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Grant number: PG-52157-14

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University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
Jean C. Whelan (Project Director: May 2013 to present)

Bates Nursing History Center, Implementing the Preservation Needs Assessment

The purchase of supplies and equipment to improve the environmental conditions and monitoring of a repository of primary source materials and rare books on the history of nursing in the United States. This proposal focuses on the 25 percent of the repository's total collections that are housed on-site at the Bates Nursing History Center, which are the materials most frequently used by researchers. The collection includes the training school diary of Mary Clymer, a nurse and the subject of Thomas Eakins's painting "The Agnew Clinic," which documents day-to-day experiences of a student nurse in the 1880s. Other notable features include materials elucidating race, class, and other themes of 19th- and 20th-century health care, such as the records of the Starr Centre of Philadelphia, a philanthropic organization whose nurses were among the first in the city to cross entrenched color lines; the Mercy-Douglas Hospital and School Nursing Alumni Records and Photograph Collection, an organization of black women and women nurses; and materials on the International Council of Nurses. A notable photograph collection from the Philadelphia General Hospital is among the most extensive collections of hospital photographs in existence, and includes both candid and posed images.

The Bates Nursing History Center seeks funding to purchase supplies and equipment recommended in a 2011 preservation needs assessment visit funded via a NEH Preservation Assistance Grant. The Bates Center collections represent the main repository for primary source materials on the history of nursing in the US. The collections, used to bridge the humanities and basic sciences, attract national and international researchers interested in the ways in which the humanities can inform clinical practice and health policy. This proposal seeks funds for UV absorbing sleeves and covers for light fixtures and windows, shatter resistant light bulbs, three digital recording dataloggers, and a reading room monitoring apparatus. Receipt of funding will enable the Bates Center to carry out several of the preservation needs assessment recommendations thus improving the environmental conditions and monitoring of the Bates Center collections as well as insuring their long term maintenance and survival.

Project fields:
History, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$5,472 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015