Chesney Archives

Elsie M. Lawler Collection

Elsie M. Lawler
by Harold Knight

Collection Overview

Creator: Lawler, Elsie M. (1874 - 1962)
Collection Date: 1901 - 1963
Extent: 2 cubic feet

Biography

Elsie M. Lawler was born in Whitby, Ontario. She attended the Collegiate Institute in Toronto, the University of Toronto, and Ontario Ladies’ College for Music and Drawing before entering the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing in 1896. She received her nursing degree in 1899 and served on the nursing staff of the hospital until 1905, when she left to become assistant superintendent of nurses at the Toronto General Hospital. From 1907 to 1908, Lawler was superintendent of the Hospital and Training School at the Memorial Hospital in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1910, she became superintendent of nurses and principal of the school of nursing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a position she held for more than 30 years. In 1935, the Johns Hopkins University conferred upon her the honorary degree of Master of Arts, the first such degree ever given to a woman by the university. Lawler was active in professional associations, serving as president of the Maryland State Nurses Association and of the Maryland State League of Nursing Education.

Scope and Content

The Elsie M. Lawler Collection spans her entire career at Johns Hopkins. It includes student notebooks, photographs, correspondence (1942-1963), biographical material, financial receipts (1901-1928), and Lawler’s black silk superintendent’s uniform and cape. Prominent correspondents include Anna D. Wolf and Isabel Stewart. Additional Lawler material can be found in the records of the Johns Hopkinis Hospital School of Nursing.

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