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Finding Aid


PAPERS, 1872-2006 (BULK 1960-2000)
QUANTITY: 3 linear feet and audiovisual material

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 887) were donated by Mary Patricia Donahue in 2003 and subsequent years.

The papers are open for research.
Copyright: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Preferred Citation:
Box #, Mary Patricia Donahue Papers, Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Photographs: In Box 7.
Audiovisual: Two videocassettes (V378-V379) shelved in videocassette collection; twenty-five audiocassettes (AC1257-1261; and AC1275-1294) shelved in audiocassette collection; five beta videotapes shelved with non-standard formats.

Processed by: Jun-Nicole Matsushita, 2006; Sarah M. Dorpinghaus, 2007. [DonahueMaryPatricia.doc]

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Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
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Mary Patricia “Pat” Donahue, nurse educator and scholar, was born in 1939 in Youngstown, Ohio. Donahue received her nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1960. She then earned her BSN and MSN from the Ohio State University School of Nursing, where as a faculty member for fourteen years, she worked in both clinical and teaching positions. Donahue was a professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa from 1976 to 2006. She received her doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 1981 and was promoted from assistant professor to full professor in 1993. Between 1999 and 2006, Donahue served as the Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Nursing.  During that time she initiated and oversaw the professional Masters in Nursing and Healthcare Practice (MNHP) program at the University of Iowa. Donahue retired in 2006.
Donahue achieved national prominence as a nurse historian and educator. She published over one hundred articles, reviews, and books on nursing history and education, terminal illness, and the ethics and philosophy of nursing. Donahue published her best-known work, Nursing, The Finest Art: An Illustrated History, in 1985. Donahue belonged to numerous professional organizations including Sigma Xi, the American Nurses Association, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, and the Philosophy of Education Society. She held leadership positions in Sigma Theta Tau, the Iowa Nurses Association, the Johnson County Unit of the American Cancer Society, and the American Association for the History of Nursing, of which she was president from 1988 to 1990. Donahue received numerous honors including the Teresa E. Christy Award in 1985, induction as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 1989, the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award in 1996, and the University of Iowa Distinguished Achievement Award in 2006.

Scope and Content Note

The Mary Patricia Donahue papers date from 1872 to 2006 and measure 3 linear feet. The papers are arranged in nine series: Biographical, Courses, Publications and projects, Research files, Professional, Teresa Christy, Iowa Association of Colleges of Nursing, Photographs, and Audiovisuals.

The Biographical series (1975-2006) includes information about Donahue’s education and career, such as CVs, awards, and newspaper articles that feature Donahue, the University of Iowa College of Nursing, or the nursing profession. The series also documents Donahue’s service trip to a Romanian orphanage in 2005. The Courses series (1982-1997) contains course outlines and teaching materials for classes Donahue taught at the University of Iowa College of Nursing.

The Publications and projects series (1971-1999) is comprised of Donahue’s published work, conference papers, and materials related to specific programs or projects with which she was involved. The series includes materials related to Donahue’s best known publication, Nursing, The Finest Art: An Illustrated History, as well as her unpublished research, drafts, manuscripts, grant proposals, and correspondence with editors and colleagues. The series also includes several issues of the American Association for the History of Nursing Bulletins; each bulletin contains a president’s message written by Donahue. The University of Iowa Main Library holds Donahue’s dissertation, Isabel Maitland Stewart’s philosophy of education, written in 1981. The Research files series (1872-1983) consists of documents, correspondence, and publications used by Donahue for her research and teaching. Of particular note are a copy of a letter from Florence Nightingale and documents and letters pertaining to M. Adelaide Nutting.

The Professional series (1960-1999) includes materials such as job evaluations, committee records, university transcripts, brochures relating to Donahue’s presentations, and letters of reference and thanks. The series also incorporates nursing newsletters that contain interviews with Donahue.

The Teresa Christy series (1950-1981) contains documents related to Donahue’s colleague, Teresa Christy. Christy, also a member of the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing faculty and a nursing historian, advocated patient rights and published numerous articles on the history of nursing and nursing education. When Christy died in 1982, Donahue acquired her teaching and research files. The series includes Christy’s “Portrait of a Leader” articles that recount the lives of prominent nurses such as Lillian D. Wald, Isabel Maitland Stewart, Isabel Hampton Robb, and M. Adelaide Nutting. Photographs of Christy are included in the photographs series.

The Iowa Association of Colleges of Nursing series (1980-2003) includes the administrative files of this organization, which promotes continuing education for nurses. Donahue served as president from 2000 to 2006. Included in this series are agendas, minutes, budget plans, membership lists, and correspondence.

The Photographs series (1974-2003) includes snapshots and professional photographs of Donahue’s professional activities. These include photographs of her presentations and trips, studio portraits, photographs with students, and photographs from the 2003 University of Iowa commencement. The series also contains a studio portrait of Teresa Christy and three slides of Christy with her students.

