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Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU photographs and publications

Identifier: 2013.Feb.26

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs, newspaper clippings, a magazine, and a promotional booklet for the hospital. The collection provides some insight into the early history and services of the hospital as well as the children who were patients.

The photographs are undated with the exception of one labled 1911 of a female adolescent with scoliosis. This photograph predates the clinic and hospital. The majority of the photographs are of patients and staff at the convalescent hospital located at Brook Road and Sherwood Avenue. This suggests that those photographs date from the mid 1920s as the house used for the convalescent hospital was purchased in 1923. Several were taken after the hospital was built in 1928. There is one 6.5" x 4.5" album and 32 loose pictures.

Also in this collection is a promotional booklet for the hospital from the late 1940s or early 1950s which provides information on the history of the hospital, a listing of the staff and the board of trustees, and an overview of the services provided. There is a 1956 issue of The Angelos of Kappa Delta which includes the history of Kappa Delta Sorority's support of the hospital, a call for continued participation, a photo spread on the hospital, an article about Dr. William T. Graham, and a letter from Karaleen Ingersoll, the hospital administrator, thanking the sorority for it's generosity.

Found also in this collection are newspaper clipping mostly pertaining to the passing of Graham in 1953 and one clipping from 1917 regarding the appointment of Graham as an orthopaedist for the Medical College of Virginia War Unit.


  • 1911-1958

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical/Historical Information

The Children's Hospital of Richmond was first named the Crippled Children's Hospital of Richmond, Virginia. It began as the result of an infantile paralysis epidemic in 1917 that left the affected children without a facility for treatment. Dr. William T. Graham, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Nancy Minor, superintendent of the Instructive Visiting Nurses' Association (IVNA), recognized the need and began a free outpatient clinic in the basement of Graham's office located at 214 East Franklin Street. Within six months, the clinic treated more than 80 patients, yet proved inadequate to assist all in need. Outpatient treatment moved to the dispensary at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). In 1918, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill appropriating $20,000 over two years for the treatment of disabled children from the entire state. This money funded two wards at MCV for two years, but this was only temporary.

A group of citizens, including Graham, Minor, and Dr. Ennion G. Williams the commissioner of the Virginia State Department of Health, met in June 1919 to discuss a hospital specifically for Virginia children with disabilities from congenital health conditions, accidents, and diseases such as polio. From this meeting grew the Crippled Children's Hospital Association, dedicated to organizing and funding the hospital. Dooley Hospital on Marshall Street became the temporary location until they could finance and build the new hospital. The Woman’s Auxiliary formed in 1920 to support the hospital and by 1924, they created a similar group to serve the African American children with disabilities cared for at St. Philip Hospital. Philanthropic groups such as Kappa Delta sorority and the Kiwanis Club also donated time and money to the hospital.

In 1923, the Crippled Children's Hospital Association purchased a house and one acre of land at Brook Road and Sherwood Avenue for use as a convalescent hospital. A bequest from Sallie M. Dooley in 1925 allowed the purchase of additional property adjacent to the Brook Road house for the construction of a 40-bed facility. Architect Henry Baskervill designed the new hospital to resemble the Hospital of the Innocents (Ospedale degli Innocenti) in Florence, Italy complete with the della Robbia medallions, which became the symbol of the hospital. Construction began in 1927 and the hospital opened in 1928.

Services at the hospital grew and changed over the years. From a children's hospital for those with orthopaedic problems it developed into a multi-specialty hospital for all children. In 1980, the facility changed its name to Children's Hospital of Richmond, which reflected its broader mission. The hospital still operates today at its original location on Brook Road with several therapy centers in the area. In 2010, it joined with VCU Health System to form the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

For additional information on the history of the hospital please see Crippled Children's Hospital: The First Sixty Years, by Marjorie Branner Adams, 1979. This book is available in the HSL Special Collections & Archives Reading Room (RD705.5.V82 R522 1979).


52 Items (1 folder)

Language of Materials



As this is a small collection there is no discernable arrangement.


Shelved with the small collections.

Acquisition Information

The donor for this collection is unknown.

A Guide to the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU photographs and publications
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, Health Sciences Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Collection Number 2013/Feb/26
Margaret T. Kidd
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU Health Sciences Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 509 N 12th St
Box 980582
Richmond Virginia 23298 USA US
(804) 828-9898