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Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital collection

MC 71

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

University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital.
Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital collection
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
MC 71
18 Linear feet
This collection consists of papers, administrative records, artifacts, and photographs that document many operational aspects of the Alumnae Association of the Philadelphia General Hospital. Of note are the personal papers of Alice Fisher.
Cite as:
Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital collection, Barbara Bates Center for The Study of The History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
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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.

Scope and Contents

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.

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 (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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of the Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital.

Processing Information note

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.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

See also: MC 5A, Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing Records; MC 13A, Alumni Association of Philadelphia General Hospital Training School For Nurses photographs; MC 72, Philadelphia General Hospital School for Nurses Student Files collection; and MC 210, Philadelphia General Hospital miscellaneous collection.

You can view the collection on our Philadelphia General Hospital Photo Collection site.

Records of the Training School for Nurses, Philadelphia General Hospital (PGH) can be located at the Philadelphia City Archives. These materials primarily relate to activities from 1990's - 2005.

Offical Student Records are located at the Philadelphia City Archives. Please contact them for more information.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Alumni Association of the Training School for Nurses of Philadelphia General Hospital.
  • Philadelphia General Hospital.
  • Administrative records
  • Personal papers
  • Printed ephemera
  • School yearbooks
Geographic Name(s)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
  • Nurses
  • Nursing schools.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1.  Bulletins, 1915-1991, 1997-2005.

Scope and Contents note

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.

Box Folder


1 1


1 2


1 3


1 4


1 5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9


1 10


1 11


1 12


1 13


1 14


1 15


1 16


1 17


1 18


1 19


1 20


2 21


2 22


2 23


2 24


2 25


2 26


2 27


2 28


2 29


2 30


2 31


2 32


2 33


2 34


2 35


3 36


3 37


3 38


3 39


3 40


3 41


3 42


3 43


3 44


3 45


3 46


3 47


3 48


3 49


3 50


3 51


3 52


3 53

Accretion: Accession 2006.20, September 1997–May 2005.


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Series 2.  Personal Papers, 1874-1890.

Scope and Contents note

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.

Alice Fisher.

Box Folder

Pamphlet, Information for Applicants for Admission into Philadelphia Hospital Training School for Nurses, 1890.

4 1

1 page examination, handwritten by Alice Fisher, circa 1885-1888.

4 2

Correspondence and Will, circa 1885-1888.

4 3

Notes, re: Alice Fisher's grave, 1916 and undated.

4 4

Printed biographical article, re: Alice Fisher, circa 1889.

4 5

In Memoriam, posthumous tribute to Alice Fisher, printed volume circa 1889, printed testimonial, undated.

4 6

Josephine Spengler, PGH Class of 1926.

Box Folder

Newspaper clippings, PGH, circa 1965-1976; Letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, circa 1962.

4 7

PGH brochures, 1950-1970s.

4 8

Speeches, letters, papers: historical sketches of PGH and AATSN and Alice Fisher Memorial Fund; correspondence on Alice Fisher's background; Dora Mathis Award; speeches and prose, 1950s-1953.

4 9

Leaders of American Nursing Calendar, 1924.

4 10

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Series 3.  Publications, 1916-1954.

Scope and Contents note

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.

Box Folder

Two articles: The Girard Letter, "Philadelphia General Hospital" December 1932; and "Tribute to Blockley" by Pascal F. Lucchessi, M.D. July 10, 1954.

5 1

Book: The History of Blockley, by John Welsh Croskey, 1929.


Book: Blockley Days: The Memories and Impressions of a Resident Physician, 1883-1884, by Arthur Ames Bliss, 1916.



Box Carton

Scope 1916-1918.

19 PGSN:0011

Scope 1924-1929.

20 PGSN:0011

Scope 1930-1931.

21 PGSN:0012

Scope 1922-1929.

22 PSGN:0013

Scope 1930-1939 (duplicates for '30, '32, '34, '35, '36, '37).

23 PSGN:0014

Scope 1940-1959.

24 PSGN:0015

Scope 1940-1959 (no '41, '52).

25 PSGN:0016

Scope 1960-1977.

26 PSGN:0017

Scope 1960-1977 (no '60, '77).

