In Her Own Right

Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia Records

Date range 1861 – 1964
Creator Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia
Abstract Founded in 1861 by Ann Preston, M.D., the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia provided clinical experience for the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania students and practical training for nurses. In 1929, the West Philadelphia Hospital for Women merged with the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia, retaining the latter's name. The Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia continued in existence until 1964 when it was absorbed by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The collection contains minutes of the Board of Managers and various committees, dating from 1861 to 1964; financial records, including auditor's reports and bequests, and dating from 1894 to 1964; clinical reports, dating from the 1890s; a register of deaths dating from 1872 to 1890; board of manager minutes (1863 to 1881) and pamphlets and bulletins (1923-1924; 1957-1960) from the hospital's Training School for Nurses.
Research interest Board of Managers meeting minutes are interesting largely to the extent that they show women running a business. In addition to appointing officers, forming committees, electing members, and reading reports, they sought incorporation, looked for a building, dealt with maintenance and facility issues, and administered budgets. Beyond this, many of the richest aspects of the meeting minutes—bylaws about whom to admit and at what rate, statements on the need for a woman's hospital, and breakdowns of patients seen and treatments administered—are included in annual reports. In addition to detailed discussions of these subjects, annual reports will be of great interest to historians of women's education and employment. Researchers will be able to see how training of, and expectations for, women doctors and nurses evolved. Of particular interest are the regularly included rules for nurses, which lay out requirements for age, intelligence, character, behavior, and duties, and applications for the nurse training school, which include personal questions about marital status, children, health issues, height and weight, race, and religious denomination.
Size 8.5 lf
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Contributing institution Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center
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