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Digital Collections

The Bates Center is committed to efforts to digitize collections and make materials available online through various means. A listing of available materials is located below.

For additional information concerning the collections visit our finding aids. For questions regarding digitized items, high resolution images, reproductions, or our digitizing efforts, please contact the Center.

Mount Sinai Hospital annual report related to the 1918 Influenza PandemicAlbert Einstein Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing (later merged into Albert Einstein Medical Center) provided medical care to low-income families of the Jewish faith, though not exclusively, in South Philadelphia. Digitized for the anniversary of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, these materials are of annual report sections that describe the flu and nurses’ efforts and sacrifices.

Brandywine Home Health Agency

Coatesville Visiting Nurses Association (later Brandywine Home Health Agency) provided home nursing service for the Coatesville area. The digitized items portray the actions and activities of nurses and nursing institutions during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. These minutes report on the number of patients being seen, patient cases, and relief efforts to support families.

Mary V. Clymer diaries

Clymer left her notebooks at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) Nurse’s residence when she graduated in 1889. The first volume contains Clymer’s lecture notes taken in class, the second contains much the same material, recopied. Comparing corresponding pages of the two volumes reveals how her course work was structured. The notes document also the variety of experiences which were part of her educational program including rotations in the hospital wards where she performed assigned duties under supervision of nursing faculty and nursing staff employed by the hospital. The diaries are featured on Who Was the Woman in White? and found on Penn in Hand.

Lankenau Hospital School of Nursing

Originally called the German Hospital, Lankeanu was founded to provide medical care for German immigrants in North Philadelphia. Digitized are the annual report sections that describe the 1918 influenza pandemic and nurses’ efforts and sacrifices during the fight against the flu.

 

Chloe Cudsworth Littlefield diaries

The diaries and training school lecture notes of Chloe Cudsworth Littlefield, an 1883 graduate of the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia Nurses’ Training School, document the personality and the practice of one practitioner. Not only do the items document a life but also provide a deeply layered perspective on 19th century nursing training and private duty practice that challenges historical assumptions.

Mercy Douglass Hospital School of Nursing student records pre-1920

This series of images from Fredrick Douglass Hospital are pre-1920 student records that document the demographics of nursing students, including age, educational and employment background, location, and religion. The records also include letters from potential students, references, performance evaluations, employment after graduation, the subjects required for training, and the qualities associated with a successful nurse.

National League for Nursing

Available online are a selection of digitized Annual Report and Proceedings from the NLN. The early annual reports are the proceedings of their annual conventions. Contained are the speeches, meeting notes of discussions, and resolutions passed during the event. Digitized but not yet available online are over 50 video tapes produced by the NLN during the 1980s and 1990s. Videos’ topic range from annual convention keynotes to interviews with nursing leaders to health care policies and practice, among many others. 

Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing photo collection

This collection features over 1500 images covering the School of Nursing as well as the wards and campus of the Philadelphia Almshouse and the Hospital from 1880 to the 1970s. Well-preserved, these photos offer a glimpse into the broad variety of activities of nurses and healthcare providers, healthcare buildings and care setting, and patients. The collection contributes to a deeper understanding of the evolution of health care practices through the framework of historical inquiry, as it transitioned from an almshouse to a fully-fledged hospital. Its focus on nurses and nursing as an integral professional component in the life of the hospital highlights the significant contributions made by the profession to the American health care system.

Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing

This school of nursing cared for patients in West Philadelphia, particularly those of the Presbyterian faith. Digitized for the anniversary of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, these materials are of annual report sections that describe the flu and nurses’ efforts and sacrifices.

Also available are a selection of student ledgers of those nurses who were at the school during the Influenza pandemic of 1918. This selection of records documents the number of students caring for patients, how many contracted influenza, how many were sick from other ailments or were healthy, and how many died.

Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley

Located in rural New York, the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley provided skilled nursing to patients in their homes as well as to instruct families on proper nursing care. Digitized are the annual report sections that describe the 1918 influenza pandemic and nurses’ efforts and sacrifices during the fight against the flu.

Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia records

The scrapbook 1918-1919 features newspaper clippings that focus on fundraising efforts during the war for their organization, the new services offered, and their actions during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. The clippings available online relate to the 1918 influenza pandemic, highlight the city of Philadelphia’s actions, and the bravery of the society’s nurses during this terrifying outbreak.

The minutes of the VNSoP during the Influenza pandemic have also been made available online. These minutes report on the number of patients being seen, nurses hired and their health, patient cases, relief efforts to support families, and funds raised for victims.

The annual report of the VNSoP that summarize the effort of the organization during the Influenza pandemic are available online.

Women’s Auxiliary of the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania’s Ward G (Children’s Ward)

An organization of women who met periodically to discuss the needs of children being treated in the children’s ward of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Items digitized portray the actions and activities of nursing institutions during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. These minutes report on the children’s cases and relief efforts to support families and orphans.

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Funding and support for projects provided by:

Alice Fisher Society Fellowship for Historical Research in Nursing, Alumnae Association of the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing

Baer Photoarchiving Fund

Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing

CLIR- as a part of PACSCL In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920

Digital Penn Libraries

Independence Foundation

National League for Nursing

Solomon and Sylvia Bronstein Foundation

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

For further questions about the collections please contact the Bates Center via email: nhistory@nursing.upenn.edu or (215) 898-4502