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Margaret May Allemang fonds
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Margaret May Allemang fonds

  • UTA 1009
  • Fonds
  • 1951-2004

Personal records of Margaret Allemang, documenting her career as a researcher, historian and professor of nursing history at the University of Toronto, and as a promoter and preserver of nursing history, primarily through her oral histories with nursing sisters from World Wars I and II, the Margaret Allemang Centre for the History of Nursing, and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing/Association Canadienne pour l'Histoire du Nursing (CAHN/ACHN), the latter two of which she was a co-founder. There are also files on other professional organizations, including the Canadian Nurses Association, Elderhostel, and the Conference on Nursing History and other nursing conferences. Included are correspondence, appointment books, minutes, administrative and teaching files, oral history interviews, research notes, manuscripts, reports, newsletters, addresses and audiotapes.

Allemang, Margaret May

History of nursing and nursing education materials

The manuscripts and publications in this series consist of addresses, manuscripts, reports and theses that were associated with the University of Toronto's nursing program, programs at other institutions, and the broader subject of nursing education generally. Professor Allemang was not the author of any of these documents but was asked to comment on some of them. The arrangement is by author and, where no author exists, by title.

The series begins with an address by Mr. Allway on nursing education at the University of Toronto (1980). It is followed by the first Elsie Stephenson Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor Helen Carpenter at the University of Edinburgh (1973); a draft of a paper by Barbara Craig on the development and managing of nursing archives (1993), other reports on nursing issues by Professors John Crispo of the School of Business (1963), Rosella Cunningham (1972) and Margaret Hume (1978), and Judy Young (1991?). There is also a draft of Dorothy Hill's doctoral thesis from the University of Waterloo (1966), a typescript, 'Report of a study of the psychiatric affiliation' (195-), that Professor Allemang considered significant, and a mimeograph of a health survey report by Marguerite Williams of the City of Toronto (1974). There is also a copy of Celebrate the centenary, 1898-1998, issued by the Toronto Western Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association.

There are two files from individuals seeking Professor Allemang's expertise, with her comments. In 1991 Dorothy Stinson of the University of Alberta sought her input into an introductory bibliography of a course at the University of Alberta, 'Nursing 684: History and politics of nursing'. In 1993 Barbara Sibbald asked her for advice on an article on the current threat to self regulation that she was penning for CAN Today.

Manuscripts, publications, and addresses

This series is a largely complete record of Professor Allemang's writings that, for the most part, resulted in publication. Her literary oeuvre was not a large one, but it contains a number of firsts. Her doctoral thesis was one of the earliest dissertations in clinical nursing and the first such study of Canadian institutions. Her research project in conjunction with Toronto Western Hospital, The experiences of eight cardiac patients during a period of hospitalization in a General Hospital (1960) was the first patient care study of its kind conducted in Canada.


This series contains research files for Professor Allemang's doctoral thesis from the University of Washington in Seattle and the oral history interviews she conducted or directed as a part of her project to record the memories of nursing sisters who had served in World War I and World War II.

The series begins with files of correspondence relating to the researching and writing of her thesis, including the proposal accepted by her supervising committee in 1968 and the report of the thesis reading committee in 1974. She compiled two proposals for the thesis. The first, 'Nursing model based on existentialism', was rejected by her thesis committee while the second, on the history of nursing education in the United States and Canada, was accepted in 1968. The details of both proposals are present, along with the notes associated with her first proposal. These files are followed (in boxes 011 and 012) by the research notes she compiled, primarily on her second proposal, beginning with a number of general files containing notebooks, some of which are titled and which contain, amongst other information, notes on specific chapters of the thesis. These have been left in the order in which they were received.

Beginning with box 013, the research notes have titles (supplied by Professor Allemang herself) on a wide range of topics relating to the history of nursing. The arrangement is alphabetical. Included are notes taken from specific journals such as the American Journal of Nursing and the Canadian Nurse, while many of the files are directly on the pioneering leaders of nursing in the United States and Canada - especially Adelaide M. Nutting - and, of course, Florence Nightingale. Amongst other areas covered are specific Canadian hospitals, broad and specific aspects of medicine, nursing education, the philosophy of history and public health nursing.

There are 17 interviews with the nursing sisters from World Wars I and II, done by Professor Allemang and others. There is more than one draft for some and most are heavily annotated. The arrangement is by war and then alphabetically by name of interviewee. The interviews are not in final format and not all the interviewees are included. (Some of the transcribed interviews were bound and distributed.)

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