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COLLECTION Identifier: A/P421

Hildegard E. Peplau letters to Mary Beth Mathews, 1984-1999


Letters from Dr. Hildegard Peplau about an international study tour for nurses.


  • 1984-1999

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Hildegard E. Peplau and by Mary Beth Mathews is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

Collection consists of letters Hildegard Peplau wrote to Mary Beth Mathews, Director of Continuing Education at Ohio State University College of Nursing. Mathews organized an alumni international study tour to Greece and Israel, to coincide with the 1985 meeting of the International Council of Nurses in Israel. Peplau lectured on nursing history, international nursing trends and the relationship of nursing and mothering. Letters detail the logistics of the trip and ideas for Peplau's lecture topics. Mathews and Peplau continued to correspond after the trip about family matters, nursing, etc. Also included are two letters about Peplau's poor health and death from her daughter Anne.


Hildegard Elizabeth Peplau (1909-1999), educator and psychiatric nurse, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Polish and Russian immigrants Gustav and Ottylie Peplau. Educated at local schools, she received a diploma in nursing from Pottstown Hospital Training School in Pennsylvania, in 1931; an A.B. from Bennington College (1943); an A.M. (1947) and Ed.D (1953) both from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a certificate in Psychoanalysis Applied for Teachers from William Alanson White Institute (1954). Peplau served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps (1943-1945), and was a faculty member at the College of Nursing at Rutgers University (1954-1974), becoming chair of the Department of Psychiatric Nursing and director of the graduate program in 1955, and Professor in Nursing in 1960. An advocate of professionalization and graduate training for nurses, Peplau was active in the leadership of many nursing and health associations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2020-M56

These letters of Hildegard E. Peplau were given to the Schlesinger Library in August 2020 by Mary Beth Mathews.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Hildegard E. Peplau Papers (MC 914), Hildegard E. Peplau Additional papers (MC 604), and Hildegard E. Peplau Videotape Collection (Vt-41) and Hildegard E. Peplau Audiotape Collection (T-165).

Processing Information

Processed: August 2020

By: Jenny Gotwals.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeanette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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