For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

The Legacy Center Blog

Dr. Lydia Allen DeVilbiss on the cover of the October 1944 edition of Medical Women’s Journal (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

Birth Control, Sex Education, and Eugenic Feminism: The Peculiar Activism of Women Physicians

Eugenic feminism was a movement that overlapped with the social hygiene movement, women's suffrage and the birth control movement, and explores the intersections of how women are responsible in making the right decisions for the better of the race. This blog post explores how women physicians' language used in the social hygiene movements were influenced by the eugenics movement, even though their ideology wasn't the same.

Read Full Post
Elizabeth Cisney Smith and Augustus Edwin Smith around the time of their marriage, 1903 (Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

Tea at the Turn of the Century: Exploring Small Town Life with Elizabeth Cisney Smith

The Isabel Smith Stein collection on Elizabeth Cisney Smith explores the life of Dr. Elizabeth Cisney Smith, a 1911 graduate of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. The collection includes school materials, diaries, memoirs, medical practice records, personal correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, and other writing and research related to Dr. Smith, most notably connected to her work in the suffrage movement. Much of the correspondence is between Dr. Smith and her husband, Edwin. This blog post explores one particular letter Dr. Smith sent to Edwin during the spring of 1901 regarding the affordability of bulk tea in a small town.

Read Full Post
Dr. Eleanor Way-Allen calling card.

Visiting Friends: Encounters in the Alumnae Files

The Alumnae Files of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania are files that track the graduates of the college throughout their careers, including their personal lives. Though many of the files may only contain an obituary, others can be filled with articles and letters about an individual’s life collected intentionally or by chance. This blog post explores when and how we use the Alumnae Files and the rewarding (and sometimes emotionally taxing) work that goes with it.

Read Full Post
The complete nervous system dissection known as “Harriet” (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

Dissecting Harriet Cole: Uncovering Women's History in the Archives

Harriet is a complete dissection of the cerebrospinal nervous system, dissected and mounted in 1888 by anatomist Dr. Rufus Weaver of Hahnemann Medical College. In the blog post the author attempts to use the Legacy Center collections and outside sources to uncover and document any concrete information about the living Harriet.

Read Full Post
Doris Bartuska, MD circa 1987 (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

The Story of Dr. Doris Bartuska: Sexism in Medicine during the 1950s to 1980s

The Doris Bartuska papers contain the work of Dr. Doris Bartuska, a 1954 graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, in the field of medicine and beyond. This blog post explores Dr. Bartuska's time as a physician from the 1950s to the 1980s, her experience with sexism, and the barriers she broke in a male dominated sphere.

Read Full Post
Dorothee Gold document (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

Impermanence

Doris Phillips Wheeler was a 1941 Austrian graduate from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania who began medical school during the Third Reich. This blog post explores how archives are places where lost stories and new insights can be found, such as that of Doris Phillips Wheelers life in coming to America before a major war broke out in her homeland.

Read Full Post
Medical Women’s International Association Fourth Congress, 1937 (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

Modern Miracle Women: Dr. Catharine Macfarlane a Leader in the Fight Against Cancer

Dr. Catharine Macfarlane was a pioneer in cancer research in determining that yearly exams were necessary in finding cancer in the early stages. This blog explores her journey from the 4th Congress of the Medical Women's International Association in Scotland to opening the first cancer prevention clinic in America which attracted both medical professionals and laypeople.

Read Full Post
Bound volumes of Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia meeting minutes (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

On the Evolution of Meeting Minutes: Formality and Degrees of Richness

Founded in 1868, the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia started as an educational organization for those who were interested women diseases and health issues. This blog post explores the importance of minutes to show the inner workings of the medical society.

Read Full Post
Elizabeth Hocker, MD circa 1917 (The Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections)

"We called them our boys": Primary Sources on WWI Caregiving

Diana Lewis, 1912 graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania Nurse's Training School served in the American Expeditionary Forces as a Base Hospital nurse in France during the Great War in 1917-1919 and kept a scrapbook as a record of her time. This blog post explains how the study of Nurse Lewis's scrapbook led to the discovery of Dr. Elizabeth Hocker's letters that spoke to how the women physicians and nurses surrounded by the male soldiers (wounded and dying) felt emotionally connected to them.

Read Full Post