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William H. Helfand collection


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

William H. Helfand is a collector of medical ephemera. He is a consultant to the National Library of Medicine, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other institutions in areas relating to art and medicine. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering (University of Pennsylvania, 1948), Pharmacy (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1952), and was awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters by the Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University in 1981, and Doctor of Science by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1976.

He has written five books, including Pharmacy: An Illustrated History (with David Cowen, Harry N. Abrams, 1990) and The Picture of Health (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1991). He has published a number of articles on the history of pharmacy and on prints, caricatures, posters, and ephemera relating to pharmacy and medicine in Pharmacy in History, Medical History, Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie and other journals. Exhibitions of portions of his collection of prints and ephemera in the fields of medicine and pharmacy have been held many places, most recently in exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Library of Medicine. In 1986 he received the Pepys Medal of the Ephemera Society, London, for outstanding contributions in the field of ephemera studies. In 1972 he received the Kremers Award of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and in 1989, he received the Urdang Medal for distinguished historical writing from the same organization.

In 1987, he retired after more than 33 years as an executive with Merck and Co., the multinational pharmaceutical company.

References: "Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Varieties of Medical Ephemera - William Helfand." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 Sept. 2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2014

Gift of William H. Helfand.

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.

Collection Inventory

1917. Correspondence.
Box 1 Folder 1
circa 1932. Nurses' Medical and Fever Chart.
Box 1 Folder 2
circa 1962. Schoolgirls Own Library: Lost Memory Girl.
Box 1 File 3
Various ephemera, circa 1936-1959.
Scope and Contents note

Pamphlet: Florence Nightingale and the Founding of Professional Nursing. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1959. 24 pp., illustrated.

Allentown Hospital [PA] School of Nursing, 35th Commencement program, May 22, 1936.

Nurses’ Prayer, by Mary Stuart. Compliments of W. B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, “Publishers to the Nursing Profession.” c. 1930s.

The Nightingale Pledge. Printed leaflet. W. B. Saunders Company, c. 1930s [?]

Pennsylvania Practical Nurses’ Association [Pittsburgh, PA] Leaflet, c. 1950.

Advertising circular: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. “Answering the Call: The Metropolitan Nurse.” c. 1950. 4 pp. leaflet, illustrations.

Bertha B. Burgstresser calling cards, circa 1900-1910?.
Application: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Nurse Training Arrangements, signed by Margaret Cay, October 23, 1877.
Flat File A Drawer 3

Somewhere in France is the Lily. Words by Philander Johnson and music by Jos. E. Howard. New York, 1917.
Flat File A Drawer 3
That Red Cross Girl of Mine. Words and Music by Ed. C. Cannon, Columbus, Ohio, 1917.
Flat File A Drawer 3
My Angel of the Flaming Cross. Words and music by Byron Gay. New York, 1918.
Flat File A Drawer 3
Good-night, Nurse, 1912.
Flat File A Drawer 3
The Rose of No Man's Land, 1918.
Flat File A Drawer 3
I Don't Want to Get Well, 1917.
Flat File A Drawer 3
The Woman in White, 1939.
Flat File A Drawer 3
The Angel of No Man's Land, 1918.
Flat File A Drawer 3
There's an Angel Missing From Heaven: She'll be found somewhere over there [Dedicated to the American Red Cross], 1918.
Flat File A Drawer 3

French advertisement for aspirin by Maurice Cliot. 148 x 77 cm.; Aspirine-- Usines de Rhone, circa 1910.
Flat File A Drawer 3
Help Your American Red Cross/Enroll Today $1.00, World War I poster (Lithograph). By A. R. B., 46" x 31", circa 1918.
Flat File B
"What Are You Doing to Help? Join the American Red Cross Today. Subscriber memberships $2 and Up," World War I poster. By Gordon Grant. Charcoal on board. 36" x 25", circa 1919.
Flat File A Drawer 3

Print, Suggest