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Doris E. Roberts 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

Doris E. Roberts, R.N., Ph.D. was an internationally known nurse leader and educator in the field of community health services. Roberts was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1915. She graduated from Peter Bent Brigham, School of Nursing, Boston, MA (1938 ). She accepted a position of staff nurse with the New Haven Visiting Nurse Association. After two years Roberts went to Simmons College, Boston, MA and obtained a certificate in public health nursing (1941) . In 1944 she received a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. After serving as senior nurse and director of nursing services with the Neighborhood Association, Millburn Association, NJ (1942-1944), Roberts joined the U S Public Health Service (1945-1975). As a commissioned officer she had various assignments, first with the Tuberculosis Program (1945-1955), then as chief nurse with same program. During this period Roberts worked with local, state and national agencies, taking part in operational research and seeing the importance of systematic study and program evaluation at all levels of health care.

In 1966, Roberts became Chief of the Public Health Nursing Service and. responsible for designing and conducting studies. In this position she was able to introduce epidemiological concepts and study methods into state and local public health agencies. Her major concerns were the need to bring educators and practitioners together to share resources for problem solving and to collaborate as a way to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care. Her writings were published in many professional journals. Roberts ‘influence extended beyond the United States. She provided consultation and assistance to the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, and Southeast Asia Regional Office of WHO.

In 1958, she received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, and in 1967 a doctorate degree in epidemiology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Roberts had memberships in Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science and Delta Omega Society. Also, she was the recipient of awards for distinguished service in public health.

Following her retirement (1975) from the US Public Health Service, Roberts continued her career as a consultant in public health and in health services evaluation research for ten more years. Following these years she became active in volunteering in outreach programs in the community for homeless and neglected people.

Gift of Mabel Harmon Morris and Doris E. Roberts, 1999.

University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Center staff, updated 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.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents note

This series includes a biographical sketch, education transcripts , course papers, commencement program, historical manuals for midwifery, hospital nursing , and visiting nursing for the years 1872-1906.

Biographical sketch by Doris E. Roberts, 1992.
Box 1 Folder 1
Biographical sketch, Who's Who In American Nursing, and The World Who's Who of Women, 1980-1993.
Box 1 Folder 2
College and high school transcripts, 1957-1967.
Box 1 Folder 3
Course papers.
Anthropology; 165, University of Minnesota, December 1957.
Box 1 Folder 4
Priorities for Public Health Nursing Service, University of North Carolina, (also, Epidemiology Applied to Nursing Practice), July 1966.
Box 1 Folder 5
The Social Structure and Public Health, University of North Carolina, August 1966.
Box 1 Folder 6
Curriculum Vitae, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 7
Geneva College, Class of 1944, booklet, "The 50 Year Reunion Survey", 1944.
Box 1 Folder 8
Program, Annual Commencement, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, June 1967.
Box 1 Folder 9
United States of America, passport, 1969-1974.
Box 1 Folder 10
Location note

Manuals are located in the Center's book collection.

A Manual for Midwives and Monthly Nurses, Fleetwood Churchill, MD, 3th edition, Fannin and Co., 1872.
A Manual for Hospital Nurses, Edward J. Domville, 3rd edition, J. and A, London, 1878.
Visiting Nurse Manual, Edna L. Foley, RN, National Organization for Public Health Nursing and Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago, 1914 (includes a note card from Harriet Fulmer, Chicago VNA, 1906).

Scope and Contents note

In this series are the awards Roberts received from the American Public Health Association, Geneva College, and University of Minnesota; also newspaper clippings and journal announcements of awards.

Correspondences re; doctor of philosophy degree and awards, 1967-1973.
Box 1 Folder 1
Certificate, Contribution for Advancement of Public Health Nursing, Council of Education for Public Nursing, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 2
Sedgwick Memorial Metal, American Public Health Association, 1979.
Box 1 Folder 3
University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award, School of Public Health, 1983.
Box 1 Folder 4
Newspaper clipping and journal announcements of honors and awards, 1971-1973.
Box 1 Folder 5

Scope and Contents note

This series includes the large number of addresses and papers presented on numerous occasions, and many articles published in the various journals by Roberts and co-authors.

