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Josephine A. Dolan Collection of Nursing History

Identifier: 1995-0028

Scope and Content

The records in this collection consist of materials gathered by the first nursing professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Josephine A. Dolan. The materials are primarily correspondence of the Wolcott family, articles and proceedings of various nursing organizations.

A considerable portion of the Wolcott Family correspondence has been digitized and is available online.


  • undated, 1833-1993


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


Josephine A. Dolan was the first professor of nursing at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She became interested in nursing history when she was given the class to teach in the nursing program. Miss Dolan collected materials to write a book on the history of nursing from dealers or, in the case of the Wolcott series, from descendants of the family. Miss Dolan died 13 December 2004.


6.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Josephine A. Dolan was the first professor of nursing at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Miss Dolan collected materials to write a book on the history of nursing from dealers or, in the case of the Wolcott series, from descendants of the family.


The collection is arranged in ten series:

Series I: The Wolcott Collection (undated, 1833-1975) contains the letters of Ella Louise Wolcott (1828-1912), a descendent of the prominent Wolcott family from South Windsor, Connecticut. Handwritten and official genealogy papers of the Wolcotts are included in the collection. E. L. Wolcott's letters to her sister, Julia Wolcott Carter, and niece, Helen Kirby Dwight, are contained in the collection along with correspondence with many other family members and relatives. E. L. Wolcott suffered from a dermatological illness and spent much time in treatment at various water cures in the East. After her father died suddenly in 1858, E. L. Wolcott's financial situation deteriorated. From 1863 to 1865, E. L. Wolcott worked for the U. S. Sanitary Commission as a nurse during the Civil War. After that, E. L. Wolcott worked as a librarian in Elmira, NY, where she had been treated at the water cure establishment. The Rev. Thomas Kinnicut Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the minister at the Park Church and he and his wife Julia corresponded with E. L. Wolcott.

Series II: Civil War Nursing (undated, 1843-1901) contains a copies of letters edited by Marion Dwight, a relation of the Wolcott family, from and to E. L. Wolcott when she was a nurse during the Civil War. E. L. Wolcott's correspondence includes letters to and from Dorothea L. Dix, a pioneer in nursing prior to the establishment of trained nursing in the late 1800s. Supply and diet lists for soldiers and copies of muster rolls documenting E. L. Wolcott's service are included. Another nurse, Harriet Eaton from Maine, wrote and received letters from her family during her Civil War service and these are in the series. Photos from the Civil War, World War I and the Army Nurse Corps, as well as articles and history about the American Red Cross are part of this series.

Series III: Nursing Schools and Organizations (undated, 1873-1978) contains historical articles regarding nursing schools and organizations as well as copies of convention reports. Reports of the first seven annual conventions (1894-1900) of the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses are included. Historical articles concerning the Bellevue, Boston, Philadelphia and Connecticut Training Schools are found in the series. The history of the Connecticut Training School's Alumni Association, including establishment and dissolution, is chronicled in correspondence and reports.

Series IV: Nursing Leaders (1867-1995) contains a collection of articles concerning nursing leaders such as Florence Nightingale, Linda Richards, Clara Louise Maass and Alice Fitzgerald are in the series. Copies of many brief biographies of nursing leaders (A - Z) can be found.

Series V: The International Council of Nurses (undated, 1925-1986) contains the correspondence of the prominent nurse Effie J. Taylor while she was president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), 1937-1947. E. J. Taylor was a psychiatric nurse who promoted university based nursing education and served as the second dean of the Yale School of Nursing. She was president of ICNduring World War II and the difficulties she faced, including assisting with the immigration of the organization's executive secretary Anna Schwarzenberg, are described in her correspondence. In addition, E. J. Taylor's notes, articles and photographs are included.

Series VI: The National League of Nursing Committee on Historical Source Materials in Nursing (undated, 1955-1970) contains resource lists and minutes under presidents Martha E. Rogers and Josephine A. Dolan. The purpose of this committee was to locate historical resources in nursing and also to work toward a national nursing archive.

Series VII: Nursing Education (1871-1973) contains articles concerning nursing education, including a copy of the Goldmark Report (1923). These articles recount the struggle to establish nursing education in the university setting and to set higher standards for nursing education and practice.

Series VIII: Other Historical Materials (undated, 1871-1970), includes the National League of Nursing's general correspondence and 1970 officers' biographies, Connecticut Nursing Association articles, correspondence and by-laws, Frontier Nursing Service information (1954), and articles about the history of medicine and nursing.

Series IX: Josephine A. Dolan (undated, 1931-1993) contains the professor's correspondence regarding the acquisition of materials. In addition, J. A. Dolan's class syllabus and book review are included.

Series X: Extractions (1851-1980)contains publications from the Josephine A. Dolan collection.

Acquisition Information

Miss Dolan donated her collection to Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut in 1996.

Digitized materials

Portions of this collection have been digitized and digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

Hopsital Notes Dodd WRT 24

Little Men Dodd A9763

Annual report of the National League of Nursing Education. (1918, 1920, 1932) Dodd Periodicals

Manual of Practice of Medicine. A8633

Josephine A. Dolan Collection of Nursing History
Archives & Special Collections staff
1997 May
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US