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Lulu K. Wolf Hassenplug Papers, 1863-1995
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lulu K. Wolf Hassenplug Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1863-1995
    Collection number: 41
    Creator: Mainly Lulu K. Hassenplug; some materials added by the UCLA School of Nursing. 1903-1995
    Extent: 10.6 linear ft. (13 document boxes, 2 cartons, 1 oversize box)
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: Hassenplug (1903-1995), was founding dean of the UCLA School of Nursing (1949-1968). She was a pioneer and leader in modern education of nurses, spearheading the movement to shift nursing education from the hospital to the college campus and insisting that nurses be taught and treated like students rather than as hospital employees. The collection consists of correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, offprints and reprints, research reports, mementos (programs, invitations, souvenir booklets, scrapbooks), books, over 100 photographs, and 15 artifacts. The papers document Hassenplug's career development, particularly her 20 years as Dean at UCLA, and provide an informative picture of the major concerns in post-World War II nursing education.
    Physical location: Collection stored off-site: advanced notice required for access. Please contact the UCLA Biomedical Library, History and Special Collections Division, for information.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    The collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, for information.

    Conditions of Use

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lulu K. Wolf Hassenplug papers (Manuscript collection 41). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233118 

    Acquisition Information

    Dean Hassenplug informed the UCLA Biomedical Library in 1988 of her desire to make a gift of certain materials pertaining to her career and to the UCLA School of Nursing. The collection arrived shortly thereafter. In March, 2000 the UCLA School of Nursing added two further cartons of documents, pictures, and artifacts to be integrated into the collection.


    Lulu Wolf Hassenplug (1903-1995), R.N., B.S., M.P.H., Sc.D., was a pioneer and leader in the modern education of nurses, changing the concept of student nurse to that of nursing student and putting nursing on the road to professionalism. As founding dean of the UCLA School of Nursing (1948-1968), Mrs. Hassenplug created at that school the laboratory for her educational innovations. She sent out broadly educated undergraduates who took over nursing supervision in major hospitals, and expert graduate students who were sought for faculty positions in other university nursing programs. Through her vigorous speaking and publication schedule, she energized and encouraged her far-flung troops.
    Hassenplug's major innovation was to move nursing education away from the control of hospitals, who tended to look upon student nurses as cheap hired help and too often subjugated educational needs to labor needs. She envisioned nurses broadly educated in a university setting similar to other professionals, with the hospital ward serving as their educational laboratory. At UCLA she attained the goal of nursing students having the same status as others on campus, i.e., students no longer had to live in special dormitories with restrictive rules, no longer had to wear white caps and stockings, and no longer had to rise when a physician entered the classroom. Hassenplug also took her ideas for curriculum changes on the road, serving many years on education committees for the National League for Nursing and for the Western Council on Higher Education for Nursing, which she helped found.
    Hassenplug (then Lulu K. Wolf) graduated with honors in 1924 from the Army School of Nursing, Walter Reed Hospital. After a position as Instructor in Nursing, Piedmont Hospital School of Nursing, Atlanta, GA, she earned a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University Teachers' College in 1927 and then became Education Director and Assistant Principal of the School of Nursing, Jewish Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. In 1930 she moved to the Medical College of Virginia, as Assistant and later Associate Professor of Nursing. Desiring to broaden her understanding of nursing education, Mrs. Hassenplug applied for and won (only the second American to do so) a Florence Nightingale Foundation International Fellowship for a year's study at Bedford College for Women, University of London, England. She packed an impressive amount of learning, exploration and fun into that year (1936-37), as demonstrated in these papers by her speeches, interviews, mementos, and photographs. During vacation periods she devised her own tours to study hospitals and nursing education in the British Isles, the Scandinavian countries, Hungary, Germany, and France.
    A year after her return Mrs. Hassenplug moved from Virginia to the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she became Associate and then full Professor of Nursing. During a year off she earned a Master's of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, on a Rockefeller Fellowship. In 1948 she came to head the nursing program at UCLA, and in 1949 the department became a new professional school and Mrs. Hassenplug was named Dean. She occupied that position for twenty years, retiring in 1968. Dean Hassenplug was widely honored and acknowledged for her massive achievements, within and outside this university, within and beyond the nursing profession. She received two honorary doctorates, the Alpha Tau Delta Gold Key, the Mary Adelaide Nutting Award, and the Jessie M. Scott Award, among many other awards.

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of the collection consists of paper documents, newspaper clippings, article reprints, and a few books. There are also mementos in the form of programs, invitations, souvenir booklets, etc., plus over 100 photographs and fifteen artifacts. The major part of the materials span the years 1916-1976.
    Dean Hassenplug provided a holographic list of the collection she transferred in 1988 to the UCLA Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division (see Box 3, F26; a typed copy in Box 12, F1). In addition to the itemized artifacts, she listed two scrapbooks and four packages, specifying for the latter: (1) "Pictures, newspaper articles, notes about awards, pictorial history of UCLA's School of Nursing, Hassenplug files (as dean), copy of holographic letter (1898 Florence Nightingale)." (2) "Doctorate, special letters, retirement notes, reprints, reports." (3) "Research reports, reprints, UCLA Nursing School history." (4) "Reprints and reports UCLA, state and national history."
    The papers document Hassenplug's career development. Between the newspaper clippings and the correspondence, one obtains a comprehensive picture of the major concerns in nursing education after World War II, and the major names in that field emerge. Dean Hassenplug's professional colleagues can be identified, but there is almost nothing about her personal life and little about her family. The photographic record augments and parallels the papers, with major focus on Hassenplug in a variety of places and over a long span of time. The artifacts comprise the tangible reminders of the awards and honors bestowed upon DeanHassenplug during her long career.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. PERSONAL MATERIALS, 1916-1995. 83 folders
    • Series 2. PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS, 1863-1988. 323 folders
    • Series 3. EXHIBIT ON LIFE AND CAREER, 1917-1937. 36 folders
    • Series 4. CORRESPONDENCE, 1918-1993. 199 folders
    • Series 5. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SLIDES, 1919-1995. 99 folders and items
    • Series 6. OVERSIZED MATERIALS, 1921-1988. 7 folders
    • Series 7. OVERSIZED MATERIALS., 1937-1965. 7 folders
    • Series 7. REALIA, 1964-1988. 16 folders and items

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    University of California, Los Angeles. School of Nursing--Archives.
    Vanderbilt University. School of Nursing--History.
    Hassenplug, Lulu K. Wolf (Lulu Kathryn Wolf), 1903- 1995
    Education, Nursing--United States--Collected Correspondence.
    Education, Nursing--United States--history.
    Education, Nursing--United States--Manuscripts.
    Nursing--study and teaching--Los Angeles.
    Schools, Nursing--history--United States.