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The Olive Louise Berger Collection

  • Creator: Berger, Olive Louise (1898 - 1981)

  • Collection Date: 1927 - 1985

  • Extent: 1 linear foot

Olive Louise Berger
by I. Hunner Parsons
oil on canvas, 27.5 by 20.5 inches, undated.


Olive Louise Berger was born in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated from the School of Nursing at Roosevelt Hospital in New York in 1920 and from the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Anesthesiology in 1922. She was chief nurse anesthetist and director of the anesthesia school for nurses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1931 until her retirement in 1969. Berger served as the first nurse to administer anesthesia during the famous "blue baby" operations performed by Alfred Blalock and Helen Taussig in the 1940s. In 1952, she was made an instructor in anesthesia in the school of medicine.

Hopkins Affiliations

1931 - 1969 Johns Hopkins Hospital
1952 - 1981 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Scope and Content

The Olive Louise Berger Collection focuses on her career as a nurse anesthetist at Johns Hopkins. It consists of detailed records of the administration of anesthesia to Alfred Blalock's patients, including three notebooks labeled: "Tetralogies," "Valvulotomies," and "P.O. Pneumonia." The notebooks describe early cases of cardiac surgery, including the first cases of surgical treatment of cyanotic congenital heart disease, and the first lung and mitral valve operation performed at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Also included are articles by Berger, a letter of recommendation written on Berger's behalf by Thomas Cullen, and material concerning the Olive L. Berger Memorial Fund.

Policy on Access and Use

This collection may contain some restricted records. Materials pertaining to patients, students, employees, and human research subjects, as well as unprocessed collections and recent administrative records, carry restrictions on access. For more information about the policies and procedures for access, see Policy on Access and Use.

Permissions and Credits

When citing material from this collection, credit The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. For permission to reproduce images, contact the holder of the copyright.

For permissions:
archives at jhmi dot edu.