Elizabeth Blackwell: Diaries

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Elizabeth Blackwell is widely considered to be the first American woman to receive an academic medical degree. Her papers contain extensive diaries from 1836 to 1908, family and general correspondence, and speeches and writings which document her efforts to open the medical profession to women in the United States and England. She encountered many difficulties in establishing the New York Infirmary for Women and Children with her sister Dr. Emily Blackwell and their colleague Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, in 1854, and struggled fifteen years later to found a women's medical college in the United States. Elizabeth Blackwell corresponded with Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron (Baroness Byron) and Florence Nightingale, who gave support to Elizabeth's medical work abroad. She wrote widely on various aspects of medicine, including women’s health concerns, and her papers include many of her published works unavailable elsewhere.

Elizabeth Blackwell kept these extensive diaries from the time she was fifteen years old in 1836 until the end of 1907, about two years before her death in 1910.

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