Mabel Harmon Morris 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
Mabel Harmon Morris (1921-2009), a graduate of Girls High School of Philadelphia, attended the Mercy Hospital and School for Nurses, Class of 1943. Morris obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and in her Masters in Public Health Nursing Administration from the School of Public Health and Teachers College at Columbia University in 1964.
From 1946 to 1961, Morris worked for the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia. After her departure from the Society, she served as the District Nursing Supervisor for the Community Nursing Service of Philadelphia (a program jointly sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia) from 1961 to 1966, and for Temple University's Community Mental Health Center from 1968 to 1971. Morris took an educational leave of absence from 1963 to 1964 to complete her Master's degree. From 1971 to 1978, Morris worked for the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as regional nursing program director and as regional mental health consultant.
In 1980, Morris moved from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the Department of Health and Human Services, where she served as program planning officer. Her final appointment in the federal government was in the Office of Health Resources from 1981 to 1984. In 1984, she was appointed assistant professor in LaSalle University's Department of Nursing. Morris currently serves as an adjunct professor at LaSalle and as an independent public health nurse consultant.
Throughout her career Morris actively in served in many professional nursing associations, including the National League of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and Chi Eta Phi sorority. She has published several papers and has given speeches across the east coast.
This collection spans the years from 1935 to 1990 with a concentration on the years 1966 to 1984, when she worked for the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It consists of a variety of materials including correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, and alumni memorabilia. Her personal and professional correspondence consists of papers written by Morris and her colleagues. Employee evaluation sheets and detailed job descriptions are in the material documenting her work with Temple University's Community Mental Health Center and the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia. The collection also contains articles, teaching aides, and a small selection of photographs.
Of particular interest is the information Morris gathered during her five year struggle (1974-1979) with the federal government to reverse her demotion in the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. This information includes incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, and general files as well as her research on government regulations and procedures.
This collection also includes some materials the documents Morris's confrontation with racial discrimination as well as files about the African-American experience in Philadelphia.
Gift of Mabel Harmon Morris, 1991.
- 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
- This collection was processed with funds provided by the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.
- 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 series consists of materials reflecting Morris's personal and professional life. Included are letters from colleagues and friends, memorabilia from her days as a student at Mercy Hospital and School for Nurses and the University of Pennsylvania, awards, her curriculum vitae, and her writings on personal experiences with racial discrimination. Examples of this include recollections such as, "... I learned that many of my class mates did not realize that black students did not go on the trip to Washington D.C. because we could not stay in the same hotel as the white students," from her fifteenth high school reunion, and thoughts on her rejection from Philadelphia General Hospital Training School for Nurses due to the School's "inability to accommodate negroes." There are also newspaper clippings and a supplement in the (Philadelphia) Evening Bulletin entitled "The Negro in Philadelphia."
This series profiles Morris's participation in organizations such as the Visiting Nurses Society of Philadelphia and Chi Eta Phi sorority. It also includes some correspondence with the National League of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the Community Nursing Service of Philadelphia. There is material from the Mercy Hospital and School for Nurses, as well as a large section from Temple University's Community Mental Health Center that Morris initiated. Job descriptions of nursing positions within the center remain, consisting of two to three page descriptions including community health nurses, psychiatric nurses, psychiatric aids, and the psychiatric nurse director. There is also a paper on the nurse's function in health care.
This series consists of correspondence to and from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1966 to 1974. It includes a comprehensive section about her struggle to reverse the demotion of her position, reflecting the long and tedious task of dealing with the United States Government. It dates from April of 1974 to June of 1979. Some research information is also present, regarding government regulations, which she obtained while fighting the demotion. A few papers from colleagues in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare include a paper by Virginia Saba, "Management Information Systems for Public Health Community Agencies."
This series contains papers from Morris's colleagues and friends. Included are "The Role of the Visiting Nurse in the Field of Geriatrics and Long Term Illness," and "Philadelphia Home Care Plan," both by Ruth Weaver Hubbard, the General Director of the Visiting Nurses Society of Philadelphia; "Justice in Health" by Halfdan Mahler, the Director General of World Health Organization; and "Prospects of Government Playing a Broader Role in Health Care in the 1980's" by Robert Blendon, the Senior Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Included in this series are class notes and bibliography lists from the nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania. There are teaching aids for health, nutrition, and public health, as well as on-the-job training information.
This series includes various snapshots and portraits of Morris, friends, instructors, and her eighth grade class. There is also a photograph of Nettie Wiggs, one of Morris's instructors while at the Mercy Hospital and School for Nurses.
These books have been added to the Center's book list, and are accessible throught the University of Pennsylvania Franklin library catalog.