Register of the Lulu Ryan Rolston papers

Finding aid prepared by Danielle Lopez
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
© 2009, 2015

Title: Lulu Ryan Rolston papers
Date (bulk): 1914-1918
Date (inclusive): 1912-1939
Collection Number: 2006C7
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: English, French
Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 1 framed caricature, (4.2 linear feet)
Abstract: Personal documents, newspaper issues, scrapbooks, photographs, and postcards, relating to Allied nursing in France during World War I.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Rolston, Lulu Ryan, b. 1890


Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lulu Ryan Rolston papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2006.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at  Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical note

Arpil 23, 1889 Born, Rouses Point, New York
1914 Graduated from the New York Hospital
1915-1916 Nurse at the American Ambulance Hospital of Paris
1916 Taught the Carrell-Dakin Method in the United States
1917 Worked at Ellis Island
1917-1919 Nurse at New York Hospital, Base #9 American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) Hospital in France during World War I
1917-1918 Howard Rolston was an enlisted soldier in France while Lulu Rolston worked at the New York Base #9 Hospital.
1918 Treated soldiers wounded in the Menuse-Argonne offensive, one of the largest battles in U.S. Military history.
1918 Decorated with the Medaille des Epidemies
1919 Discharged and sailed for the United States on the George Washington
1920 Lulu Rolston married Howard WIlliam Rolston at St. Vincent's Church in Los Angeles, California.
1920-1930 Public Health Nurse for the City of Los Angeles
1940 Served as a World War II nurse
1980 Honored by President Jimmy Carter in recognition of service to the U.S. Armed Forces
1980 Died

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains a series of mementoes from Lulu Rolston’s time at the American Ambulance Hospital of Paris and New York Hospital in France Base #9 Hospital. The collection highlights her time as an Allied nurse from 1912 to 1926 with a series of personal documents, newspapers, scrapbooks, photographs and postcards. A number of Howard Rolston’s photographs and documents are included in the collection. Majority of the collection involves Lulu Rolston's work in and around France. Box 1 includes an inventory of the collection.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1914-1918--France.
World War, 1914-1918--Medical care.
World War, 1939-1945.


Personal documents file, 1914-1926

Scope and Contents

Includes documents from both the American Ambulance and New York Base #9 Hospitals spanning 1914 to 1916. Items include poems, a small diary, bulletins, certificates and a book about the New York Base #9 Hospital entitled, The New York Hospital in France Base Hospital No. 9 A.E.F. The book contains handwritten notes by Lulu Rolston. Documents correspond with No. 3 description on the inventory list.
Box/Folder 1:1

American Ambulance Hospital, 1914-1916

Box/Folder 1:2

New York Hospitals, 1914-1926

Box/Folder 1:3

The New York Hospital in France Base Hospital No. 9 A.E.F., 1920

Box/Folder 1:4

The Night was Cold and The Wind did Blow, 1920


Photographs and Postcards, 1915-1919, 1954

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs from the New York Base #9 Hospital and postcards from the American Ambulance Hospital. Photographs and postcards feature nurses, doctors, American and French troops, hospital grounds, living quarters, burial sites, and scenes of destruction within the two hospitals dating 1915 to 1919. Postcards contain personal messages written to Lulu Rolston in 1954. Photographs and postcards correspond with No. 3 on the inventory list.
Box/Folder 1:5

New York Hospital, Cornell Medical College, 1954

Box/Folder 1:6

American Ambulance Hospital, 1915

Box/Folder 1:7-8

The New York Hospital in France, Base #9 A.E.F, 1917-1919

Box 2

Patient Letters, 1916-1919

Scope and Contents

Album contains letters, drawings, notebooks and maps sent to Lulu Rolston in France from 1916 to 1919. Maps include East France/Germany and Luxembourg and “IV Armee” TAHURE (Marne), second battle of 1918. The album corresponds with No. 1 on the inventory list.
Box 5

Lulu Rolston Scrapbook, 1915-1919

Scope and Contents

Scrapbook contains photographs, certificates, assignment letters and service documents relating to Lulu and Howard Rolston from 1915 to 1919. Locations include both, the American Ambulance and the New York Base #9 Hospitals. Many of the photographs include American and French troops along with their camps. The scrapbook was assembled by, Lulu Rolston's daughter, Lauren Rolston Petterson. The scrapbook corresponds with No. 2 on the inventory list.
Box 5

Base Hospital No.9, 1915-1919

Scope and Contents

Album contains newspaper articles, maps, service documents, postcards and handwritten notes dating 1915 to 1919. The service documents pertain to Lulu and Howard Rolston. Throughout the album Lulu Rolston wrote brief descriptions and notes alongside the photographs. Descriptions include her personal connection to the photograph and memories about the location. The album corresponds with No. 4 on the inventory list.
Box 3

American Ambulance Hospital, 1915-1916

Scope and Contents

Album details Lulu Rolston’s time at the American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine through a series of photographs from 1915 to 1916. Photographs within the album include trips across France, time spent on the ship Rolston traveled on and soldiers within the hospital. The album corresponds with No. 5 on the inventory list.
Box 5

New York Hospital, 1918

Scope and Contents

Album contains photographs of the nurses and doctors Lulu Rolston lived with while working at the New York Base #9 Hospital in 1918. The album corresponds with No.6 on the inventory list.
Box 4

Lulu and Howard Rolston's Postcards, 1914-1918

Scope and Contents

Includes an album of postcards Lulu and Howard Rolston collected while in France from 1914 to 1918. The postcards include a series of images of monuments, landmarks, churches, statues, and scenes of destruction in France. Many of the images include locations within the American Ambulance Hospital grounds. One postcard series includes La Grande Guerre. The album corresponds with No. 7 on the inventory list.
Box 7

Howard Rolston Postcards, 1916-1918

Scope and Contents

Album consists of a series of photographs and postcards spanning 1916 to 1918. Photographs include images of Howard Rolston while stationed in France. Postcards depict monuments, churches, hotels, and series of Paris locations. One postcard series within the album include F. Chapeau, Nantes. The album corresponds with No. 9 on the inventory list.
Box 3

World War I Photograph Album, 1912-1918

Scope and Contents

Album contains a series of photographs from 1912 to 1918. Photographs are of various locations traveled in France and the United States. Photographs taken in the United States include family photographs. Photographs taken in France highlight locations traveled as a nurse while working at the New York Base #9 Hospital. The album corresponds with No.11 on the inventory list.
Box 6

Newspapers, 1916-1919

Scope and Contents

Newspapers include The Sewanee Purple, Qu'est-ce Ques C'est, The Stars and Stripes and other various titles. Included with the newspaper are two Emprunt de la Nationale posters. All newspapers were published during World War I between the years 1916 to 1919. Sewanee, the University of the South in Tennessee published The Sewanee Purple. Majority of the newspapers consist of The Stars and Stripes, as it was the official newsletter of the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) in France. American students of the University of Toulouse published serval issues of the Qu'est-ce Que C'est. The series of newspapers corresponds with No. 8 on the inventory list.

Framed Caricature, 1939

Scope and Contents

Created by George Shellhas, the cartoon caricature titled “Base Hospital 9" was given to Lulu Rolston upon a World War I reunion in 1939. The drawing depicts a Base Hospital #9 soldier wielding a knife at a man holding a Peace Pact document and a soldier yelling “Kamerad.” The caricature corresponds with No. 10 on the inventory list.