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Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing
School of Nursing
University of Pennsylvania

307 Nursing Education Building 420 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6096
United States
Gail Farr, Curator
(215) 898-4502
1 215-898-4502
Fax: (215) 573-2168

The Center serves as a repository for primary source materials pertinent to the development of nursing, and as a center for visiting nurse society materials. Holdings include records of hospitals, health care agencies, nursing schools, and nursing agencies; personal papers of individuals who have been employed as nurses or in allied health care fields; printed materials; photographs; three dimensional artifacts; magnetic media; and other sources which describe any facet of the working lives and social histories of nurses and the contexts in which they work. SERVICES: The emphasis of the holdings is on nursing in the U.S. (with a particular strength in Pennsylvania and the Mid Atlantic region) since the mid-19th century. SERVICES: Reference service in person, by mail, by public e-mail box, and by telephone. Photocopying and photographic services available on request. The Center catalogs its manuscript collections, books, and photographs in the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN). Selected photograph collections/series have been cataloged at the item level in the RLIN's visual materials format.


Center collections include: 1,300 linear feet of accessioned archival material, comprising the records of hospitals, schools of nursing, and nursing alumni associations (1885 1998); voluntary non profit associations (1855 2000); professional and military associations (1861 2000); and the personal papers of individual nursing practitioners, educators, researchers, theorists, and professional leaders (1856 2000). The Center also holds approximately 3,000 photographic images (prints, negatives, lantern slides), mostly from the Philadelphia General Hospital, the Mercy Douglass Hospital, and the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia; and about 4,000 volumes of publications (textbooks, manuals, histories).

Subject Strengths:
History of Hospitals; History of Nursing; History of the Allied Health Sciences
Last Updated:
01 Jul 2010