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HON 101: Exploring Special Collections: Public Health and Medicine in Kentucky: The Frontier Nursing Service

This online exercise showcases archival collections from the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center. It is designed for use in HON 101 courses, as a virtual introduction to primary source research and archival materials.

About the Materials

Frontier Nursing University History | Frontier Nursing University


The Frontier Nursing Service was founded by Mary Breckinridge in 1925, in Leslie County, Kentucky. Concerned with the plight of poor Appalachian families who had little access to healthcare, Frontier Nursing Service volunteers traveled on horseback in order to provide medical care, predominantly to pregnant women, babies, and children, to families who had no access to doctors or hospitals. These materials include pamphlets and other related items that explain the mission of the organization and its impact on rural healthcare throughout the 20th century.


- Record relevant information about the materials you looked at as a group. Include details like people, places, names, events, activities, etc.

- What knowledge do these materials provide about identity, community, and population, as well as how they are constructed? What is one thing you can conclude about these communities from the materials?

- Do you think these materials are important? Why were they kept or preserved?

- Take a few minutes to search online about the Frontier Nursing Service. How has the organization evolved, and is it still around?


Profile Photo
Matthew Strandmark
110 M.I. King Library
UK Libraries
Lexington, KY 40506

Frontier Nursing Service Materials