Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital 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
Originally called the Alice Fisher Alumnae Club after the founder of the Philadelphia General Hospital's Training School for Nurses, the Alumnae Association of the Philadelphia General Hospital was formed on January 1893 by 130 graduates of the training school. A house was rented at 804 Pine Street to be used for Club meetings. There, graduates of PGH could get together for social occasions or simply to rest. One of the first large undertakings of the group was the compilation of the Alice Fisher Memorial Home Fund on May 1909, to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Alice Fisher's death. Donations were solicited through a form letter sent out to graduates. This fund was to be used for the care of sick or needy graduate nurses.
In 1911, the Alice Fisher Alumnae Club became incorporated as the Nurses Alumnae Association of the Philadelphia General Hospital. The official charter is dated July 12, 1912. The purpose of the organization: "to advance the standing and interests of the graduates of the Training School for Nurses of the Philadelphia General Hospital to extend aid to those in trouble or sickness, to promote social intercourse and good fellowship among its members, and to raise the standard of nursing to the highest plane" (see Charter and By-laws, 1972).
Both the Alice Fisher Memorial Fund and the Estell Pettit Lank (class of 1909) Legacy have contributed to the Association's caring of sick graduates. By 1972, the Association was working in conjuncture with PGH to provide for alumnae. The hospital had set aside a suite of three rooms for alumnae hospitalization, provided that the Alumnae Association pay for the furniture in the room. Any member was eligible for service, with applications for admission made to the Professional Service Director of the Hospital through the Director of Nursing. The maximum stay was thirty days. Finally, the Association provided scholarships to needy nursing students. In 1977, the Philadelphia General Hospital was closed.
This collection consists of many aspects of the Alumnae Association's operations. The largest section consists of the annual reports of the organization, dating back to 1915. This bulletins describe the association's activities within the community and hospital, as well as listings of officers and new PGH graduates. The collection also has the personal papers of Alice Fisher and Josephine Spengler. Alice Fisher's papers include information for admission into the training school, and a hand-written exam Fisher gave to students. Josephine Spengler, Class of 1926, collected many articles on PGH, as well as her own articles and speeches. Included also are two books documenting the history of the Philadelphia General Hospital. Finally, there is documentation of the administrative aspects of the organization. This includes charters and by-laws, as well as artifacts and photographs.
Gift of the Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital.
This is a preliminary inventory of the Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital. Boxes 1-9 have been inventoried to the folder-level and the contains have been rehoused into acid-free folders. Selected other boxes have also been rehoused into acid-free folders, including the yearbooks.
Items that are located on the finding aid under "Unprocessed" are items that may be unrelated to PGH. These matierals were donated to the Alumni from 3 different indivudals, and some of these contents may be more suited to the individual's personal collections than PGH. A note will be made for any materials that may be affected.
When the collection is processed some rehousing of the boxes will be done. A note will be made of the changes.
- Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital.
- Philadelphia General Hospital.
- 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 (2013), Jessica Clark (2018)
- 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.
This includes most of the bulletins issued by the Alumnae Association from 1915 through 1991, Sept. 1997 – May 2005. These bulletins are the annual reports of the Alumnae Association, organized in April 1893 and incorporated in October 1911. Articles include biographies on such PGH nurses as S. Lillian Clayton, lists of graduating nurses for the year, and descriptions of Philadelphia General Hospital's work and mission. The bulletin are highlighted with photographs of individuals and buildings.
This series includes the papers of Alice Fisher and Josephine Spengler. Alice Fisher's documents include her correspondence and will, exams, articles, and memoriam. The Josephine Spengler section has newspaper clippings of PGH as well as her speeches, letters, and articles.
This series contains two articles as well as two books written on the history of the Philadelphia General Hospital. Blockley Days is the earliest book, recollecting Arthur Ames Bliss experiences as a resident physician at Blockley from 1883-1884. John Welsh Croskey wrote a comprehensive institutional history, History of Blockley which was published in 1929. The two articles are slightly more recent, published in 1932 and 1954, respectively.
This series consists of three parts. The first is a collection of printed material, including the history of the alumnae association, banquet programs, charter of by-laws, and statement of purpose. The second part is a small collection of artifacts, including nursing caps, a gavel presented to Miss M. Malloway, the PGH nursing pins, and diplomas. The third and final part consists of forty-eight photographs donated by the Alumnae Association. These images include both pictures of hospital activities and alumnae events.