The Audiovisual series (1970-1987) includes two videocassettes, twenty-five audiocassettes, and five beta videotapes. The videocassettes include Donahue’s lecture for the Distinguished Nursing Lecture Series and a brief slideshow on the history of male nurses created by two of Donahue’s nursing students. Most of the audiocassettes are lectures by Teresa Christy on nursing. These tapes are approximately an hour in length and are of good quality. Also included is a short recording of Florence Nightingale discussing the nursing profession. The five beta videotapes include lectures by Teresa Christy. The IWA does not possess a device to play beta videotapes.

Donahue’s papers include two books shelved in the IWA printed works collection:
Addams, Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House. Chicago: The MacMillian Company, 1910. HV 4196.C4 H7 1910.

Wald, Lillian D. The House on Henry Street. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1915. HV 4196 N6 W35 Cop. 4

Related Collections

University of Iowa College of Nursing Records
Administrative records are held by the University of Iowa Archives and the departmental history records are held by in the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Myrtle Kitchell Aydelotte
Myrtle Kitchell Aydelotte was professor of nursing (1957-1976), dean of the College of Nursing (1949-1957), and director of nursing for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (1969-1976).

Anderson, Lee
Complete in All Its Parts: Nursing Education at the University of Iowa, 1898-1998. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998. [MAIN Library RT 80 I82 1693]

Box List

Box 1
General, 1946-1962
Newspaper clippings
CVs, 1975-2003
Certificates and awards
Romanian orphanage, 2005

Introduction to Health and Health Care Services, 1982
Nurses’ Role in Ethical Decision Making, 1984
Historical, Philosophical, and Social Foundations of Nursing, 1987-1995
Professional Seminar: Issues in Nursing, 1991, 1994
Classics in the Social Evolution of Modern American Nursing, 1994
Health Care, Economics, and Public Policy, 1996
The Evolution of Professional Nursing Practice, 1997
Nursing in the Social Order, undated
Ethics and Aging, undated
Oncology Nursing, undated

Terminal Illness and Death
“Acceptance- A Key Issue in the Care of the Dying,” 1971
“The Impact of Chronic Illness on the Family,” 1971
Guide to the Administration of IV Chemotherapeutic Agents, 1976
“Concepts of Grief and Loss,” The Process of Human Development: A Holistic Approach, 1976-1992

Box 2
“Euthanasia: An Ethical Uncertainty,” 1981, 1985
“Nursing Care for the Terminally Ill,” Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 1986
“Dignified Dying as a Nursing Outcome,” Outcomes Management for Nursing Practice, c. 1997
Ambulatory Oncology Program, undated

Nursing Education and History
Curriculum proposal, 1971
“Winds of Change,” The American Nurses Association Convention, 1976
John Dewey and Education, 1977
“The Evolution of Nursing Education: From Hospitals to Universities,” 1978
“Isabel Maitland Stewart’s Philosophy of Life and Education,” 1979, 1999
“Reflections of the Past: Foundations of the Future,” Minnesota Nurses Association Convention, 1980
“Nursing History in the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Perspectives in Nursing, 1983-1984
“A Response to Florence Nightingale in Nursing Theory,” History of American Nursing Conference, 1984
“Caring: The Essence of Nursing, An Historical Perspective,” 7th Annual Caring Conference, 1984
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History, general, 1987-2008
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History, correspondence, 1983
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History, reviews, 1984-1987
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History,awards, 1986-1992
“Nursing in the Arts: A Commentary,” Second Annual Fall Conference on Nursing History, 1985
“Their Struggle to Serve,” 1986
“Qualitative Research: An Historical Perspective,” 1986
“History of the Army Nurse Corp,” 1988 (folder 1)

Box 3
“History of the Army Nurse Corp,” 1988 (folder 2)
American Association for the History of Nursing Bulletin, 1989-1990
“Inquiry, Insights, and History,” Journal of Professional Nursing, 1990-1992
“To Investigate the Evolution of the Staff Nurse Role in Hospitals 1857- Present,” 1991
“Miss Curriculum- The Life of Isabel Maitland Stewart,” 1992
“The Diary as Historical Evidence: The Case of Sarah Gallop Gregg,” Nursing History Review, 1996
Linda A. Gerdner and M. Patricia Donahue, “Faye M. Kubichek: A Common But Remarkable Life,” 1997
“Historical View and Economics of the Continuum of Care and the Nurse’s Role,” c. 1997
“Looking Back—Moving Forward,” c. 1997
“The Evolution of Nursing Science and Practice,” Issues and Trends in Nursing, 1998
Biographies, undated

Ethics and Philosophy in Nursing
“The Nurse: A Patient Advocate?” Nursing Forum, 1978
“Tough Decisions,” INTERCOM, Iowa Nurses Association, 1987
“What Are Ethics,” The Iowa Nurses Reporter, 1989
“The Tyranny of Ethics,” Current Issues in Nursing, 1990
“Developing a Sound Philosophy of Nursing,” 1991
“Staff Nurse Role Development: Impact on Health Care,” 1992
“CD-ROM on Ethics and Genetic Testing in Nursing Practice and Education,” 1999

