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Harper Hospital Records

Identifier: UR001446

Scope and Content

The Harper Hospital Collection consists of minutes, correspondence, reports, clippings, scrapbooks, and other material related to the history of Harper Hospital and its School of Nursing.

Important subjects in the collection: Farrand Training School for Nurses Harper Hospital School of Nursing Hospital trains--France Hospitals--Michigan--Detroit Hospitals--Staff--Michigan--Detroit International Council of Nurses Medical care--Michigan--Detroit Military nursing Nursing schools--Michigan--Detroit Nursing students--Michigan--Detroit Strikes and lockouts--Nursing United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Hospitals World War, 1914-1918--Hospitals World War, 1939-1945--Hospitals

Important correspondents in the collection: Agnes Deans Jean Gretter Dodds D. O. Farrand Lucy D. Germaine Lystra Gretter Walter Harper Ruth Margaret Knapp Margaret Latham Emily McLaughlin Wilms Parmalee L. H. Shore-Nightingale


  • 1857 - 1989


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Harper Hospital was founded in May, 1863 on land donated by Walter Harper, who earned his fortune in real estate investments, and his housekeeper, Nancy Martin. The hospital didn’t receive its first patients, Civil War soldiers, until its designation as a military hospital in 1864. Harper Hospital continued this tradition into the twentieth century, establishing base hospitals in Europe during both World Wars.

In January, 1866 Harper Hospital opened as a general hospital. As the population of Detroit grew, so did the hospital’s needs; in 1882 a new building was erected on John R Street, followed in 1913 by the J. L. Hudson and Theodore D. Buhl Memorial Buildings, and in 1928 by the Brush Street Building. In 1883, the Farrand Training School for Nurses, later the Harper Hospital School of Nursing, was established.


13 Linear Feet ((13 SB), 2 OS scrapbooks)


Harper Hospital was founded in May 1863 on land donated by Walter Harper. The hospitals first patients were Civil War soldiers, and it continued its designation as a military hospital during both World Wars. In 1866 Harper Hospital opened as a general hospital and would add a nursing school in 1883. The hospital's records relate to the history of both the hospital and its School of Nursing.


Folders are listed in the order in which they appear.

Related Materials

Hospital collections


A large number of photographs have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection and a few newsletters and labor contracts were transferred to the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.


Guide to the Harper Hospital Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA