Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing. 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
Chloe Cudsworth Littlefield, an 1883 graduate of Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia School of Nursing, worked as a private duty nurse in the last two decades of the 19th century. The collection, which includes Littlefield’s diaries and letters, offers a rare look at private duty nursing, the main occupational field in which early professional nurses worked.
Between 1882-1883, Littlefield’s assignments took her to various locations in Wilmington, Delaware as well as in Philadelphia, including Woman's Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital. Upon completion of her training, Littlefield returned to her hometown of Troy, New York, carrying letters of introduction from a former instructor recommending her to physicians there as a “competent and painstaking nurse, and [asking] for her your favorable consideration.” She continued in private duty in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she moved in 1887.
This collection consists of an original diary, correspondence, photographs, and printed items concerning the life and career of Chloe Cudsworth Littlefield.
Bates Center Fellow, Dr. Patricia D’Antonio, offered an excellent commentary on the Littlefield collection in the Center’s newsletter, The Chronicle (2003). As D’Antonio notes, the papers do more than chronicle a life: they represent the world of an individual as she moved, rather fluidly, between social and domestic spheres. The collection is especially interesting in that it includes Littlefield’s own thoughts as recorded in her diary as well as those of women with whom she corresponded, some of whom were also nurses.
The Littlefield collection represents an invaluable look into the working life of one early professional nurse, offering researchers primary source material on a critical period in the development of nursing as a profession and occupation.
Gift of Elizabeth Losa, 2002-2004.
This inventory record is listed here to increase access to our holdings. This collection is unprocessed. Please contact the Center for more information.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Bethany Myers
- Access Restrictions
This collection is unrestricted.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.