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Mary C. Brennan papers

MC 15

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
Creator:
Brennan, Mary, 1903-1992
Title:
Mary C. Brennan papers
Date [inclusive]:
1903-1992
Call Number:
MC 15
Extent:
3.7 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
This collection includes the personal and professional files of Mary Brennan, a Pennsylvania nurse active during the World War II era.
Cite as:
Mary C. Brennan papers, Barbara Bates Center for The Study of The History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Mary C. Brennan was born in 1903 and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended the Germantown Dispensary and Hospital Nursing School, graduating in 1923. She worked as a private duty nurse from 1923 to 1936 and again from 1940 to 1941. Between the years 1936 and 1939 she worked as a ship's nurse on 10 cruises which traveled to Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. In 1941 she joined the Army Nurse Corp and was transferred west to Hawaii and then to Guam. While in the army she helped to set up field hospitals, which were then packed up and sent to battle areas. In 1946 her tour of duty with the army ended and she returned to Philadelphia, where she attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and received a BS in Education in 1947. She then went to work at Cornell University from 1947-1950. She assisted with a World Study Tour for nursing students in 1949 and the following year she received a MA degree from Columbia University. In 1950 she became the director of nursing at Roger Williams General Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. While there she became active in the Rhode Island State Nurses Association. In 1960 she became the director of nursing at Sewickley Valley Hospital in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. While there she became involved with the Pennsylvania League for Nursing and in 1960 she became president of the organization. During this time she was also involved with the National League for Nursing. In 1967 she retired from Sewickley Valley Hospital but still remained active in the professional organizations. In 1969 she returned to Philadelphia.

Scope and Contents

Mary C Brennan's papers consists of 3.7 linear feet and includes files of personal, professional, and organizational materials as well as photographs. This collection is strong in information during her time with the Pennsylvania League for Nursing, personal correspondence, and photographs especially those from the World War II era.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

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

Sponsor

This collection was processed with funds provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission as part of the Nursing History Processing and Cataloging Project.

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.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • National League for Nursing.
  • Pennsylvania League for Nursing.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Personal papers
Occupation(s)
  • Nurse
Personal Name(s)
  • Brennan, Mary, 1903-1992
Subject(s)
  • Military nursing
  • United States. Army Nurse Corps.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Medical care

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Collection Inventory

Series 1.  Personal, 1903-1992.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains correspondence and general files regarding her life outside her profession.

Box Folder

Biographical Information, 1903-1992.

1 1

News Clips, 1942-1988.

1 2

Identification, 1937-1976.

1 3

General Correspondence, undated.

1 4

General Correspondence, 1940-1989.

1 5

Correspondence from Honolulu, 1940-1964.

1 6

Letters regarding departure from Roger Williams General Hospital (RWGH), 1959.

1 7

Memorabilia, 1920-1988.

1 8

Course Work.

Box Folder

Catholic Girls High School, 1920.

1 9

Nursing Course Syllabus, 1920.

1 10

Requirements for Nursing Degree, 1920-1923.

1 11

Nutrition Examination, 1921.

1 12

Anatomy Course Outline, 1939.

1 13

Fall Course Essay, 1946.

1 14

English 1C Assignments, Spring, 1946.

1 15

Espanol 5C, 1946-1947.

1 16

Hematology Course Outline, Spring, 1946.

1 17

Summer Course Essay, 1946.

1 18

Education in America Paper, Winter, 1947.

1 19

Expectations of a Nurse, 1947.

1 20

Education Course 291S Paper, Winter, 1950.

1 21

Paper for MA Requirement, 1950.

1 22
Box Folder

University of Pennsylvania Graduation Program, 1947.

1 23

Professional Certificates, 1947-1983.

1 24

Citations, 1952-1984.

1 25

Evaluation of the Institution Program, Duquesne University, 1950.

1 26

Trip to Mexico with Associated University of Pennsylvania Clubs, November 1954.

1 28

Hollis L Caswell, Inauguration as President of Columbia University Teacher's College, 1955.

2 29

Penn Alumni Club, 1956-1959.

1 27

Articles by Brennan, 1954-1958.

2 30

Graduation Speeches, 1967-1969.

2 31

Notes on Use of Word and Nursing Secretary, April 1961.

2 32

Pennsylvania College Energy Debates, 1981-1987.

2 33

Mediterranean/ Black Sea Cruise Vacation, October-November 1959.

2 34

Cunard World Cruise Vacation, February-April 1960.

2 35

Post Cards of Various Tourist Sites.

2 36

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Series 2.  Professional Experience, 1923-1967.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains general files with information on her career from her first job in 1923 to her retirement in 1967.

