Virtual Museum of Canada launches Memories of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing virtual

2016-09-06 10:26:16 AM

Toronto, ON, September 6, 2016 – Women’s College Hospital (WCH) is pleased to announce the launch of Memories of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing, a virtual exhibit housed within the Virtual Museum of Canada, the largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations (www.virtualmuseum.ca). The curated exhibit was developed by The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of WCH and funded through the Virtual Museum of Canada’s Community Memories Program.

“The Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing opened a door for Canadian women in the early 20th century to pursue a nursing career,” explains Heather Gardiner, archivist of The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital and curator of this exhibit.

“Using oral recollections, writings and photographs from the hospital’s archives, this exhibit tells the stories of nursing students over a sixty-year period, from 1915 to 1975 — including the story of the school’s very first student in 1915,” she says. “You can listen to students talk about their first day on the ward, see the evolution of student nurses’ uniforms over the school’s 60-year history and even be a part of Miss Sarah Jane Glenn’s graduation ceremony in the backyard of the hospital in 1917.”

To help provide additional “memories” or personal perspectives on life as a student nurse, the Archives partnered with the Alumnae Association of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing to develop an oral history program. Graduates of the nursing school were interviewed by the Archives about their time at Women’s College Hospital. Audio excerpts are woven throughout the virtual exhibit and provide valuable insight into the history of the Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing and on hospital-based nursing education in Canada.

More than 1,250 young women graduated from the school, which operated out of Women’s College Hospital from 1915 to 1975. Its history is heavily documented through the Archives’ extensive nursing collection comprised of historical material donated by 145 of its graduates.

Click here to visit the exhibit, which is available in English and French and is accessible using a screen reader. 

About the Virtual Museum of Canada

With more than 500 virtual exhibits, the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. It promotes free, bilingual exhibits on Canada’s history, heritage and culture to Canadian and international audiences. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country. For more information, please visit www.virtualmuseum.ca.

About The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital

The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women’s College Hospital acquires, maintains, preserves and makes available the historical records and artifacts of Women’s College Hospital. Its collection also documents the history of women in medicine and the history of nursing in Canada. The Archives is an institutional member of the Association of Canadian Archivists and the Canadian Museum Association. The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women's College Hospital is funded by Women's College Hospital Foundation. 

About Women’s College Hospital

For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of equitable access, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It is also focused on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. For more information, visit www.womenscollegehospital.ca.

For more information please contact:

Heather (Sobolewski) Gardiner
Archivist, The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of Women's College Hospital
416-323-6400 x4076
heather.gardiner@wchospital.ca