27 PSGN:0018

Scope 1951.

28 PGSN:0019
Not from PGH.
28 PGSN:0019

The Scope, bicentennial edition, UPenn School of Medicine, 1940.

The Scope, UPenn, School of Medicine, 1942.

The Scope, UPenn, School of Medicine, 1952.

Robert Packer School of Nursing (PA), 1959-1962.

Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital School of Nursing, 1953, 1955.

Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing, 1946.

The Army School of Nursing, 1921, 1924, 1929.

St. Mary's School of Nursing (Maryville), 1960.

St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing (New York), 1964.

Bryn Mawr Hospital School of Nursing, 1950, 1953.

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Series 4.  Administrative Records, 1885-1970s.

Scope and Contents note

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.

Box Folder

Alice Fisher Alumnae Club Illustrated Souvenir Book, circa 1891.

6 1

History of Alumnae Association 1988; Charter and by-laws circa 1962 and undated.

6 2

Report of the Training School and the Alumnae Association 1885-1914; Course of instructions 1913-1914; and list of graduates and where employed.

6 3

Annual banquet programs, 1933-1976.

6 4

PGH Association of Ex-resident and Resident Physicians with Dr. Phaler's speech, December 1, 1936; 225th Anniversary of the founding of Philadelphia General Hospital, December 7, 1954.

6 5

Collection of programs and services, 1933, 1948 and 1966-1968.

6 6

Alumnae Association 40th Anniversary, 1933; List of officers, 1949; Summary of contributions to PGH, 1950; Annual Banquet, 1958; Correspondence regarding Alice Fisher memorial, 1963; Address to the Nursing School, June 1974; Annual Report, September 8, 1975; PGH Training School for Nurses' Annual Report to the Alumnae Association, 1975-1976; List of activities, 1979.

6 7

Charter of by-laws of Alumnae Association, 1972.

6 8

Letters re: positions of Director and Associate Director, 1964.

6 9

Annual report of PGH School of Nursing and Nursing Service- M. Jackson, 1956-1963.

6 10

Annual report of PGH School of Nursing and Nursing Service- S. A. Stachniewicz, 1974.

6 11

Annual report- PGH Dept. of Nursing- M. Jackson, 1958.

6 12

PGH news releases, 1961.

6 13

PGH Alumni scholarship aid, 1963-67.

6 14

PGH annual alumni banquet, 1964.

6 15

PGH annual alumni banquet, 1965.

6 16

History of Nursing- Resource material, 1966-67.

6 17

PGH Nurses infirmary alumne rooms, 1967.

6 18

PGH Alumnae Association correspondence, 1967.

6 19

Osler memorial building, 1940.

6 20

Correspondence, 1966-1969.

6 21

PGH Alumni correspondence regarding nursing office, 1968-1976.

6 22

PSH School of Nursing graduate cap and student cap.

6 23

Alice Fisher article, 1893.

6 24

City of Philadelphia ordinance- Civic Center Blvd, 1966.

6 25

Misc articles.

6 26

Collection of Diplomas.


Annie Bright, 1888.


Lottie Vieth, 1888.


Clara Elizabeth Heibeck, 1896.


Emilie Riegel Schneider, 1909.




Organdy fabric used for making caps, brought in by Mr. Sampson.


2 white nurses caps with black trim.


1 plain white nurses cap, no trim.


1 plain white nurses cap no trim, in plastic cover.


Black gavel, inscribed: To Miss M. Malloway with affectionate greeting, from the Alice Fisher Alumnae, 1906.


PGH pins, undated.



Philadelphia General Hospital.
Box Photo

Kathryn Campbell Graham, (picture was used in "Scope"), circa 1954.

9 1

Nurses with children and two women, circa 1960s.

9 2

Nurses with children and two women, circa 1960s.

9 2a

Nurse with little boy, circa 1960s.

9 3

Nurse with children, circa 1960s.

9 4

Woman with crutches attempting to walk towards a nurse, circa 1960s.

9 5

Two children standing in a crib and nurse, circa 1960s.

9 6

Little girl in crib and a nurse, circa 1960s.

