Finding Aid to the Nursery and Child’s Hospital Manuscript Collection, 1879-1970, MS 3180

Finding Aid to the Nursery and Child’s Hospital Manuscript Collection, 1879-1970, MS 3180

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary 

Title

Nursery and Child’s Hospital Manuscript Collection

Creator

Woodbourne Center

Call number

MS 3180

Inclusive dates

1879-1970

Bulk dates

1915-1969

Extent

5 boxes

Abstract

Contains the records of the Nursery and Child’s Hospital, including Board of Directors meeting minutes, patient rosters, and financial documents.

Administrative summary

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Box 5 restricted from public use.  

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.

Provenance

Gift of the Woodbourne Center, May 12, 2015

Accession number

2015-026-LIB

Processing note

Processed by Lara Westwood, February 2016

 

Historical Note

The Nursery and Child’s Hospital was founded in 1875 as the Protestant Infant Asylum of Baltimore City. A group of the city’s women, led by Mrs. William H. Brune, were concerned by the lack of Protestant orphanages. They founded the nondenominational asylum to care for orphaned and abandoned babies and find them adoptive families which would operate on charitable donations. The asylum was given two rooms at the Maternité Hospital at 113 West Lombard Street in Baltimore, and doctors and nurses from the College of Physicians and Surgeons attended to the medical needs of the children. The institution took sixty-six infants in its first year. It was decided to move to a new location at Gilmor and Presstman Streets to accommodate the large number of wards. The asylum was able to find families for eleven children in its first year, but the early years also were plagued by very high mortality rates because of illness and malnutrition. The Board was forced to purchase a lot in Loudon Park Cemetery.

The asylum moved once again in 1879 to the former Schroeder mansion at 400-410 North Schroeder Street, which had previously housed the Union Orphan Asylum. The asylum became the Nursery and Child’s Hospital and added additional services. The mansion was expanded during the 1880’s to create a separate hospital wing. The nursery provided care for orphaned children up to age four. The hospital provided medical services free of charge to impoverished children up to 15 years old, and a free dispensary was opened in the 1890’s. The hospital also began to receive financial support from the city and state for its work. Beginning in 1925, a significant portion of the funding came from Baltimore’s Community Fund.

The organization also moved away from taking babies under six months and began to focus on children two to six years old. The wards could be housed at the facility or placed with foster homes. In some instances, parents would temporarily admit their children to the orphanage, because they could not afford to care for them. Oftentimes, when their circumstances improved, they were able to take their children back. They received schooling at the facility. If a child had not been fostered or adopted by the time he or she reached the age limit, he or she would be placed with another city agency.   

In 1932, the Nursery and Child’s Hospital moved to 420-422 North Fulton Street, because the Schroeder Street buildings had become antiquated and unusable. This was only a temporary space for the institution, because the following year, property was purchased on Woodbourne Avenue to build a tailored facility. The move also led to the end of the end of the organization’s hospital work. The new building at 721 Woodbourne Avenue opened in 1938 and the institution once again changed its name and took on a new identity.

The Nursery and Child Study Home of Maryland, Inc. became a group home which cared for children who struggled to find a place elsewhere. The new admittances ranged in age from four to fourteen. These children were faced different challenges often had severe emotional and behavioral issues which required close supervision and psychiatric care. This included chronic truants, those who had difficulties adjusting to foster care, and some juvenile court cases. The home employed an on-site psychiatrist, an on-call medical doctor, and nurses, and housemothers and fathers to care for the children. This change in mission also necessitated another name change in 1943 to the Child Study Center of Maryland which reflected its new services. The center’s goal was to rehabilitate the children in its care, so they could return to society. The study center continued in this vein for many years and evolved its practices and policies as the field of child psychiatry changed and grew. In 1964, the center became affiliated with the Children’s Psychiatric Services of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The Woodbourne property was eventually sold to the Baltimore City Department of Juvenile Services. The center became the Woodbourne Center which still operates as a residential treatment center for boys with severe mental health issues.

Related Collections:

Nursery and Child's Hospital Photograph Collection, PP308

Scope and Content

The collection contains the records of the Nursery and Child’s Hospital, including Board of Directors meeting minutes, patient rosters, and financial documents. The records show the evolution of the hospital’s function and treatment styles over the years. The Committee of Management and Board of Directors documents discuss at length not only the practical matters of the running the institution but the philosophy of working with the patients and wards in its care. The studies and reports done both by staff and external agencies held in the collection also show the shift in mission and practices of the Nursery and Child’s Hospital from a hospital to a treatment center for emotionally disturbed and/or developmentally disabled children.

Of particular interest are the patient/ward rosters which provide in-depth information about each child in the institution’s care, including reasons for admission, health issues, and disposition after leaving. Several studies were also conducted on these children, the results of which are included in the collection, provide insight into their experiences at the institution. The rosters also provide a wealth of genealogical information. Adoptive parents, circumstances of their placement at the center, and health data are included in the registers.

The collection is divided into eight series which reflect the nature of the contents. These series are History, Administration, Finances, Board of Directors, Committee of Management, Patients, Miscellaneous, and Ledgers. The documents are arranged chronologically within these series.

Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Nursery and Child's Hospital Photograph Collection, PP308

Container List

Contents 

Dates 

Box 

Folder 

Series I: History

 

 

 

Histories

1949-1967

1

1

Newspaper clippings

1879-1969

1

2

Series II: Administration

 

 

 

Constitution and by-laws

No date; 1921-1970

1

3

Annual reports

1940-1969

1

4

Reports, surveys, evaluations, etc.

No date; 1930-1965

1

5

Loudon Park Cemetery

1915-1934

1

6

Woodbourne Avenue building

1937

1

7

Woodbourne Avenue property appraisals

1971

1

8

Employee handbook

No date

1

9

“Principles and Practice of Child Care Work”

No date

1

10

Series III: Finances

 

 

 

Financial documents

No date; 1918-1930

1

11

Financial documents

1931

1

12

Financial documents

1932-1938

1

13

Financial documents

1939

1

14

Financial documents

1940-1967

1

15

Series IV: Board of Directors

 

 

 

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1917-1924

2

16

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1925-1928

2

17

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1929-1931

2

18

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1937-1938

2

19

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1939

2

20

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1940

2

21

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1941

2

22

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1942

2

23

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1943

2

24

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1946-1948

2

25

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1949-1951

2

26

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1952-1954

2

27

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1955-1957

2

28

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1967-1968

2

29

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1969

2

30

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1969

3

31

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1970

3

32

Series V: Committee of Management

 

 

 

Board of Managers meeting minutes

1939

3

33

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1940

3

34

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1941-1942

3

35

Meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, etc.

1948-1951

3

36

Series VI: Patients

 

 

 

Study of children treated

Ca. 1940

3

37

“Self-regarding attitudes” study

1961

3

38

Patient rosters/adoptions

1913-1937

3

39

Adoption inquires and forms

1925-1948

3

40

Series VII: Miscellaneous

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

No date; 1925-1934

3

41

Series VIII: Ledgers

 

 

 

Cash book

1927-1942

4

 

Minute book

1912-1920

4

 

Nursery department record book

Ca. 1895-1920

4

 

Nursery department record book (NOTE: Restricted from public use due to water and mold damage. Photocopies of all information can be found in Box 3 Folder 39)

1917-1929

5

 

Nursery department record book (NOTE: Restricted from public use due to water and mold damage. Photocopies of all information can be found in Box 3 Folder 39)

1919-1923

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games