Springfield, Mo. -- (1/3/2018) Mercy Hospital Springfield has a 126-year history in the Ozarks, and that history is revealed in a rich archive now available to the public through the Springfield-Greene County Library. Mercy donated the collection, which represents part of its entire archives, to the Local History & Genealogy Department in the Library Center. It is available upon request.
The collection begins when the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Springfield at citizens’ request to administer St. John’s Hospital in 1891. It includes photographs; annual reports; scrapbooks created by nurses and other employees; nursing yearbooks, the “Mercian,” from 1965 through 1984; photographs of St. John’s and Mercy buildings; oral history interviews with early hospital staff; and newspaper stories about the hospital meticulously clipped over the years.
“The Sisters of Mercy’s legacy in Springfield, back to 1891, has always been closely tied to the history of the city and surrounding region,” said Holly Henderson, librarian and manager of the Medical Library on the Mercy Hospital Springfield campus.
“The same local leaders and citizens that played roles in the growth and development of the city also supported the Sisters, the hospital and its mission over the years,” Henderson added. “We decided to relocate to the public library specific items within our hospital archive that illuminate the local history of Springfield. The Springfield-Greene County Library Local History Department was the ideal location to preserve these items and make them available to a wider local audience.”
Library Local History & Genealogy Department Manager Brian Grubbs welcomes the newest addition.
“For anyone interested in doing research on Mercy or its impact on the community, this is a treasure trove of information,” Grubbs said. “We are excited to work with Mercy to make this collection available to our patrons and researchers interested in Springfield and the Ozarks.”
The Library and Mercy have other cooperative arrangements. In 2015, the Library opened satellite service for the public and Mercy coworkers at the Van K. Smith Community Health Library in the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Cancer Center.