Box Folder

Germantown Dispensary, 1923.

2 1

Ship's Nurse on Grace Cruise Line, 1935.

2 2

Army.

Box Folder

Ship's Nurse on Holland-American Cruise Line, 1936-1939.

2 3

Army Correspondence, 1941-1947.

2 4

Misc. Army Documents, 1941-1945.

3 5

Transportation Documents, 1943-1945.

3 6

Administrative Nurse Handbook, 1944.

3 7

Army Awards & Certificates, 1940-1945.

3 8

Uncle Sam Productions, 1944-1945.

3 9

Columbia University.

Box Folder

Columbia University, 1947-1950.

3 10

Columbia World Studies Tour, 1947.

3 11
Box Folder

Roger Williams Hospital, 1953-1960.

3 12

Sewickley Valley Hospital, 1960-1967.

3 13

Retirement from Sewickley, 1967.

3 14

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Series 3.  Professional Associations, 1948-1986.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains information on her involvement with the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, the Pennsylvania League for Nursing, and the National League for Nursing.

Box Folder

Nursing Statistics from Various Sources, 1948-1967.

3 1

International Council on Nursing, 1949.

3 2

General Health Care Organizations.

Box Folder

General Health Care Organizations, 1949-1969.

4 3

General Health Care Pamphlets & Brochures, 1968-1986.

4 4
Box Folder

Rhode Island State Nurses Association (RISNA), 1955.

4 5

Western PA Association of Women Deans, Counselors & Personnel, April 1964.

4 6

American Nurses Association.

4 7

Pennsylvania Nurses' Association.

4 8

Helen Fairchild American Legion Post 412, 1966-1983.

4 9

Governor's Health Care Conferences.

Box Folder

Governor's Health Care Conferences - National.

4 10

Governor's Health Care Conferences - Regional.

4 11

National League for Nursing (NLN).

Box Folder

NLN - General, 1963-1969.

4 12

Descriptions of NLN, 1970.

4 13

NLN Correspondence, 1964-1969.

4 14

NLN Structure, Positions & By-Laws, 1965-1969.

4 15

NLN Stricture Revisions, 1966-1970.

4 16

NLN Policy Statements, 1968-1986.

4 17

NLN Publications, 1954-1983.

5 18

NLN Nursing Education, 1963-1983.

5 19

NLN Committee on Resolutions, 1963-1970.

5 20

NLN Committee of the Assembly of Constituent Leagues, 1968-1972.

5 21

NLN Council on Community Planning for Nurses, 1968-1969.

5 22

NLN Division of Community Services, 1968-1969.

5 23

NLN Mid-Atlantic Regional Assembly, 1968-1970.

5 24

NLN News, 1974-1979.

5 25

NLN Biennial Conventions, 1983-1985.

5 26

NLN Booklet: Essentials of Good Nursing, 1942.

5 27

Pennsylvania League for Nursing (PLN).

Box Folder

Descriptions of PLN.

5 28

PLN - General.

5 29

PLN Structure, Positions & By-Laws, 1967-1983.

5 30

PLN - Policy Statements.

5 31

PLN - News, 1969-1986.

6 32
Correspondence.
Box Folder

Correspondence - General, 1963-1985.

6 33

Correspondence - Legislation, 1968.

6 34

PLN Board of Directors, 1974-1980.

6 35

PLN Certificates, 1977-1982.

6 36
Committees-General, 1966-1974.
Box
6
Folder
37
Box Folder

PLN Committee on Nominations, 1968.

6 38

PLN Committee on Membership, 1968-1973.

6 39

PLN Committee on Finance, 1968-1974.

6 40

PLN Committee on Continuing Education, 1967-1968.

6 41

PLN Biennial Reports, 1964-1970.

6 42

PLN Annual Meeting Agendas, 1970-1986.

6 43

PLN Annual Reports, 1976-1986.

6 44

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Series 4.  Photographs, 1920-1992.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains photographs, which either include her or were collected by her. There are several photographs from the World War II era and some negatives from her retirement party.

Folder 1 - Photographs of Mary Brennan (MB).

Box Photo

MB with Girl's High Seniors of the Basketball Team, 1920.

7 1

MB holding a baby, 1924.

7 2

MB wearing sombrero, 1917.

7 3
As Nurse Aboard the S.S. Rotterdam.
Box Photo

MB among the staff of the S.S. Rotterdam, 1937.

7 4

Misty DeJong and MB going ashore, 1937.

7 5

MB and Misty DeJong with passengers aboard the S.S. Rotterdam, 1937.

