Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Frontier Nursing Service Collection

Accession Number: 14
The Frontier Nursing Service Collection
.4 linear ft.
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Series I - Correspondence
Series II - Reports and Bulletins
Series III - Articles and Clippings
Series IV - Photographs
Series V - Miscellany

Access and Use

Preferred Citation: The Frontier Nursing Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

Overview of the Collection

These are correspondence, printed materials, articles, clippings and photographs relating to Kentucky's Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) and its founder, Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965).

Related Archives:


Breckinridge founded FNS in 1925, in part as a response to the early deaths of her two children. After completing nurses’ training in New York City, she went on to study midwifery in England. She modeled her Kentucky efforts after the British nurse-midwifery system and at first staffed it with British nurses.

Breckinridge focused her efforts mainly in Leslie, Clay, and Harlan counties, where poor roads made horseback and later, jeep travel a necessity. The scarcity of doctors required that FNS nurses respond to a wide range of medical needs beyond just those of expectant mothers and their infants. Her efforts eventually resulted in the establishment of a hospital at Hyden, several neighborhood nursing clinics, and a nurse-midwifery training program.

1 Manuscript Box

Series I Correspondence Box 1

This series consists of correspondence, mainly between Breckinridge and Berea College Presidents William J. and Francis S. Hutchins, 1923-1951.

Box 1

  1. Correspondence 1923- 1951
Series II Reports and Bulletins Box 1, cont.

This series consists mainly of minutes (1925-1966) of the American Association of Nurse-Midwives and miscellaneous FNS publications, 1928, 1939, 1940.

Box 1, continued

  1. Minutes - American Association of Nurse-Midwives,1925-1966
  2. FNS Quarterly Bulletin, 1929, 1939,1940
  3. Miscellaneous FNS Publications, 1923-1970
Series III Articles and Clippings Box 1, cont.

This series consists of articles and clippings relating to the Frontier Nursing Service and Mary Breckinridge written by others,1926-1976.

Box 1, continued

  1. Articles and Clippings, 1926-1950
  2. Articles and Clippings, 1953-1970
Series IV Photographs Box 1, cont.

This series consists of photographs of Breckinbridge and others associated with FNS.

Box 1, continued

  1. Photographs, 1938-1952
Series V Miscellany Box 1, cont.

This series consists of information relating to Breckinridge’s death in 1965, her book, Wide Neighborhoods, A Story of the Frontier Nursing Service, and a short bibliography.

Box 1, continued

  1. Miscellaneous Items 1928-1995

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