Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
In May 1911, the Committee on Child Hygiene and Public Policy of the Philadelphia Pediatric Society held a meeting to address its concerns about the high infant mortality rate in Philadelphia. The committee recommended the establishment of a hospital designed solely for the care of infants. Two months later, on 11 July 1911, the Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia was opened at the Country Branch of Children's Hospital in Wynnefield, Pennsylvania. The hospital was incorporated in November 1911, and Charles A. Fife was selected to serve as its first president. The following year, the hospital secured the use of the Presbyterian Hospital's convalescent home in Devon for recovered babies who required additional care.
In 1913, the Babies' Hospital opened a clinic, dispensary, and milk station on 729 Lombard Street in the city of Philadelphia. The clinic provided numerous services, including instruction courses for expectant mothers. A Visiting Nurse Department was established to send trained nurses into city homes to examine babies and demonstrate proper hygiene and feeding procedures to their mothers. The Lombard Street Dispensary was enormously successful; the following year, another dispensary was opened at 609 Addison Street. By 1918, this dispensary had moved to larger quarters on Ninth and Pine Streets.
In 1915, a permanent home for the country hospital was established in Llanerch, Pennsylvania. 1920 marked the opening of the Ethel Burnham Worcester Memorial Cottage, a "seashore branch" of the hospital located in Beach Haven, New Jersey. Despite this expansion of hospital facilities, the main concern of the Babies' Hospital was its social services, which emphasized preventive medicine, good nutrition and hygiene, and the proper care of babies in the home.
The progressive programs of the Babies' Hospital continued to expand. To house its growing facilities, the hospital built a six story Health Center Building at 7th and Delancey Streets, which was dedicated in May 1921. The new health center contained a dispensary, health and developmental clinics, prenatal clinics, a dental clinic, and rooms for demonstrations and class instruction. In 1948, the funds and resources of Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Child Health Society were merged into the Fife Hamill Memorial Health Center for Southeast Philadelphia. The new organization was housed in the Health Center Building formerly occupied by the Babies' Hospital. When the Fife Hamill Memorial Health Center closed in 1960, the Corporation of Babies' Hospital was merged with St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
The records of the Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia, spans the years 1911 to 1960, contain annual reports, newsletter pamphlets, benefit matinee programs, material related to H. Lea Hudson for both the Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia and the Fife-Hamill Memorial Health Center for Southeast Philadelphia, corporate reports, photographs, and film. The collection is divided into four series. Series I: Printed Materials, dating from 1911 to 1941, includes annual reports of the Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia, the Babies' Hospital news and Babies' news, a monthly newsletter pamphlet (not a full run); benefit matinee programs, and other printed materials related to the Hospital.
Series II: Papers of H. Lea Hudson, dating from 1932 to 1960, contains two subseries. The first subseries, Babies' Hospital of Philadelphia, includes correspondence, minutes, news clippings, and agendas related to the merger with St. Christopher's Hospital; historical matter that includes addresses, an outline of services, and proceedings for the 25th anniversary. The second subseries, Fife-Hamill Memorial Health Center for Southeast Philadelphia, holds correspondence, information related to building usage for the Health Center, and a legal agreement between the Babies' Hospital, Jefferson Medical College, and Philadelphia Child Health Society.
Series III: Corporate Records, 1929 to 1948, includes a ledger from the Women's Committee and minutes from the Medical Administration Committee.
Series IV: Photographs and Film, dated circa 1942, consists of photographs, three roles of negatives, one roll of positives, and four 16mm film reels. The photographs were previously pasted on pages and had become unglued. Each photograph is now housed in individual pocket type envelopes; each folder represents a single page. The photographs include snapshots of children at the beach, children around a Christmas tree, nurses caring for children, and photographs of the Hospital buildings. The positives and negative films for the Babies' Hospital anniversary party are housed in the same canister. One reel was labeled "Exterior of Babies' Hospital", however it was unclear which of the unidentified reels (one is also labeled "Unidentified") was the correct one, so the two unidentified reels are labeled "Unidentified #1" and "Unidentified #1."
Please be aware that the Library does not have the required hardware for viewing photographic negatives or 16mm film.
The film reels in Series IV. Photographs and Film are stored separately in the A/V aisle.
- Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Author
- Morgan Rafel
- Finding Aid Date
- February 2020