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Lee Ann Bryant
Woodward Library
604-822-3609 & 822-4440

Journals - Print

  • Many journals of historical interest are in storage at the Woodward Library.

  • Use the Catalogue to identify the journal, then make a storage request. You can do this in person or by telephone.

  • To search the Catalogue, try the word PERIODICALS in addition to a broad subject term. I like the Guided Keyword Search for this.

  • Limit by date. The before limit works well. This will help identify journals that are old enough to be of interest. Be sure to check the library holdings as we may not own the journal from the first volume.

Some examples of what we have in storage -

  • The Canadian Nurse 1905 -
  • Public Health Nursing 1909 -
  • Nursing World 1925 -
  • International Nursing Review 1927-1939
  • Public Health Nurses' Bulletin (British Columbia) 1924-1939
  • Hospital Progress, a monthly periodical of hospital science and nursing education 1937-1984
  • Canadian Journal of Psychiatric Nursing 1967-1978

Journals - Online

Please let me know if your find other titles. Thanks!

Journals - Microfilm

Microfilm copies of journals are held in Koerner Library. Please ask at the Microforms Desk on level 2.

Oral History Interviews

  • The Helen Randal Library at CRNBC has many oral history interviews on cassette. These are listed in the Catalogue. Start with a search on 'oral history'.

You may add another concept but be sure to use an ampersand (&). Example: oral history & polio >br> Some of these oral histories are now available online. See:

Other possible sources:

Archival Materials - Print

  • Archives are organized collections of records pertaining to an organization or institution.

  • The B.C. History of Nursing Society [1] has archival materials housed in the School of Nursing. This volunteer group was organized in 1989 to discover, disseminate, and preserve nursing history in British Columbia. Please see the site for contact information and a list of holdings. Some of the items held are published works, some are archives.

  • UBC Archives in the Ike Barber Learning Centre has archival materials from many parts of the University including the School of Nursing. Materials are listed in the Archival Inventories. You'll find archival materials on individual nurses who were part of the university at some point. For example, nurse/scholars Ethel Johns, Lyle Creelman, Margaret Street are listed. See:

This set of letters may interest you:
Please note that access to the Memorial Room is currently by appointment only.

Look for Health Department and hospital fonds.

  • The British Columbia Archival Union List (BCAUL) provides access to descriptions of records held at 174 publicly-accessible archives in British Columbia. Using the list you can find out about archives that may interest you (such as the Providence Health Care Archives located in downtown Vancouver). Here's the link to the BCAUL database:

And here's an example from the BCMA -;isdiah

Letters & Diaries - Online

Some institutions and publishers are digitizing primary sources, particularly letters and diaries.

You may find some of these interesting:

Early Books and Pamphlets

These collections are of note:

  • Wellcome Trust has begun to digitize material.
  3. There is an interesting images section.

  • Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (pre-1920) - Note: This collection is included in the UBC Library Catalogue. To limit results, add "and CIHM" to a keyword search. Many items are online; others are on microfiche at Koerner Library.

  • The Memorial Room, Woodward Biomedical Library, has an interesting collection of books from the 1600's on Midwifery and other textbooks and materials on cholera, yellow fever, etc. Memorial Room books are listed in the UBC Library Catalogue.

See also: the Infant Feeders Exhibit online at .

Secondary Sources

Looking for secondary sources?

  • Catalogue for book material - use the term 'history' along with your concept.

  • Use Indexes & Databases to find journal articles.


  • PubMed - note the limit 'History of Medicine'
  • Cinahl - add the term 'history'
  • History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (a specialized index)
  • America: History & Life

Alberta Medical History Collection is relatively new. This site provides a digital collection of journals, books, photographs, and websites on the history of health care in Alberta. For information specifically on nursing browse by subject under “NU.”

Research Guides

UBC librarians have prepared a number of research guides that may provide additional ideas for sources.

See especially:

Research Guides

Images & Photographs

  • VGH School of Nursing Alumnae Association - The VGH School of Nursing Alumnae Association is home to both an archives and museum that houses artifacts relevant to the history of the school. While it appears the archives is working to digitize its whole collection, currently a small collection of photographs are the only documents online. The museum also has a number of pictures of its artifacts online as well.

Newly Digitized at UBC
Blog of the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry
History of Nursing in Pacific Canada Collection

And more to come ...
Please do make suggestions.