The Midwest Nursing History Resource Center
Among the Center’s earliest acquisitions were valuable records from the Illinois Training School for Nurses Alumnae Association. The Illinois Training School (ITS), in existence from 1880 to 1929, was the first recognized school of nursing in the Midwest, and counted among its Superintendents such nursing leaders as Isabel Hamptom Robb, Lavinia Dock, Helen Scott Hay, and Isabel McIsaac. Now located in the Special Collections of the Library of Health Sciences the collection includes noteworthy items such as the original letters of Mary Brown Dewey, including her invitation to be the first Superintendent of the school; correspondence between the Board of Lady Managers of the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) asking that ITS set up a model hospital at the World’s Fair; and a scrapbook of letters from the ITS class of 1904 describing their post-graduate nursing activities.
Visitors to the UIC Midwest Nursing History Resource Center will see nursing uniforms from the turn of the century, World Wars I and II, and the Cadet Nurse Corps, as well as early student nursing uniforms from Cook County Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Wesley Memorial Hospital and Chicago State University School of Nursing. Furniture, artifacts, and class photographs and portraits from ITS and other nursing schools are also on display.
Of special interest is a midwifery bag from 1900 that includes an umbilical scissors, string, catheter, hemostat and scrub brush. A slip of paper in the bag noted that $10.00 was the standard charge for delivery of a baby.
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