Josephine A. Dolan: Nurse and Historian [1913 – 2004]
Josephine Dolan, co-curator, was the first professor of nursing at the University Of Connecticut School Of Nursing. She became interested in nursing history when she was given the class to teach in the nursing program. In order to write a book on the history of nursing, Dolan collected materials from dealers or, in the case of the Wolcott series, from descendants of the family. Dolan donated her collection of nursing artifacts to UConn School of Nursing in 1996.
Dolan Collection Interim Curator is Thomas Lawrence Long, associate professor in residence.
Dolan donated her collection of nursing artifacts to Archives & Special Collections at the University of Connecticut in 1996.
The Dolan Collection Curator is Thomas Lawrence Long, associate professor in residence.
In the News
Read an excerpt from Unison 2016 [link].pdf
UConn School of Nursing hosted the AAHN 2014 Conference
[Read Unison 2015 article] .pdf
Josephine A. Dolan, UConn’s First Nursing Instructor,
Inducted Posthumously in ANA Hall of Fame 
Josephine Dolan, the University of Connecticut’s first nursing instructor and a noted historian in her field, has been inducted posthumously into the American Nurses Association’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her lasting impact on the profession.
[Read UConn Today article] – [Read ANA Article]
Life of Josephine Dolan is Honored in UConn Advance article by Sherry Fisher
Collection of Artifacts Illustrates History of Nursing Profession in UConn Advance Article by Sherry Fisher [2-2003]
New Exhibit for Josephine Dolan Collection
The School of Nursing Josephine Collection opened its doors with the Widmer Wing Dedication Ceremony in fall 2012. SON worked with Amaze Design and Tai Soo Kim Partners, architects to develop, then place new exhibits with the goal to make better use of an important repository of nursing related artifacts, uniforms, furniture, equipment, art, documents and books in the Josephine Dolan Collection.
A key goal in the project was to increase access to this important Dolan collection, to make it physically accessible to both current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff and guests. Housed in an expansive new lobby, the exhibits include a mix of semi-permanent historical vignettes and a series of smaller changing exhibits.
Carolyn Ladd Widmer’s Suitcase
This was used on her trip from Beirut, Lebanon to the United States.
Thomas Lawrence Long, PhD, associate professor in residence, brings to the role of curator of the UConn School of Nursing’s Dolan Collection of Nursing History his training in the use of archives and special collections and practice in teaching with historical documents and realia, as well as a scholarly record of publications based on historical research. Beginning with early-modern research in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois in the 1970s, he has gone on to publish work based on his research in Yale’s Beinecke Library, the Dean and Chapter Library of Norwich Cathedral, the Library of Congress, and the LGBT Community Center National History Archive in New York. He is the author of “Nurses and nursing in literary and cultural studies” (in P. D’Antonio, J. A. Fairman, & J. C. Whelan [Eds.], Routledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing [pp. 37-54]. New York: Routledge), which has been selected by British nurse historian Christine Hallett for inclusion in a forthcoming collection of major works in nursing history.
The Iron Lung
Donated by the Veterans Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill, the Iron Lung arrived and is now a centerpiece of the Dolan Collection.
Technically known as a negative pressure ventilator (and actually made mostly of steel), the approximately 500-pound device was used to help patients with compromised lung function to breathe. The patient remained in the airtight container, with only his or her head protruding. Pressure inside the tank changed to manipulate the lungs into mimicking the mechanics of breathing.
Old Iron Lung Showcased at UConn’s New Nursing Museum -Hartford Courant, August 2012