9 7

Nurse listening to patient's heart, circa 1960s.

9 8

Nurse assisting a doctor, circa 1960s.

9 9

Doctors conferencing at desk, circa 1960s.

9 10

Nurse and female doctor with patient, circa 1960s.

9 11

Nurses checking reports, circa 1960s.

9 12

Medical equipment.

9 13

Coronary Care Unit.

9 14

Nurse and patient with crutches, cut out from a PR brochure.

9 15

Philadelphia General Hospital.

9 16

Nurse receiving an award, circa 1970s.

9 17

Katie Ulshafer, circa 1971.

9 18

Evelyn Carpenter, circa 1970.

9 19
Alumnae Association Activities.
Box Photo

Event, 1970s.

9 20-35

Special Occasion (with negatives), 1970s.

9 36-40

Event (with negatives), 1970s.

9 41-48

Artifacts- Unprocessed.


Bronze Sun Dial 1935.


Bell, Stamp for Gold Metal Awarded to PGH Student (Gift of S. Stachniewicz).


Copper plate w/Photo.


United States Flag, draped over casket of Sarah Bell, Class of 1908.


Nurse Uniform Parts, Early 1900s.


Bronze Plaque Honoring PGH nurses in Spanish American War.


Cash Box.


Graduate Nurse Pin.


Pin, Philadelphia Hospital Training School.


Key Case w/1 key. Note inside: "Metal Box in Safe".


Red Leather Box (outside label:: Gift of Carrie Epply) containing pin in shape of Red Cross: "PHTS".


Nightingale, Florence, Medal, Amer. Nurses Memorial, Bordeaux, France.


Basketball Medal, gift of Martha Heller.


Pin, [PA] State Board of Examiners for Registration of Nurses, Gift of Mrs. Martin V. Brennan.


Fisher, Alice, Cruciform Brass Fob. Engraved: Alice Fisher, June 3rd 1888.


Gavel, "To Miss M. Molloy with affectionate greetings from the Alice Fisher Alumnae 1906.

8 PGSN:0004

Cap (mesh).

8 PGSN:0004

PGH pin (several identical pins).

8 PGSN:0004

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Box Carton

Photographs (include 1977 banquet project).

9 PGSN:0004

Old Blockey Historic notes and timeline, 1731-1977.


Binder 1.

Binder 2.

Binder 3- newspaper clippings, 1953-1954.

Binder 4- newspaper clippings, 1930-1953.

Materials related to the history of: PGH, US Public Health Service, American Red Cross, Florence Nightingale.


Navy Nurse Corps- History of Recruitment.

US Public Health Service- Nursing, 1949.

US Public Health Service- Indian Service US Department of Interior, 1950-1959.

Red Cross Society of Japan- History, 1904.

League of Red Cross Societies, Board of Governors, 1925.

League of Red Cross Societies, The World's Health, 1929.

Red Cross Courier, Memorial to Nurses Who Died in the War [World War I], 1934.

American Red Cross, Instructor's Manual Home Nursing, 1943.

American Red Cross, Recruitment Brochures, 1949-1954.

Methodist Episcopal Hospital student nurse handbook, 1955.

Newspaper articles, death of Florence Nightingale, 1910.

History of Nursing Notebook by Elizabeth M. Jamieson adn Mary Sewall, 1941.

The Wonder book of Florence Nightingale- Nurses and Healing, 1962.

Brochure- Nightingale Exhibit by the NLN at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

Florence Nightingale- Brochure, portrait, poster, 1929-1970.

ANA Information Bureau The Bulletin for ANA, NLNE, NOPHN, 1937-1939.

ANA Information Bureau Professional Nursing for ANA, NLNE, NOPHN, 1940-1947.

AJN Newsletter, 1946-1947.

photocopy of Founders' Week Memorial Volume.

1977 PGH Banquet project notes.

Nurses caps- articles and brochures, 1949-1968.

Blockley the Double Frills articles, 1938-1963.

Capping ceremonies brochures, 1940-1963.

Historical notes on Philadelphia General Hospital 1730-1960 and Original compliation by Ernestine Kittl 1913-1950 Hand copied by Helen B. Dopsovic 1989.

