This post is by Archives Assistant John Esh.
While I’m currently making my way through OHSU’s massive medical artifact collection (more to come on that soon!), my previous project was processing the Nurse Midwifery Program records, collection number 2015-017. This one came to us courtesy of Dr. Carol Howe, the “Godmother of Midwifery,” here at OHSU after her retirement. While various Nurse-Midwifery collections have been posted about before (be sure to check out Meg and Max’s posts), this particular one contains a few new items of interest.
The majority of this collection consists of minutes, grant proposals, certifications, and other documents pertaining to the inner workings of the program, but within can also be found more objects directly pertaining to Dr. Howe and her tenure. Several folders contain articles written about Dr. Howe and her accomplishments, as well as a multitude of articles pertaining to midwifery and the OHSU School of Nursing. This collection also contains many photographs documenting over 30 years of Carol Howe and her staff both at work in the hospital and spending family time with each other.
Most noteworthy though are the presence of several of Dr. Howe’s speeches and presentations at conferences across the country. A prolific speaker and born educator, these speeches give great insight into the evolution of the practice over the years. Along with her hand annotated copies of the speeches, the folders contain everything from ephemera surrounding the various speaking engagements, to thank you notes from effused coordinators and peers.
Anyone with an interest in nurse-midwifery would be remiss to not check out this collection and take to heart the words of Dr. Carol Howe, one of our greatest midwives and contributors to the field.