7 6

MB and Misty DeJong, 1937.

7 7

MB off duty, 1937.

7 8

MB looking at the S.S. Rotterdam, 1937.

7 9
World War II Photographs.
Box Photo

MB with other nurses outside quarters for Mitchell Field, 1942.

7 10-11

MB with other nurses outside Con's on day of leaving, 1942.

7 12

Edith carving Mitchell Field on tree in Berkeley, 1942.

7 13

Old St Mary's Church in Chinatown, San Francisco, 1942.

7 14

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1942.

7 15

MB with Group resting on hill in Berkeley, 1942.

7 16

19 MB with group on bicycling trip in San Francisco, 1942.

7 17

Powell St Cable Car after being turned, 1942.

7 20

MB with other army nurses, 1942.

7 21

MB and others in group salute, 1942.

7 22

MB at Air Evacuation Hanger, 1942.

7 23

Jo, Edith, Margaret, and Ruth, 1942.

7 24

MB with Edith, Ruth, Margaret, and Mary, 1942.

7 25-29

MB and other nurses with Mr MC Leon, 1942.

7 30-31

MB and others at Mission Delores, 1942.

7 32-36

MB and other nurses in Hawaii, 1942.

7 37-40

MB with people from 147th General Hospital, 1942.

7 41-42

MB in Oohu, Hawaii, 1942.

7 43-44

MB with army nurses and officers, Hawaii, 1942.

7 45

MB and other nurses off duty in Hawaii, 1942.

7 46-47

MB relaxing under a palm tree, Hawaii, 1942.

7 48

MB with other nurses off duty, Hawaii, 1942.

7 49

MB relaxing while off duty, 1942.

7 50-55

MB by the pool side. Hawaii, 1942.

7 56

MB at a field hospital in Hawaii, 1942.

7 57

MB off duty with other nurses, Hawaii, 1942.

7 58

MB with a dog, Hawaii, 1942.

7 59

MB in a foxhole during field training, Hawaii, 1942.

7 60

MB in full hiking gear during field training, Hawaii, 1942.

7 61

MB and unidentified man, Hawaii, 1942.

7 62

MB and two army officers, Hawaii, 1942.

7 63

MB with two other nurses, Hawaii, 1942.

7 64

MB at officer's club, Hawaii, 1942.

7 65

MB and other nurses at 36th Field Hospital, Hawaii, 1942.

7 66

MB outside a tent at 36th Field Hospital, Hawaii, 1942.

7 67

MB at 36th Field Hospital, Hawaii, 1942.

7 68

MB with others eating in the shade at 36th Field Hospital, Hawaii, 1942.

7 69

Personnel of 36th Field Hospital, hawaii, 1943.

7 70

MB in dress uniform speaking with another officer at 36th Field.

7 71-72
Hospital, Hawaii, 1943.
Box Photo

MB at 36th Field Hospital, Hawaii, 1943.

7 73

Personalized Greeting Card, Hawaii, 1943.

7 74

MB at Elizabeth Arden, Hawaii, 1943.

7 75-76

MB in uniform, Hawaii, 1943.

7 77

MB with two dieticians from 147th General Hospital, Hawaii, 1943.

7 78-79

MB with other nurses in front of 147th General Hospital sign, Hawaii, 1943.

7 80

MB with some of the medical personnel from 147th General Hospital, Quarters, Hawaii, 1943.

7 81

MB leading an exercise group, Hawaii, 1943.

7 82

MB with another nurse from the 147th General Hospital, Hawaii, 1943.

7 83

MB feeding the dogs, Hawaii, 1944.

7 84

MB with other nurses relaxing outside their 147th General Hospital Quarters, Hawaii, 1944.

7 85

MB with dogs Oohu, Hawaii, 1944.

7 86

MB visiting the residents of 147th General Hospital, Hawaii, 1944.

7 87

MB and other nurses relaxing after returning from field training, Hawaii, 1944.

7 88

Margaret, MB, Mary, and Kay, Hawaii, 1944.

7 89

92 MB at 147th General Hospital Officer's Club, Hawaii, 1944.

7 90

94 MB and other nurses at a quiz show, 1944.

7 93

MB at her desk, Guam, 1944.

7 95

MB with other officers at the opening of the Officer's Club, Guam, 1945.

7 100

MB with other officers relaxing outside, Guam, 1944.

7 96-99

MB with an officer, Guam, 1945.

7 101

MB at Guam Officer's Club, 1945.

7 102-104

MB at a party with other officers, Guam, 1945.

