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Nursing history show and tell: Issue 6

Feb 20, 2020
Guylaine Spencer

The McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences Archives houses several collections, including those of the McMaster School of Nursing. This is one in a series of articles highlighting some of our historic treasures.

Artifacts: Henrietta’s Scrapbooks

capping of students

Photo above: This is a news clipping from the Hamilton Spectator, August 8, 1948. Left to right: Mary Ingham, Joan Webb (incorrectly identified as Jean Robertson), Henrietta Alderson (incorrectly identified in newspaper but corrected in scrapbook), Frances Austin and Theresa Plenderleith. The occasion is the annual capping ceremony.

A box of scrapbooks in the FHS Archives contains photographs and news stories from the early days of the McMaster School of Nursing. Former professor Henrietta Alderson put these scrapbooks together when she was preparing her book, "Twenty-five years a-growing: the History of the McMaster University School of Nursing", which she wrote after she retired in 1975.

Globe and Mail article

Photo above: A news clipping from the Globe and Mail, March 7, 1949. The spread included 5 photographs and a story subtitled “Curriculum includes long practical training”. The photo at left shows students learning how to use an instrument to count bacteria. From left to right:  Margaret Peart, Agnes Dick, Dorothy Baxter and Dr. J.J. Miller. The photo at right shows students visiting city homes with the Victorian Order of Nurses. Janet Thompson, VON, shows Jean Robertson how to bathe a patient.

graduates of 1949

Photo above: A news clipping from the Toronto Daily Star, April 18, 1949 showing the first graduates of the BScN program at McMaster University. Front row: Jean McGregor, Marguerite Ellesworth, Joyce Nevitt. Back row: Katherine Schubert, Eileen Dyson. Prior to this, there was an Arts Course and Nurses training program at McMaster, but it only lasted 3 years with 8 graduates in total. 

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Previous history artifacts stories:

1952 film promoting the School of Nursing

Architect’s drawings of the proposed School of Nursing Building

Margaret’s Bible

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