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Women's Collections in Historical Collections at WHSC Library

Collections and/or records of women housed in the Historical Collections of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library


This LibGuide highlights women’s collections housed in the Historical Collections of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. The women listed below made significant contributions in their area of expertise whether providing medical aid to World War I soldiers or shaping an institution such as the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing or contributing to our understanding of medical librarianship. 

Historical Collections is open to accepting collections to enrich our understanding of women's contributions in the area of medicine, nursing, and the health sciences at Emory University as well as the broader southeastern United States.

Unless noted otherwise, these collections are available in-person only.  

Leila Harrison Anderson collection, 1907-1919

Scrapbook of Leila Anderson including two black and white group photos of people in uniform, the American Red Cross insignia and a wartime poem

A graduate of the Wesley Memorial Hospital Training School for Nurses, Leila Anderson served in the Emory Unit during World War I. The Emory Unit was a volunteer medical regiment. During World War I, the Emory Unit was stationed in Bloise, France where they operated a hospital out of a 12th century monastery.  

The collection contains a scrapbook, clippings, memorabilia, and Anderson’s U.S. Army Nurse Corps uniform. 

Mildred Jordan papers, 1946-1965

Portrait of Mildred Jordan

A pioneer in the field of medical librarianship, Mildred Jordan came to Emory in 1931 where she served as Head of the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library, the predecessor to the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. She held the title of professor of medical bibliography and taught a special course on medical librarianship in 1951. During World War II, Jordan served as the regional director of the Medical Library Service for the Armed Forces of the United States. 

The collection consists of her subject files created during her tenure at the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library as well as her participation at regional conferences. 

Dr. Nancy Thompson papers, 2004-2016

Professor emeritus with the Rollins School of Public Health, Dr. Nancy Thompson helped to create the Master of Public History degree at Emory. She is known nationally for her work in distance-delivered depression management intervention, known as Project UPLIFT, and epilepsy self-management. 

The collection consists of materials related to Managing epilespy well and Project UPLIFT. 

Rose Cashman Dilday papers, 1961-2000

Rose Cashman Dilday standing outside of the School of Nursing building

A nursing faculty member, Rose Cashman Dilday taught at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing from 1967 to 1980. She continued to serve as an Emeritus Professor until her death in 2014. 

The collection consists of her published materials in the areas of mental health, public health and nursing education. It also includes correspondence from Jimmy Carter’s office while he was governor of Georgia as well as information on her Impaired Nurses program. 

Mary Florence Woody papers, 1947-2008

Black and white photo of Mary Florence Woody

Active in the nursing profession, Mary Florence Woody joined the Emory University Hospital in 1956 where she served as Assistant Director for Medical and Surgical Nursing, a position she held until 1968 when she became the Assistant Hospital Director and Director of Nursing at Grady Memorial Hospital. While at Grady, Mary Woody helped establish a diabetes day care program, specialized nurse-managed clinics, and a patient education program. Mary Woody also recruited Elizabeth Sharp from Yale University to found the nurse midwifery program at Grady. 

The collection consists articles, speeches, and other writings of Mary Florence Wood, including her office files from Emory University and Grady Hospital. 

Ada Fort correspondence in School of Nursing records, 1906-2018


Black and white portrait of Ada Fort

Serving as the Dean of the School of Nursing, Ada Fort led the school through growth in enrollment, integration of the student body, and school programs from 1960-1975. 

Although not a standalone collection, Series I – Administrative Files of the Nursing records contain Ada Fort’s correspondence between the years 1946 to 1975, along with her 1960 dissertation. 

Georgia Nursing Oral History Project

The collection consists of oral history interviews with Georgia nurses, white and Black, conducted by Margaret Parsons, Rose Cannon and others from 1986-1992, including audiotapes containing recordings of interviews, transcripts, case files of the project containing biographical information, and release forms.

List of interviewees:

  • Carolyn V. Adkins
  • Nillar Orander Almond
  • Margaret P. Armstrong
  • Dorothy L. Barfield
  • Florence A. Beasley
  • Geraldine Beasley
  • Micky Brady
  • Magnolia Brown
  • Sarah Louise Collins
  • Bessie May Dickey
  • Pauline English
  • Juanita Patrick Faniel
  • Theodora Floyd
  • Eulalia Rourke Gleason
  • Alice Latham Herndon
  • Carrie Lou Hewlett
  • Elizabeth Horne
  • Ruby Sherman Jackson
  • Effie Johnson
  • Laverne Johnson
  • Parnell Mines Jones
  • Laura V. King
  • Betty Kleinsteuber
  • Lena LaVette
  • Merle Lott
  • Doris Davis Lovell
  • Birdie McFarlin
  • Thelma Coleman Marshall
  • Ruth Melber
  • Hannah D. Mitchell
  • Beatrice "Bea" Parramore
  • Patricia Persse
  • Minnie Lee Phillips
  • Florence R. Pyron
  • Mary Jane Rourke
  • Bessie Rowe
  • Helen Saile
  • Mary Helen Saunders
  • Helen M. Smith
  • Robertta Rogers Spencer
  • Gladys Thames
  • Myrtle Tomlin
  • Mattie Lee Davis Wade
  • Corinne Warren
  • Lemma Athena Mosley Williamson
  • Mamie Lee Miller Wilson