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Ruth B. Freeman was born in Methuen, Massachusetts. She graduated in 1927 from the school of nursing at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. She received her B.S. in 1934 from Columbia University, and her M.A. in 1939 and her Ed.D. in 1951, both from New York University. She then served as nursing services administrator for the American National Red Cross and taught at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Freeman joined the faculty in public health administration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1950, and was appointed professor in 1962. She was also coordinator of nursing programs. Freeman was active in professional associations, serving as president of both the National League for Nursing and the National Health Council, and on the boards of the Maryland League for Nursing and the National Organization for Public Health Nursing. She received several awards, including the Florence Nightingale medal of the International Red Cross, and wrote several textbooks, two of which are considered the authoritative textbooks on public health nursing.

Scope and Content

The Ruth B. Freeman Collection spans the majority of her career at Johns Hopkins, emphasizing her years as an administrator in public health nursing. The collection consists primarily of 12 books by Freeman on health care and nursing. Several English editions of Freeman’s Public Health Nursing Practice are included, as well as editions in Finnish, Hebrew, and Spanish. There is also a bound edition of the Eleventh Bronfman Lecture of the American Public Health Association, which indicates the annual recipients of the Bronfman Awards, one of whom was Freeman. Several editions of the National League for Nursing Newsletter containing articles by Freeman and a set of pins and medals belonging to Freeman are also included.

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