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Joan E. Lynaugh Archives & Special Collections

The Bates Center is a proud steward of one of the largest collections of documents and images in the country focusing on the history of nursing and healthcare.

Joan E. Lynaugh Archives & Special Collections

In 2018 the Barbara Bates Center for The Study of The History of Nursing formally unveiled the newly named Joan E. Lynaugh Archives and Special Collections. This named archive honors the founder of the Barbara Bates Center and celebrates the Center’s extensive (and growing) collections of on- and- off site archives and books. The Lynaugh archive joins the Ellen D. Baer Reading Room.

Center Resources

We support the work of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students engaged in research projects as well as photo editors, genealogists, members of nursing alumni groups, and all those interested in the history of nursing and healthcare.

We house archival and manuscript materials. Our collections are building blocks for research into nursing and healthcare. Some popular topics include:

• global nursing

• nursing education

• nursing & public policy

• nursing ethics

• visiting nurse services

• care of the critically ill
• epidemics & war

• nursing leadership

• diversity in nursing 

• nursing’s work and identity


Check out our Finding Aids & Inventories for additional topics or contact us to learn more.

Center Subject Guides

Curated by Center staff, subject guides describe archival resources on a particular topic, bringing together information across individual collections within the archive. These guides are intended to provide a starting point for researchers. Please view our finding aids for full listings. 

Diversity in Nursing 1918 Influenza Pandemic
World War I World War II 
Pediatric & Children’s Services

Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing  


Center Books

Our library contains more than 3,500 books, monographs and other printed materials ranging from contemporary to rare both within our Reading Room and at the University of Pennsylvania Records Center (URC).​

These titles do not circulate but patrons are welcome to examine them in the Center’s reading room by appointment during normal hours of operation. The Center’s book and manuscript holdings may be searched by author, title, or subject, via the University of Pennsylvania’s online catalog, FRANKLIN.

General Access Policies

  • To schedule an appointment, please check out Visiting the Center
  • The Center strives to open as much of its collection to research use as possible. Restrictions may apply to unprocessed and restricted holdings.
  • Portions of collections may be restricted in order to comply with laws and regulations governing privacy and confidentiality or to honor requests of individual donors. Researchers will be informed of any restrictions governing the use of materials they request.
  • All researchers must submit a researcher application prior to their visit. A valid form of photo identification must accompany the signed application in order to access the archives for the first time in a calendar year.  
  • Additional forms to review and complete before viewing collections may include “Restricted Access” and “Camera Policy.” Please email for more information if you are interested in accessing a restricted collection.