About the Center

Through its extensive collections, fellowships, and curricula opportunities, the Barbara Bates Center provides considerable evidence for scholars and students to question traditional disciplinary paradigms; to give voice to the historical power of nursing; and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of local and global approaches to issues of health and illness.

The Barbara Bates Center is a committed partner in preserving all voices of nursing history, opening access to collection materials, and growing our digitized collections and sites. To support our efforts individuals can contribute funds, donate personal papers, and volunteer time.

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New Appointment for Inaugural Curator Role at Penn Nursing

The Penn Libraries and Penn Nursing are pleased to announce that Jessica Martucci, PhD, has been named Curator of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, effective August 28, 2023.

Upcoming Events


    March 13 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm

    Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in American History


    April 10 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm

    Prescribing Reproductive Rights: Pills and the Politics of Family Planning, 1960 - 2024


    April 17 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm

    Save the Date! Bates Center Spring Spotlight


    “A benefit to themselves, to the sick, and to the community”: The Story of Philadelphia’s Black Hospitals & Nurse Training Schools.

    A linograph of Minnie Hogan Clemens from the neck up. Her hair is pulled up into a high bun and she is wearing a turtle neck.

    This Week In the Archives

    In 1888, Minnie Hogan Clemens (Dorchester) became the first Black student to attend the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Nurse Training School (HUP). In the local news coverage at the time, Clemens’ acceptance into the program was widely celebrated by the Black community as a sign of progress for Black women, who had “no opportunities for employment in factories, stores or at trades, teaching or menial service alone being open to them.”

    Rozella M. Schlotfeldt

    Featured Bates Center Researcher

    This past week we hosted Deborah Lindell, DNP, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Dr. Lindell is studying the history of the professional doctorate in nursing at CWRU, and came to the Bates Center to look at the Schlotfeldt collection. Read on to learn more!