A while back I mentioned that I was about to embark on a new project for the archives, now that it’s official I can talk about it. In 2005, Donna Snelson and a group of nurses interested in preserving the history of nursing in Northeastern Pennsylvania founded The Center for Nursing History at Misericordia University. The collection itself was housed and maintained in the Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives but did not technically belong to the Archives or to the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library, instead it fell under the Nursing Department. Recently, ownership of the collection was transferred to the Archives. Transferring ownership of the collection to the Archives allows for greater flexibility and accessibility for the collection. One of the major projects I will begin working on with Donna Snelson and other members of the nursing department is putting the pictures on flickr.
My first “outing” as the archivist for Misericordia University was a reunion for the Wilkes-Barre General Alumni Association’s Class of 1958. I met many wonderful people at this reunion who had some incredible stories to tell about what nursing was like “back in the day.” At the reunion, they asked me about putting the pictures on flickr and allowing them the opportunity to see them and share their memories with each other. I promised them that as soon as I received the go ahead, I would do so.
I now have a volunteer who will work strictly with The Center for Nursing History collection and will begin scanning photographs for me next week. She will begin with the earliest (but least fragile) photographs and move forward. Some of the photographs that we have date from the mid to late 1800s. We tried doing a test scan of those today and they simply did not come out very well; the nurses were in all white, so there were contrast issues. If you have suggestions on how to make adjustments, I would appreciate the tips.
To say I’m excited about the opportunities for the Archives and for the development of our special collections, would be putting it mildly. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures.