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Theresa I. Lynch papers

MC 102

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:
Lynch, Theresa I., 1896-1994
Title:
Theresa I. Lynch papers
Date [inclusive]:
1896-1986
Call Number:
MC 102
Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Theresa Lynch (1896-1994) is remembered as the first Dean of the independent School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. The bulk of this collection is related to the Penn School of Nursing, but also includes personal correspondence, speeches, awards, biographical sketches, and photographs.
Cite as:
Theresa I. Lynch papers, Barbara Bates Center for The Study of The History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Theresa I. Lynch (1896-1994), R.N., Ed.D was an educator, administrator, practitioner, and author whose foresight, determination, and confidence to fight the conservative establishment enabled her to become a pioneer in the development of the nursing profession.

Lynch was born in a family of five children in Winchester, Virginia, on August 9, 1896. Her father was a lawyer and her mother a "great social and civic leader.” With objections from her parents, who believed that nursing was inappropriate for "a lady,” Lynch chose nursing as her career and earned a diploma in nursing from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania training school in 1920. Her experience in nursing combined with an earlier degree in education enabled Lynch to become director of nursing at the Willard Parker Hospital of Communicable Diseases in New York. Lynch later left Willard to become director of an innovative new program at New York University which focused on the teaching of nursing theory. After six years at NYU, Lynch was recruited by her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, to direct its nursing program. In this capacity, Lynch completely reorganized the nursing program.

She was instrumental in the establishment of the School of Nursing as a Division of Medical Affairs in 1944. Lynch, however, was not satisfied with the arrangement. She fought the male-dominated leadership that was opposed to an independent school of nursing. Lynch won the battle. In 1950, an independent School of Nursing was founded at the University of Pennsylvania, and Lynch was immediately named its dean.

Lynch recognized the value of publications as evidenced by her textbook, Communicable Diseases Nursing, which has been translated into different languages including Japanese. She also co-authored  Poliomyelitis with Landow and Smith. The dean, who was always meticulously groomed, had a special interest in people who suffer from communicable diseases. Even in the course of preparing her textbook, she found time to travel to New York one day a week to practice at Willard Parker.

Lynch was also active in state and local branches of the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing. She held various titles, including one as Chair of the First Committee on Careers for the National League of Nursing, a role she handled splendidly for several years. Among her honors, she has been listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Nurses' Alumni Association of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Lynch retired her position as Dean of the School of Nursing in 1965. Later she started a nursing school at Widener University. After her official retirement in 1972, she moved to Washington, D.C, where she stayed until she was too ill to live by herself. In 1980, she moved to Saunders House, a retirement home in suburban Philadelphia, where she remained until her death in 1994.

Scope and Contents

The Theresa Lynch papers consist of personal correspondence, speeches, awards, biographical sketches, and photographs. Information on the University of Pennsylvania's Nursing School, however, makes up the bulk of the collection. The institutional files include accounts of the early history of the nursing school, many written by Lynch herself, minutes, reports, information on the school's curriculum, correspondence, publications including course bulletins. The collection also include materials of the National League for Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Lillian S. Brunner.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Faculty papers
  • Personal papers
Occupation(s)
  • Nurse
  • Nursing schools--Faculty
Personal Name(s)
  • Brunner, Lillian S., 1910-1995
  • Lynch, Theresa I., 1896-1994
Subject(s)
  • Nursing.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1.  Personal, 1921-1986.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains Lynch's personal papers such as her resume, biographical sketches, correspondence, speeches, awards, and diplomas.

Box Folder

Biographical information, 1956-1984.

1 1

Newspaper articles on Lynch, circa 1955 and 1985.

1 2

Personal correspondence, 1946-1982.

1 3

Correspondence with Lillian Sholtis Brunner.

Box Folder

1969-1979.

1 4

1980-1986.

1 5

Speeches, 1965-1975.

Box
1
Folder
6
FlatFile

Three diplomas, 1921-1944.

5
Box Folder

Pennsylvania Certificate of Record for the practice of nursing, 1950.

1 7

Awards, 1965-1980.

1 8

Letters nominating Lynch for awards, 1980.

1 9

Nursing school yearbook, 1920.

1 10

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Series 2.  Photographs, circa 1898-1985.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains Lynch's photographs from childhood to later years. It also includes pictures of Lynch's parents and photos taken with colleagues and associates.

Box Photo

Mother of Theresa Lynch.

2 1

Father of Theresa Lynch.

2 2

Father of Theresa Lynch.

2 3

Theresa Lynch.

Box Photo

circa 1900.

2 4

circa 1912.

2 5

circa 1912.

2 6

circa 1915.

2 7

circa 1928.

2 8

circa 1950.

2 9

1971.

2 10

Theresa Lynch and fellow nurses holding three children in cart, circa 1920.

2 11

University of Pennsylvania, Luncheon for Emeritus Professors, 1965.

