The papers of Clara Barton (1821-1912), humanitarian and founder of the American Red Cross, document various of Barton's Red Cross efforts and her involvement in the National First Aid Association. Also included are records of the Women's Relief Corps which highlight efforts to urge Congress to pass a bill granting pensions to nurses of the Civil War.
Dorothea Dix's papers consist of correspondence from Miss Dix to various people, as well as some correspondence in which Miss Dix was concerned, but not directly involved. Dix was an advocate for social welfare, particularly supporting the establishment and maintenance of mental hospitals for the mentally ill, disabled, or poor. She was instrumental in the proposed legislation of the "Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane." During the Civil War, Dix was appointed Superintendent of Army Nurses. Much of the correspondence concerns Dix's efforts to bring lifeboats and other help to Sable Island in Nova Scotia, an area known for shipwrecks and where many with mental illnesses were sent, sometimes against their will. These papers are part of the historic psychiatry material in the Menninger Archives.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the coordinate liberal arts schools that continue the legacy of Geneva Medical College, take special pride in claiming Dr. Blackwell as an alumna. Specific information that pertains to her special relationship to Hobart and William Smith is noted throughout the text of this web site.
Today, Dr. Blackwell serves as an important symbol of the barriers that women have overcome and those that remain. This web site has been compiled to provide a centralized archive of information, articles, and studies about her history and her legacy.
The Florence Nightingale Digitization Project began in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, England, the Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, the Royal College of Nursing and the Wellcome Library. More collaborative partners are in the process of joining the Project. Together, these institutions have compiled their holdings into a collaborative database consisting currently of almost 1900 letters handwritten or narrated by Florence Nightingale that for the first time are now available to researchers through a single source.
A brief biography from the Encyclopedia of World Biography of physician James Barry, one of the first doctors to successfully perform a caesarian section and who was discovered posthumously to have been a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to have a career in medicine - a career not possible for women of the time.
Margaret Sanger lived a long and productive life. Acutely aware of her position as a reformer and the historical importance of her work, Sanger preserved her papers, dividing them between the Library of Congress and Smith College. Though she originally made a distinction between her "professional" papers, which were to be given to the Library of Congress, and her "personal" papers, which were to go to Smith College, in practice that distinction was not followed rigidly, and both collections contain personal and professional material. These collections are large and cover much of her life; a reader will most likely need to consult both collections for information on any given issue.
This midwife worked to help mothers and babies. She is the great-aunt of famous nurse Clara Barton. Ballard is known for keeping a good diary of her medical practice as she went around by canoe or horse in what later became Maine. Martha Ballard wrote in her diary nearly every day from January 1, 1785 to May 12, 1812 (27 years) for a total of almost 10,000 entries. Her diary is an unparalleled document in early American history.
A brief biography from the National Library of Medicine's Changing Face of Medicine project of Virginia Apgar who was the first woman to become a full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and created the Apgar Score used to evaluate the health of newborn infants.