The Nurses' Function in Programs of Prevention and Control Tuberculosis Nursing Institute, Louisville, Kentucky, November 13, 1951.
Box 1 Folder 1
Integration of Tuberculosis in a Generalized Public Health Nursing Program.
Box 1 Folder 2
Explore and Experiment, Midwestern Conference on Public Health Nursing, National League for Nursing, Indianapolis, Indiana, April 13, 1960.
Box 1 Folder 3
Nurse Graze Into Crystal Ball, The Role of Research in Eradicating Tuberculosis, National Tuberculosis Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, May 18, 1960.
Box 1 Folder 4
How Effective Is Public Health Nursing, Public Health Nursing Section, American Public Health Association, Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan, November 14, 1961.
Box 1 Folder 5
A Method of Evaluation of Nursing Service Public Health Nursing Service Branch, Division of Nursing, U.S. D of HEW, Washington, DC, 1962.
Box 1 Folder 6
Evaluation of Patient Needs-The Basic Step Directors and Supervisors of Public Health Nursing, NY, State Department of Health, Albany, NY, November 1, 1962.
Box 1 Folder 7
Strengthening Nursing Practice Through Epidemiology, Regional Clinical Conference, Philadelphia, PA and Kansas City, Missouri, November 1967.
Box 1 Folder 8
Social Roles and Disease Control, American Public Health Association, Miami, Florida, 1967.
Box 1 Folder 9
Comprehensive Health Service Conference on Comprehensive Care" (handwritten), February 1968.
Box 1 Folder 10
Analysis of The Utilization of Home Health Services, Conference on Medicare Home Health Care," Philadelphia, PA (handwritten), March 1968.
Box 1 Folder 11
Program Evaluation for Planning, Annual Meeting, Southern Branch, American Public Health Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 20, 1969.
Box 1 Folder 12
Centennial Award of American Public Health Association to Margaret B. Dolan Atlantic City, NJ, November 14, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 13
Community Health Nursing Curriculum Responses to the Primary Care Movement, 3rd Conference of Association of Faculty of Graduate Program of Public Health Nursing, Atlantic, Georgia, May 3, 1979.
Box 2 Folder 14
Developing An International Public Health Perspective, University of Minnesota, June 13, 1983.
Box 2 Folder 15
A Brief Look at the History of Agency Involvement in Program Evaluation by Gene V. Lung, RN., B.S., MN., Palm Beach County Health Department, Annual Meeting, American Public Health Association, Houston, TX, October 29, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 16
The Positive Approach to a Tuberculosis Nursing Program Public Health Report, Vol. 68, No. 3, March 1953.
Box 2 Folder 17
How Effective Is Public Health Nursing?, American Journal of Public Health,Vol. 52, No. 7, July 1962.
Box 2 Folder 18
Nursing for Community Health, Education Medica Y Salud, Vol. 13, No. 11 (rough draft and correspondence), December 1979.
Box 2 Folder 19
Public Health Nursing Comes of Age, American Journal of Public Health," Vol.75, No. 10, October 1985.
Box 2 Folder 20-21
The Nonhospitalized Tuberculosis Patient Public Health Reports," Vol.71, No. 9, September 1956.
Box 2 Folder 22
Epidemiologic Analysis in School Populations as a Basis for Change in School Nursing Practice American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 59, No. 12, December 1969.
Box 2 Folder 23
Maternal and Infant Health and Their Association Factors in an Inner City Population, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 62, No. 4, April 1972.
Box 2 Folder 24
Epidemiologic Analysis as a Basis for Change in School Nursing Practice- Report of Second Phase of a Longitudinal Study, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 62, No. 4, April 1972.
Box 2 Folder 25
Reprints articles from various authors and journals, 1970-1993.
Box 2 Folder 26-29
Evaluation of a School Health Program Directed to Children with History of High Absence: A Focus for Nursing Intervention, Long, Whitman, Johansson, Williams and Tuthill (for publication American Public Health Journal), 1973.
Box 2 Folder 30
Introductory remarks and "Evaluation of Practice," Annual State Director of Nurses Meeting (handwritten), April 1971.
Box 2 Folder 31
The Role of Nursing in Family And Community Health World Health Organization, Geneva, 1974.
Box 2 Folder 32
Developing an Evaluation Design for Decentralized Health Manpower Education Program (A Reaction Paper), undated.
Box 2 Folder 33
The Challenge of Nursing Research (handwritten), undated.
Box 2 Folder 34
Evaluating Nursing Care(handwritten), undated.
Box 2 Folder 35
Research and Nursing Practices"(handwritten), undated.
Box 2 Folder 36
Observation of Medication Errors Made by Diabetic Patients in Home, 26th Annual Meeting, American Diabetes Association, Chicago, 1966.
Box 2 Folder 37
Behavioral Science Measures: Their Potential Contribution to Understanding the Course of Chronic Diseases, undated.
Box 2 Folder 38
Should James Go to School? Working Mothers' Responses To Symptoms, undated.
Box 2 Folder 39

