Betty M. Neuman papers
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
Betty M. Neuman is the originator of the Neuman Systems Model, a comprehensive and influential theory of nursing which has had global impact since its appearance in 1972.
Neuman was born in Marietta, Ohio, on September 11, 1924. After her graduation from high school in 1942, she moved to Dayton, Ohio, where she worked in the wartime aircraft industry at Wright-Patterson Field. In the fall of 1944 she joined the Cadet Nurse Training Program, training at the Peoples Hospital, Akron, where she received her diploma in 1947. Later that year, after a family visit to the West Coast, she settled in the Los Angeles area and went to work as a staff nurse, advancing to head nurse, in the communicable disease department of the Los Angeles General Hospital.
In 1956 Neuman entered the baccalaureate program at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Nursing, where she earned a B.S.N. (major in Public Health, minor in Psychology) in 1957. From 1964-1966 she did graduate work in UCLA’s program in Mental Health/Public Health Consultation. In the course of her studies she became aware of the development of community mental health centers, then emerging as a new type of clinical setting, and became interested in roles for nurses in these facilities. Her master’s thesis was a study of the relationship between personality patterns and suicide attempts
Upon completion of her M.S. in June 1966, Neuman was appointed chair and faculty member of the UCLA Mental Health/Public Health Consultation program from which she had just graduated. In order to better incorporate nurses into the training of mental/public health workers, she developed a model for teaching community mental health that was successfully tested as a means for utilizing nursing specialists in the mental/public health settings.
Subsequently, in 1970, Neuman developed another model which aimed more broadly at the teaching and practice of nursing. Originally presented in an article entitled “A Model for Teaching Total Person Approach to Patient Problems” ( Nursing Research, 21 May-June 1972), Neuman’s framework provided a structure that focused on individual patients (clients ) and how they functioned within a system that centered around the patient’s own unique energy resources, including those shaped by the individual’s particular genetic make-up and physical and psychological traits, and factors that serve to protect (or weaken) the person’s resource structure. Here, and more fully in her book, The Neuman Systems Model (1982), Neuman conceptualized the nurse as a stabilizing force whose role was to help keep the individual’s energy system in equilibrium for the goal of maintaining optimal health.
Neuman meanwhile carried on a busy working career as a community and mental health professional, teaching workshops and conferences in UCLA Extension Division. In 1970 became a licensed marriage family therapist. When her first marriage ended in 1963, she became a single mother to her daughter Nancy. Later, in the early 1970s, Dr. Neuman married Dr. Kree Dicklich. The couple settled in Watertown, Ohio, which became their home.
In 1973 Neuman took a position as state mental health consultant for the West Virginia State Department of Mental Health, Charleston, West Virginia. As interest in the Neuman Systems Model began to develop, she became a popular speaker at nursing schools throughout the country and gradually developed an extensive network as a consultant to nursing schools seeking to implement the Neuman Systems Model as the framework for their nursing school curricula. She also developed an extensive following in Europe and Asia, providing guidance on the model through correspondence and through subsequent editions of her book, now in its 5th edition.
Neuman completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Pacific Western University, Los Angeles, in 1985. She developed a wide host of professional friends and acquaintances including numerous adherents who adapted the Neuman Systems Model in various areas of nursing health care research, practice, and education. The model was employed by nurses working with many individual, family, and community client groups and in formulating a wide range of diagnosis and treatment plans. Neuman has been honored widely on numerous occasions and holds a number of honorary degrees.
The Betty M. Neuman Papers focus on both her personal and professional life. This includes publications, correspondences, and materials related to or inspired by the Neuman Systems Model.
Series one and two focus on the biographical and personal papers of Betty Neuman. The first series contains biographical information, including copies of her vita. Materials in this section focus on Betty Neuman’s personal history as well as her professional background and activities. Also included are works related to the theoretical framework of Neuman’s systems model. The second series consists mainly of informal correspondence sent to Betty Neuman from friends and family members. They reveal the extent of her professional network and the wide circle of associations that Neuman cultivated through the mail and through her travels to promote the NSM.
Series 3 contains materials related to Betty Neuman’s non-Model related interests including her church activities.
