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Ruth Ann McDonald papers

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 0200

Collection Overview

The collection consists of a significant amount of correspondence sent by Ruth during her service in the U.S. Amy Nurse Corps during World War II as well as photographs taken during her service. Correspondence discusses her interactions with patients, off-duty activities, and observations during and immediately after the war. Photographs primarily document Ruth's service at Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Fort Bliss, Texas, the 67th General Hospital in England, and the 30th Field Hospital, which traveled through Luxembourg, France, and Germany. A small portion of materials contain images of liberated concentration camps and displaced persons, Ruth's travels directly following her Army service, her fiancé Lyle Simpkins, and two reunions of the 67th General Hospital. The collection also includes military documents, Army periodicals, files relating to her fiancé Lyle Simpkins, a private in the United States Army, certificates, transcripts, clippings, and Ruth's army uniform garrison cap.

Dates

  • 1941-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1941-1945

Creator

Language of Material

Materials in English

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Ruth Ann McDonald (1919-2013) was born to Agnes and John L. McDonald in Braintree, Massachusetts. After graduating from St. Elizabeth's School of Nursing in 1941, Ruth joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, where she trained at the Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1942, she was assigned to the 67th General Hospital in England, remaining there until 1944 when she was transferred to the 30th Field Hospital. Ruth stayed with the 30th Field Hospital through the end of World War II, traveling through Luxembourg, France, and Germany. In December of 1944, her fiancé Lyle Simpkins, a private in the United States Army, was killed in action and Ruth was granted leave to visit his grave in Belgium after VE Day. Ruth returned to the United States in September of 1945 and spent time traveling along the west coast with friends from the Nurse Corps shortly after her return. After her travels, Ruth worked in Anchorage, Alaska, for six months, leaving to attend Boston University in 1946 and graduating with her BS in Nursing in 1950. She then attended the Physical Therapy School at the Medical College of Virginia, graduating in 1954. Ruth worked as a physical therapist and public health official in Michigan and Massachusetts, retiring in 1981.

Extent

2.0 linear feet (2 document boxes, 3 flat boxes, 1 oversize paper folder)

Abstract

Correspondence, photographs, military records, clippings, and textiles of Ruth Ann McDonald. Materials document her service in the U.S. Army during World War II as a nurse stationed at the Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Fort Bliss, Texas, the 67th General Hospital in England, and the 30th Field Hospital, which traveled through Luxembourg, France, and Germany. Also includes transcripts pertaining to Ruth's nursing education, certificates relating to her army service, and issues of army periodicals The Yank, The Army Weekly, and The Army Nurse. A small portion of the collection pertains to liberated concentration camps and displaced persons, Ruth's travels directly following her Army service, her fiancé Lyle Simpkins, and two reunions of the 67th General Hospital.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2014 by Mark Burns.

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Lazarus, June 2015.

Title
Inventory of the Ruth Ann McDonald Papers, 1941-2000
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Amy Lazarus; machine-readable finding aid created by: Amy Lazarus
Date
2015
Description rules
Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)