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Emma Osborn Cleaver was born in Wisconsin and attended Ripon College where she was the first female student and only woman in her class. She received two degrees and a teacher’s certificate from Ripon College and received her nursing diploma from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1891. She spent a year as a private nurse and head nurse in the Johns Hopkins Hospital before leaving to attend the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. She received her Doctor of Medicine in 1895. She practiced medicine in the United States before travelling to China in 1903 to begin her missionary career. In 1904 she received the Imperial Japanese Medical License to practice medicine freely throughout the Japanese Empire. That same year she married Dr. Frederick Parrott, a British physician and member of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The remainder of her active life was spent as a missionary in Japan. She remained active in the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association until her death in 1951.

Scope and Content

The Emma Osborn Cleaver collection consists of her nursing diploma, three student notebooks and correspondence regarding the donation of the notebooks. The collection is particularly strong in documenting nursing curriculum of the first class of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses. The student notebooks were displayed at the International Congress of Charities, Correction and Philanthropy exhibit at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

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