Box 4
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Post-Residency Fellowship in Medical Ethics
Conference abstracts, 1986-1992
Herbert Hoover Presidential Fellowship and Grant Program Application for Research Support, 1989
“Effects of Estrogen and Progesterone on Urinary Tract Infections,” 1993 (2 folders)
“State Laws, Wheels, and Health Care,” 1993
Helene Fuld Health Trust Application, 1999
Publication survey, undated

Correspondence, Florence Nightingale letter to Dr. Gill Wylie, 1872
Nutting, M. Adelaide, 1894-1983
Wald, Lillian D.: Henry Street Settlement and East Harlem Nursing and Health Service, 1918-1970
“Syphilis,” Guide for Public Health Nurses, 1938
“Load-Power-Margin Scale,” 1976
Dr. Christy’s Methodology of Historical Research, 1983

Donahue’s student papers, 1960-1961
University of Iowa College of Nursing, 1971-1983
Evaluation of teaching performance, 1974-1991

Box 5
Letters of thanks, 1974-2008 (2 folders)
Conferences and presentations, 1974-2004 (3 folders)
Ohio State University tenure review, 1975-1976
Letters of reference, 1975-1993

Box 6
Correspondence, 1975-2003
Newsletters, 1976-2001
Doctoral study, 1977-1978
Advisory committees, 1979-2004
Speaker evaluations, 1980-2006
Dissertation committees, 1984-1992
Sigma Theta Tau, 1985-2005
Conference on nursing history, 1985
Donahue’s academic transcript, 1987-2001
Journal reviewer and editor, 1988-2003
Internationalizing the Curriculum Initiative, 1998
School of public health and school of journalism collaboration, 1998
Associate dean of academic affairs, 1999-2006
OICT meeting minutes, 1999
Yamanashi College of Nursing, 1999
Ida Cordelia Beam nomination, 1999
London study abroad, 1999
Iceland Program: Universal Odyssey, 2001

Biographical Information
Course examinations, 1964-1981

Box 7
Correspondence, 1975-1979
Research files,
Isabel Maitland Stewart correspondence, 1950-1962
Interview with Lucile Petry Leone, 1969
Interview with Dr. Gene Levine, 1970
“Biennial Survey of Education Nurse Training Schools, 1916- 1918,” undated
A List of the Published Writings of Isabel Maitland Stewart, 1967
Publications,“A Critique of the Study by Dr. Dora Mae Blackmon, R.N., Ph.D. on the Care of the Mentally Ill in America, 1604-1812,” American Nurses Association, 1968
Publications, “Portrait of a Leader” articles, Nursing Outlook, 1969-1975
“Equal Rights for Women: Voices of the Past,” American Journal of Nursing, 1971
“History of Nursing,” 1974
“The Fateful Decade, 1890-1900,” American Journal of Nursing, 1975
“The Methodology of Historical Research: A Brief Introduction,” Nursing Research, 1975
“The First Fifty Years”, undated
“A History of Nursing in the United States Public Health Service, 1932-1964,” undated

Administrative files, 1980-2001 (4 folders)

Box 8
Administrative files, 2002-2003 (2 folders)

Donahue, Pat, 1974-2003
Christy, Teresa

Videocassettes [shelved in videocassette collection]
“The Illustrated Overview of the History of Male Nurses” (V378)
“The Historical Implications for the Future of Nursing,” M. Patricia Donahue, 1987 (V379)
Audiocassettes [shelved in audiocassette collection]
“Re-tape of Farewell Party for Mr. Arnstein’s Retirement,” Division of Nursing, 1970 (AC1257)
“History of Nursing,” lecture series of four by Teresa Christy, ca. 1970 (AC1258-AC1261) [incomplete, missing two tapes]
“Discussion on Nursing Education,” Teresa Christy (AC1275-AC1277) [incomplete, missing first tape]
“Florence Nightingale” (AC1278)
“History of Nursing,” lectures series of eleven by Teresa Christy, 1975 (AC1279-AC1289)
“Flexner’s Criteria for a Profession,” 1975 (AC1290)
“State of Your Health Interview with Teresa Christy,” 1978 (AC1291)
“Family Heath Lecture for Nursing II,” by Teresa Christy (AC1292)
“Letter to Dr. Davis on Gerontological Nursing” dictated by Teresa Christy, 1980 (AC1293)
“Family Nursing in Historical Perspective,” lecture by Teresa Christy, 1977 (AC1294)
Beta videotapes [shelved with non-standard formats: IWA does not possess a device to play beta videotapes.]
“Teresa Christy- Raw Footage,” 1983
“Methodology of Historical Research, Part 1,” Teresa Christy, 1981
“Methodology of Historical Research, Part 2,” Teresa Christy, 1981
“Dr. Teresa Christy’s Methodology of Historical Research, Part 1,” 1983
“Dr. Teresa Christy’s Methodology of Historical Research, Part 2,” 1983

For more information about this collection contact the Iowa Women's Archives.

Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242.
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Page created January 2008.