Scope and Contents note

This series documents Roberts nursing career as a nursing leader in Untied States, Europe, and the Orient; and her association with the American Public Health Association, National Academy of Science and Veterans Administration.

Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
A Forty Year History of the State and Territorial Directors of Nursing, 1935-1975, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 1
Correspondence re: appointments and education, 1957-1967.
Box 2 Folder 2
Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing to Meet Licensure Requirements in United States, final report, 1977-1979.
Box 2 Folder 3-4
Historical data, Division of Public Health Nursing, in the U.S.Public Health Service, 1963.
Box 2 Folder 5
Memorandum re: establishing a Division of Public Health Nursing, 1958.
Box 3 Folder 6
Project report "Implication for Nursing at National Level" (handwritten), 1969.
Box 3 Folder 7
Proceedings of Perinatal Nursing Conference, Battelle Seattle Research Center, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 8
How to Study Patient Progress, Public Health Service, 1964.
Box 3 Folder 9
Redesigning Nursing Education for Public Health, 1973.
Box 3 Folder 10
Special assignments, World Health Organization, correspondence, 1962-1979.
Box 3 Folder 11
Community Health Nursing, report of WHO Expert Committee, 1974.
Box 3 Folder 12
Guide to Curriculum Review for Basic Nursing Education, WHO, 1985.
Box 3 Folder 13
Nursing in Support of the Goal Health for All by the Year 2000, meeting report WHO, 1982.
Box 3 Folder 14
Correspondence and various federal forms, (insignia pin), 1974-1976.
Box 3 Folder 16
Announcement and invitation to events to honor Doris E. Roberts, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 17
WHO Features, "Nurses Lead the Way", June 1985.
Box 3 Folder 15
Correspondence re: appointment to various committees, 1977-1980.
Box 3 Folder 18
Report, "Field Teaching Conference," PHNS, Southern Branch, Roanoke, Virginia, 1962.
Box 3 Folder 19
National Academy of Science , The Elderly and Functional Dependency, June 1977; "Background of the Institute of Medicine," April 1973; correspondence, 1973, 1983; and "Science and Hope," Philip Handler, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 20
University of Minnesota, "National Perspectives for Public Health/Community Health," June 1982 and 1983, including correspondence, 1984.
Box 3 Folder 21
Other, miscellaneous correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1983-1993.
Box 3 Folder 23
Veterans Administration, correspondence re: scholarship program, 1984.
Box 3 Folder 22

Scope and Contents note

Included in this series are portrait photos taken of Roberts during her nursing career. There are group pictures taken on various social, ceremonial, conferences or seminar occasions.

Doris E. Roberts sitting at piano Simmons College, Boston, MA, 1940.
Box 3 Photo 1
Box 3 Photo 2
Box 3 Photo 3
Box 3 Photo 4a-d
Box 3 Photo 5
Box 3 Photo 6a-d
Box 3 Photo 7
Doris E. Roberts sitting at a desk, 1964.
Box 3 Photo 8
Doris E. Roberts accepting Academy of Nursing, Honorary Award, 1993.
Box 3 Photo 9a
Margaret Arnstein, portrait, 1958.
Box 3 Photo 10
Staff of the Division of Public Health Nursing, Fall 1958.
Box 3 Photo 11
Panel participants.
Box 3 Photo 12
Group participants.
Box 3 Photo 13
Retirement Reception for Doris E.Roberts, June 1975.
Box 3 Envelope 1
For portrait 4a-4d.
Box 3 Negative 1

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