as presidents of safety and health societies or leaders at government agencies responsible for public or worker safety and health.


George W. Harper Collection

The first collection acquired by the Safety and Health Historical Society is the George W. Harper Collection. This collection contains a range of articles, documents, pamphlets, and other items collected by George W. Harper.

There are more than 22,000 items in the collection organized into more than 700 topics. The items in the collection cover the period from about 1915 through the late 1970s.

You can access a list of the topics and the number of items held within each topic. View the collection

George W. Harper taught safety engineering and related courses within the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to teaching, he had a professional career in safety in the paper and other industries. He was a founding Director and Officer of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, which began in 1969.

Should you have a collection to donate to SHHS, please contact SHHS. Refer to the Donate Collection Form.