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth series, Betty Neuman’s professional activities are explored. This includes materials relating to Neuman’s conference attendance and participation. It contains information on presentations on the NSM given by herself and by other speakers. In addition, the fifth series documents Neuman’s efforts to respond to widespread interest in her work especially in college nursing departments who sought to adopt curricula based on the NSM. In Series 6, the documents focus on Neuman’s correspondence with students seeking help in writing papers based on the NSM or asking permission to use copies of the diagram of the NSM in their work. Also included are files concerning requests from students for references and recommendations.
Series 7 contains information concerning honors and awards received by Betty Neuman including several honorary degrees.
Series 8 focuses on her research and publications. Included are several folders of publications by other writers on topics of interest. The ninth series includes documents prior to her creation of the NSM. This includes copy of Neuman’s 1966 master’s thesis and a number of course papers which she wrote while a student at UCLA from 1964-1966.
Gift of Betty M. Neuman, April 2, 2010.
Gift of Betty M. Neuman and the Neuman Systems Model Trustee Group, Inc., 2010.
Dr. Neuman donated her papers to the Bates Center in 2010. The Center simultaneously acquired the records of the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group, Inc. (NSMTG), an organization dedicated to the support, promotion, and integrity of the Neuman Systems Model: the NSMTG records were donated to the Center by the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group.
Both collections—the Betty Neuman Papers and the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group Records—had previously been in the custody of the Neumann College (now Neumann University) Library in Aston, PA before their donation to the Bates Center. Neumann University transferred rights to Betty Neuman papers and the NSMTG records to the Bates Center when Betty Neuman and the NSMTG donated their respective materials to the Bates Center in 2010.
The Bates Center has largely kept the materials in the same order in which they came to us, with one exception. The Bates Center has formally separated the Betty Neuman Papers and the NSM Trustees Group Records into two discrete collections (MC 160 and MC 161). Bates staff has also modified some of the series names to make them more descriptive of series contents. The Bates Center staff has largely retained the archival boxes and folders in which the material had been housed in the library at Neumann University. We have by and large left the detailed typed file folder labels on the folders as they came to us. But for the sake of conciseness, we have shortened the folder labeling in transcribing the information to the box list that appears below.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Prepared by: Donna Ostroff, June 2011; Updated by Gail E. Farr, January 2013; Entered into Archivist Toolkit by Jessica Clark, January 2013
- Access Restrictions
Access to MC 160, Betty Neuman Papers, is unrestricted with the exception of Box 14 (see further information below). Use of collection material is covered under the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
This series contains information relevant to Betty Neuman’s personal history and background as well as information concerning her professional activities. Included are copies of her vita. Also included is a bibliography of works by Betty Neuman and works that are based in whole or part on the theoretical framework of Neuman’s systems model.
This series consists mainly of informal cards and notes sent to Betty Neuman by her friends and family members. They reveal the extent of her professional network and the wide circle of associations that Neuman cultivated through the mail and through her travels to promote the NSM.
This series includes materials relating to some of Betty Neuman’s non-Model related interests including her church activities.
This series includes materials relating to Neuman’s conference attendance and participation. It contains information on presentations on the NSM given by herself and by other speakers.
This series documents Neuman’s efforts to respond to widespread interest in her work especially in college nursing departments who sought to adopt curricula based on the NSM. The files are organized by country: i.e., U.S., and International.
This series contains files of Neuman’s correspondence with students seeking help in writing papers based on the NSM or asking permission to use copies of the diagram of the NSM in their work. Also included are files concerning requests from students for references and recommendations.
Files include information concerning honors and awards received by Betty Neuman including several honorary degrees.
This series contains Neuman’s files concerning her research and publications. Included are several folders of publications by other writers on topics of interest.
This series includes a copy of Neuman’s 1966 master’s thesis and a number of course papers which she wrote while a student at UCLA from 1964-1966.
NOTE TO RESEARCHERS: Access to Box 14 is restricted because it contains Personally Identiable Information to be redacted in order to protect the privacy of individuals. Please contact curator to discuss arrangements for examining this material
The following printed works have been transferred from MC 160, Betty Neuman Papers, to MC 161, Neuman Systems Model Group Records.