Visiting Nurse Association of Boston
Scope:
The Visiting Nurses Association of Boston collection consists of manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, video, and printed material.

Manuscripts include various reports and minutes of meetings of the Instructive District Nurses Association (1886-1887); highly detailed monthly records of cases and visits, listed by individual nurse (1888-1896); and a record of cases broken down by district (1890-1891).  Also present are a number of reports from committees charged with the investigation of specific issues: placement of nurses (1894-1896, 1905-1907); real estate acquisition (1908); nursing education, salaries, and promotion (1913, 1915).  Material about the Great Chelsea Filre includes "A Report of Help Given at the Scenic Temple, a Shelter for the Poor, Following the Chelsea Fire," by "M. McAvoy, Nurse" (1908); "Daily Notes made of Nursing Activities during the Chelsea Fire," by Katherine B. Codman (1908); "The Work in Chelsea," by Martha H. Clark, Superintendent, IDNA (1908); and "District Nursing After the Chelsea Fire," by Katherine B. Codman (1908). There are also minutes from meetings of the IDNA Board of Trustees (1913); the Visiting Nurse Managers, presented at the Atlantic City Convention for Public Health Nursing (1913); and minutes from the Executive Committee of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing (1915); a draft of "The Visiting Nurse Association Moves Ahead," by Alice M. Dempsey, Director; a paper presented at the Annual Board-Staff Meeting (1916); minutes from the various committees associated with The Milk and Baby Hygiene Association (1909-1922), which in part deal with the Association's merger with the IDNA to form the Community Health Association (1923); which underwent one final name change in 1945 to become the Visiting Nurses Association. There are also minutes from the meetings of the Society for Relief of the Sick Poor of Roxbury (1888-1905); "The Hospital Without Walls, 1836-1936: the Commonwealth Health Association" (1936); "A Fanfare for Nurses," composed and performed at the Centennial Gala, by trumpet virtuoso Mel Broiles (1985); "Remembrances of Home Delivery Nurses: A Study of the Former Home Delivery Service of the VNA," by Alice Howell Friedman (1986); "The VNA of Boston Home Delivery Service: An Important Contribution to the Community, 1900-1948," by Alice Howell Friedman; and "History of the VNA of Boston Nurses Strike, 1980-1981."

Photographs include a set of photos (ca. 1905-1925) with images that include: inside and outside tenements for the poor in Boston; the District Nurse assisting the physician, caring for sick adults, as well as children, giving instruction to mothers for the care of their newborns and in preparation of modified milk; group photographs of graduate nursing classes, and a few photos of nurses leaving for Red Cross duty during World War I.  Also present are several glass plate negatives and lantern slides (early 1900s); Centennial Celebration photographs with VNA Boston officers Alice Dempsey, Ruth Farrisey, Eleanor Pajumen, former ambassador John Volpe, Boston University Vice President Edwin Penn, and a crowd looking at a VNA exhibition held at Boston University, Mugar Memorial Library (1985). There are photographs of Marilyn Bailey, Ruth Farrisey, Eileen Nolan, Carol Crawford, Eileen Freitag, and the first class of interns with their preceptors; Beverly Wancho, AIDS Nurse Coordinator, on the Walk for AIDS; and President Shepard Remis, Chairman, VNA of Boston Board of Directors (1987-1990).

Memorabilia includes: pen-and-ink sketches of visiting nurses that appeared in Community Health Association brochures in the 1920s; a sketch of Old North Church, Boston, by Marion Bullard; an American Red Cross poster reading "On the Job for 75 Years, the Greatest Mother in the World"; a Proclamation, "Visiting Nurse Week," issued by Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis (1984-1985); a number of scrapbooks (1890s-1911, 1913-1915, 1915-1917, 1917-1921, 1921-1922, 1931-1932) with printed forms used by IDNA, fundraising form letters, newspaper clippings, advertising, leaflets pertaining to the Community Health Association (1931-1932), and other items; patches to be worn designating status as a registered nurse; "Luminations," a program from the dedication of the Elizabeth Brooks Ford Building, Cleveland, Ohio, VNA (1994); and a "Letter of Award," presented to the IDNA by the Committee on Awards, U.S.A., Liberal Arts, as part of the Columbian Exposition (1894).

Video recordings in the collection consists of the VHS video cassettes: "Greater Lynne Presentation Videotape"; and "Healing At Home: A Profile of the Waltham Visiting Nurses," for Waltham Cable Access.

Printed material includes leaflets, newspaper clippings, fund-raising brochures, articles, etc., related to, or published by, the IDNA/Community Health Association/VNA; these include "Instructive District Nursing," by Mrs. W.T. Sedgwick, reprinted from The Forum (1896).  Also present is other material related to IDNA and other visiting nurse organizations (1905-1968); convention-related handbooks (1909); publications of the Community Health Association (1914-1940); publications of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing (1914-1922); publications on public health nursing in general (1926, 1941, 1949); and newspaper clippings (1922-1960). Publications by other agencies include: "Maternal and Health Sources in Boston" (1962); "Criteria: Evaluating Administration of a Public Health Nursing Service," published by the National League for Nursing (1962); and "Staff Nurses Handbook," produced by the VNA (1983). Other printed material includes: "The Story of the School of Nursing," Simmons College, reprinted from Simmons Review, Mid-Century Jubilee Issue; "The IDNA: Its Initiatives in Developing a Training Program for Public Health Nursing, 1906-1933," by Ruth M. Farrisey, a supplement to The History of the VNA in Boston (1985); articles about Commonwealth Health Association (1923, 1924); with other public health nursing articles appearing in Nursing Outlook (1954, 1968); American Journal of Public Health (1984); articles on mental health appearing in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care (1967); with general articles on the organization appearing in the Boston American (1924); the Boston Transcript (1925); Boston Magazine (1964); Boston Herald American (1981); and the Boston Globe (1984); and nationally, Look Magazine (1960).  There are several issues of VNA house publications, including House Calls (1983-1985); and Inside (1983-1986). There is also "The Reflection of England's Light: the Instructive District Nursing Association of Boston, 1884-1914," by Carrie Howse, published in Nursing History Review 17 (2009).

There are similar, but smaller collections for the Visiting Nurses Association of Brookline, MA and the Visiting Nurses Association of New Haven, CT.
Associated Subjects
1. Reports -- Massachusetts -- Boston
2. Nursing – Massachusetts – Boston
3. Photographs – Massachusetts – Boston
4. Audiotapes -- Massachusetts -- Boston
5. Community health nursing – Massachusetts – Boston
6. Financial records – Massachusetts – Boston
7. Memorabilia – Massachusetts – Boston
8. Scrapbooks – Massachusetts – Boston
9. Visiting nurses – Massachusetts – Boston
10. Minutes – Massachusetts – Boston