by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian
Newly acquired, processed, and digitized! There’s something to be said for small archival collections. For one thing, they present great training opportunities for interns and volunteers.* On top of that, every now and then, they give an archivist the chance to make that rarest of assertions: This collection has been digitized in its entirety.**
Such was the case for the papers of Lucile Baird. Her collection arrived at the MHC just as a new intern was starting her library school practicum, and the photographs and correspondence were processed, digitized, and posted online in short order.
Lucile Baird (later Rogillio) worked at Houston’s Baptist Memorial Hospital in the early 1920s. She began working as a P.B.X. operator then moved into the front office. While we don’t know much more about her life, we do know that she married George William (“Bill”) Rogillio.
Her papers at the MHC contain 13 black-and-white photographs and 4 handwritten letters related to the Baptist Memorial Hospital (later Memorial Hospital). The photographs depict hospital staff, interns, nurses, and students. Helpfully, the photographs and letters appear to have annotations by Baird, as well as her niece, who donated the materials.
Baird worked with Robert Jolly, superintendent of the hospital, and Lillie Jolly, onetime superintendent and longtime director of the Hospital Training School for Nurses. Robert and Lillie Jolly appear in a few of the photographs and correspond with Lucile Baird in the letters. Among these are Christmas greeting cards and notes on Baptist Hospital stationary.
After you have a look at this small collection, cruise on over to the Memorial Hospital Photograph Collection, where over 900 more historical images of the hospital and its staff are available to view online. Better yet, plan a visit to the McGovern Historical Center to see these materials in person!
*In this case, then-UNT-graduate-student Nikki Garbett. Great work, Nikki!
**Whatever folks may imagine, this is definitely not the norm. Although, yes, it is also true for the John P. McGovern Collection of Texas Historical Medical Documents collection we’ve been talking about lately.