Every year, one lucky worn-out item from the Center City Archives & Special Collections gets taken off the shelves for some TLC.
The Shepartz Conservation Fund offers funding every year to preserve one item from the collection. In 2021, that one lucky item was a 1906 photo album.
The man behind the lens, Dr. John Arthur Murray, was a Jefferson Medical College graduate in 1893. His album captures photos of daily life inside and outside of Philadelphia General Hospital (PGH), also known as Blockley.
The album of rare photos also includes several images which show intern Ross V. Patterson (Jefferson MD 1904). In 1906, Dr. Patterson became Assistant Physician to the Department of the Insane at PGH. Later that year, he was appointed Sub-Dean, and eventually Dean of JMC/SKMC.
The 116-year-old album needed some TLC. It had been dis-bounded, and the card on which the 127 photos were mounted became buckled to a degree where the prints were in danger of losing their emulsion.
Shepartz Conservation Fund came just in time! The conservators cleaned, flattened, and stabilized the album so it can be digitized without damage. Once the album has been digitized, it will be added to our website so others can enjoy it.
In the meantime, check out more from the Center City Archives and Special Collections, including artifacts, oral histories of notable alums, and much more.