2 12

Distinguished Award Recipient, Nurses Alumni Association, Theresa Lynch, 1971.

2 13

Nurse and Friend, Lynch in retirement home, 1988.

2 14

Miscellaneous photographs, circa 1965-1985.

2 1

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Series 3.  School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, 1931-1985.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains materials of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. It begins with a history of the School of Nursing since its inception as a training school at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1886. The early part of the history comes from journal articles while the later part is partially typed or handwritten by Lynch herself. Another history file is an interview with Lynch on the history of the school between 1944-65. Also included in the series are an operating statement of the School for 1952-54, minutes, annual reports, curriculum, programs, correspondence, information on the School's alumni, and publications.

Box Folder

History, 1935-1975.

3 1

School of Nursing, Division of Medical Affairs, 1944-1965, Interview with Lynch, circa 1970.

3 2

Operating Statement, 1952-1954.

3 3

Minutes, 1931-1964.

3 4

Annual reports, 1942-1948.

3 5

Biennium report, 1950-1952.

3 6

Annual reports, 1954-1964.

3 7

Reports recommending the reorganization of the School of Nursing, 1931-1935.

3 8

Report of the Committee on Policy and Planning to the Educational Council re: establishment of a Nursing School, 1944.

3 9

Extensive report on the organization of the School of Nursing, 1963.

Box Folder

pages 1-111.

3 10

pages 112-237.

3 11

pages 238-end.

3 12

Development Needs in Medical Affairs Area, School of Nursing, 1965.

3 13

Differentiation Between the Basic Baccalaureate Program and the Associate Degree Program, 1957-1958.

3 14

Information on curriculum, 1935-1963.

3 15

Programs, 1917 and 1975.

3 16

Correspondence, 1935-1965, 1985.

3 17

Information on alumni, circa 1962-1970.

3 18

Information on faculty, 1948-1980.

3 19

Information on faculty retirement benefits, circa 1975.

3 20

Guidelines for nursing programs and projects, 1968.

3 21

Publications.

Box Folder

Course bulletins, 1951-1958.

4 22

Course bulletins, 1958-1964.

4 23

School of Nursing Basic Baccalaureate Program, circa 1960.

4 24

School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, newsletter, winter 1964.

4 25

Brochure: Become a member of the Theresa Lynch Society, 1985.

4 26

Society of the Alumni of the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania.

Box Folder

Program, 1966.

4 27

Newsletters, January 1972, winter 1981, and Fall 1985.

4 28

University of Pennsylvania.

Box Folder

Publication: Statues of the Corporation, 1959.

4 29

School of Medicine, Publications.

Box Folder

Bicentennial of Medical Education in the United States, 1965.

4 30

An Account of the Late John Morgan, 1965.

4 31

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Series 4.  Other Organizations, 1957-1976.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains materials of other organizations, among them the National League for Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The League files include guidelines, questionnaires, and recommendations by the League. There are also reports both by the League and the University of Pennsylvania's Nursing School on the issue of accreditation of Penn's nursing school. Also included are the League's correspondence with Penn and a publication entitled Criteria for the Appraisal of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs in Nursing. The College of Physicians file includes a 1974 project sponsored by the College to promote the writing of the history of nursing in Philadelphia.

National League for Nursing.

Box Folder

Review of Program for Public Health Nursing Accreditation, 1957.

4 1

Progress Report to Collegiate Board of Review Department of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, 1958.

4 2

Report: Collegiate Broad of Review questionnaire for accreditation and Penn's response, 1963.

4 3

Report of Visit for Accrediting Purposes to the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, 1963.

4 4

Report of the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, For the Survey by the Department of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Program, 1963.

Box Folder

pages 1-118.

4 5

pages 119-204 and Exhibit A.

4 6

Correspondence, 1954-1960.

4 7

Publication: Criteria for the Appraisal of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs in Nursing, 1967.

4 8

College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Box Folder

A Bicentennial Project of the Mutter Museum and Library College of Physicians of Philadelphia, include minutes of meeting and correspondents for the 1974 project, 1974-1976.

4 9

Brochure: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Founded 1787.

4 10

Miscellaneous.

Box Folder

The College of Nursing of the Crozer Foundation, program, 1968.

4 11

Sigma Theta Tau, National Honor Society of Nursing, newsletter, 1982.

4 12

Membership Handbook: A Guide for Membership Chairman, 1966.

4 13

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Series 5.  Artifacts, 1920-1947.

Scope and Contents note

This series is comprised of four artifacts: Lynch's HUP school pin class of 1920; a thermometer with silver case, Lynch's personal leather bound copy of Communicable Disease Nursing (1947), and 2nd edition of Communicable Disease Nursing (1949).

Box
5
Box

Lynch's HUP school pin class of 1920, a thermometer with silver case, Lynch's personal leather bound copy of Communicable Disease Nursing (1947), and 2nd edition of Communicable Disease Nursing (1949).

5

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