Historical notes on Philadelphia General Hospital 1730-1960 and Original compliation by Ernestine Kittl 1913-1950 Hand copied by Helen B. Dopsovic 1989.

Misc. photographs.

PGH publications.


PGH poster mailing.

PGH about the school booklets.

"I, too miss Old Blockley", a remembrance of things past, PGH Reunion, March 20, 1982.

The Origin of the Philadelphia General Hospital Blockley Division by Robert J. Hunter, M.D., commemorative edition, 1977.

Review in General, final issue, 1977.

Scope, 1969, 1975.

Photo database listing.

Materials from S. Stachniewicz regarding the packing/cataloguing of photographs, and final events for PGH.


PGH photographs and procedure letters.


50th anniversary PGH, guest book, 1935.

Photographs, 2 of reunion for 1946-47, several of cadet nurses c. 1940s.

Photographs of nurses and patients at PGH, c. 1890-1920.

Admissions procedure letters and materials for Caroline Lillian Glassmeyer, 1944.

Admissions procedure letters and materials for Caroline Lillian Glassmeyer (copies, 2 folders), 1944.

The Bulletin, 1973-1986.

Eight years of clinical and educational work in the community- with an analysis of the findings in 4091 cases examined at the mental clinics, reprinted from AJN, September 1929.

Materials from S. Stachniewicz (Gifted in 2001).


Tri-institutional nurses education building dedication and other building information.


Course outline and lesson plan Microbiology, school activities, c. 1963-1969.

PGH Oral History Project, Ernest Zeger (2), November 1994.

Tri-institutional nurses education building dedication and fact sheet, 1973.

Letter, NLN school closer.

Workshop working with the elderly.

AJN and its company, 1900-1975.

The Nighingale Training School St. Thomas Hospital, 1860-1960.

Review in general, 1970.

Milton Freiwald MD, eye care articles, 1959-1975.

Truman G. Schnabel MD commencement address, 1982.

The Origin of the Philadelphia General Hospital Blockley Division by Robert J. Hunter, M.D.

Benjamin Franklin and the rise of free treatment of the poor by the medical profession of Philadelphia by Robert J. Hunter M.D.

PGH Lesson plans.


Mary C. Jesse, RN, PGH Instructor.

Bio-Science I, 1971.

Bio-Science, 1972-1976.

Bio- Science II, 1972-1976.

Nursing III, 1975.

Bio-Science I, Unit I, 1975-1976.

Bio-Science I, Unit II, 1975-1976.

Bio-Science I, Unit III, 1975-1976.

Bio-Science II, Unit I, 1972-1976.

Bio-Science II, Unit II, 1972-1976.

Bio-Science II, Unit III, 1972-1976.

Bio-Science II Exams, 1972-1976.

Telephone Directory and Listing, 1974, 1975, 1976.

PGH Alumnae Association charter changes.

PGH publications, Alumni History Task Force, and other materials.


Blockley News and other programs and pamphlets from PGH, c. 1950.

PGH postcard.

Clinical Ophthalmology PGH student nurses' guide, c. 1963.

Photographs (1) nurse at phone 1960s, (1) instruments used by Dr. Osler, (1) board meeting.

PGH History Tasks Force.

PGH oral history transcript, Dr. John D. Hallahan.

Photographs, Lillian Clayton funeral.

Photographs, candids, c. 1930s.

Photographs, ward, student nurses in class, 1921, 1949.

A History of Medicine in Pictures.

Correspondence for refinishing Alumnae room; Board of directors meetings, 1969-1970.

Artifacts and oversized items.


Reproductions in large envelope inscribed: "Osler at Old Blockley" + 4 add'l items.

Nightingale, Florence, Letter, Facsimile, Dated: 6th May 1881.

Nurses Patient Record Checklist, St. Thomas Hospital.

Fisher, Alice, Postcards (B&W) of Alice Barber Stephens painting.

St. Thomas Hospital, Envelope.

Folders of various letters, invitations, etc.

Nightingale, Florence, Autograph.

Newspaper clippings (moved to PGSN:0024).

"Saga of PGH" cassettes (4) and video tapes (2).

29 PGSN:0012

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