7 105

MB at New Years Eve party, Guam, 1945/1946.

7 106

MB with other nurses in San Francisco on her way home, 1946.

7 107
Box Photo

MB outside her Philadelphia home, 1946.

7 108

MB and Pauline, a friend at Penn, 1947.

7 109

MB at Stratford on Avon, 1949.

7 110

MP about to board the plane for her World Studies Tour, 1947.

7 111

MB at RWGH annual function, 1954.

7 112

Folder 2.

Box Photo

MB at RISNA dinner, 1955.

7 113-117

MB during RISNA 50th Anniversary, Oct. 4, 1955.

7 118

MB, 1955.

7 119

MB watching graduating nursing students from RWGH, 1956.

7 120

MB and faculty of RWGH School of Nursing," Striping Night", 1956.

7 121
Mediterranean Cruise.
Box Photo

MB in Barcelona, Spain, 1959.

7 122

MB in South Africa, 1959.

7 123

127 MB at the Acropolis, Greece, 1959.

7 124

MB with other passengers, 1959.

7 128

MB in park outside Odessa next to statue of Lenin and Stalin, 1959.

7 129

MB on a camel in Egypt, 1959.

7 130
World Cruise.
Box Photo

MB and Ethyl Jacobs in North Africa, 1959.

7 131

MB in front of the Taj Mahal, India, 1960.

7 132

MB and Mrs Jacobs on World Cruise, 1960.

7 133

MB and Ethyl Jacobs on World Cruise, 1960.

7 134

MB going through a receiving line on World Cruise, 1960.

7 135

MB with other passengers on World Cruise, 1960.

7 136

MB in Oriental costume, 1960.

7 137

MB and Mrs Jacobs in oriental costumes, 1960.

7 138

MB and Mrs Jacobs with Chinese family at dinner as their guests, 1960.

7 139

MB feeding deer in Japan, 1960.

7 140
Box Photo

MB, 1960.

7 141

MB in nurse's uniform, 1960.

7 142

MB at unknown function, 1960.

7 143

MB at her desk in Sewickley Valley Hospital, 1962.

7 144

MB with May Wilcott a Sewickley board member,1965.

7 145

Dr Clarence Miller and MB at Sewickley Valley Hospital, 1966.

7 146

MB in nurse's uniform wearing Germantown Hospital School of Nursing pin and American Red Cross pin, 1968.

7 147

MB, 1968.

7 148

MB, 1968.

7 149

Seated L-R, Lizanne Graff, MB, and Dorothy Noevello at PLN convention, 1969.

7 150

MB, ?, and Elizabeth Zulli, 1969.

7 151

MB at PLN meeting in the Hotel Hershey, 1969.

7 152

Hospital Assembly at Penn State Work Shop, 1969.

7 153

MB at unknown dinner, 1970.

7 154

L-R starting with the back row, Nellie, Bill and Gerta Miller, Bernice Woodring, Jack Meyer, Malcel Yates, James McFranklin, MB and Eilien Meyer, May 2, 1970.

7 155

Mr Lausdale, Mr Buel, ?, MB, ?, Mary Jane Lausdale, 1971.

7 156

Nellie and MB, April 1971.

7 157

MB, March 17, 1992.

7 158

MB at Christmas party, undated.

7 159

MN at Helen Fairchild Nurse's American Legion Post 412, undated.

7 160-162
Photographs collected by MB.
Box Folder

SS Rotterdam, 1937.

8 3

36th Field Hospital, 1942-1943.

8 4

147th General Hospital, 1943-1944.

8 5

Guam, 1944-1945.

8 6

Misc. photographs, 1935-1955.

8 7
Negatives.
Box Folder

Negative of photograph 122.

8 8

MB at her retirement party, 1967.

8 9

The retirement party, 1968.

8 10

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Series 5.  Diplomas, 1947-1970.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains some of the diplomas she received from her education.

Box Photo

University of Pennsylvania, BS in Education, 1947.

8 1

Columbia University, MA, 1950.

8 2

American Hospital Association Continuing Education, 1952.

8 3

Golden Jubilee Diploma from Girls High, 1970.

8 4

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Series 6.  Scrapbooks, 1955-1967.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains two scrapbooks put together by other people and given to her.

Box Photo

Put together by RISNA members for MB, 1955.

9 1

Put together by Miss Johnson for MB's Retirement party, 1967.

9 2

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Series 7.  Awards, 1981-1983.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains two plaques she received from the College Debates on Energy.

Box Photo

College Debates on Energy plaque, 1981-1982.

9 1

College Debates on Energy plaque, 1982-1983.

9 2

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