Crown Street Women's Hospital guide

Historical Overview

Founded by Dr James Graham in 1893, the Women's Hospital in Crown Street aimed to lift medical standards for maternity care. In addition to providing wards for surgical cases and complicated births the Hospital provided treatment in homes.

Initial funding of the Women's Hospital came from public subscription, obstetric nurse training and student fees, with assistance from the Government in obtaining furniture and surgical instruments. The Board of the Women's Hospital met for the first time on 13 August 1895.

One of the Hospital's early achievements was providing instruction to women who had previously acted as midwives without any medical certification.

On 30 October 1919 the Permanent Auxiliary Organisation was founded to centralise offers of assistance. Permanent Auxiliary Centres were opened at Abbotsford in 1933 and Bondi-Waverley in 1937. By its Golden Jubilee in 1943 Crown Street Women's Hospital had become the largest maternity hospital in New South Wales.

The Crown Street Women's Hospital was closed on 31 March 1983 and its facilities were transferred to hospitals in the outer suburbs of Sydney.

Records not held by us

Crown Street Hospital patient records such as birth registers, confinement books, admission books and Labour Ward registers are not in our collection. Requests for these records should be directed to:

The Medical Records Manager
Royal Hospital for Women
Locked Bag 2000
Telephone: (02) 9382 6111

Records held by us

Collections of records of the former Crown Street Women's Hospital have been returned to official custody from a number of sources and are comprised of a number of unregistered series:

  • NUA1
  • NUA305
  • NUA360
  • NUA395
  • NUA436

These records relate to the management and administration of the hospital.

We acknowledge and thank the benefactors, including the NSW Midwives Associations, for the return of these important records to official custody.


Annual Reports, 1897-1982

Medical and Clinical Reports, 1935-1978

Matron's Reports, 1951-1973

Minutes of committees

Hospital Board, 1898-1979

House Committee, 1918-1977

Building and Finance Committee, 1934-1966

Advisory Committee to the Minister for Health on Teaching Hospitals, 1956-1958

Perinatal Mortality Subcommittee, 1959-1967

Crown Street Hospital Committee, 1965-1977

Finance Committee, 1967-1977

Supervisory Sisters, 1966-1978

Honorary Medical Board, 1973-1981

Drug Committee, 1975-1978

Medical Advisory Committee, 1976-1982

Works, Planning and Building Committee, 1976-1982

Medical Appointments Advisory Committee, 1978-1982

Staff records

Nurses registers, c.1943-1965

Midwifery lectures attendance book, 1944-1960

Midwifery lectures examinations and attendance book, 1944-1960

Indexes of nursing staff, c.1947-c.1965

Records of trainees at Crown Street, 1952-1974

Pupil midwifes register, 1974-1982

Crown Street Bulletin, Staff Newsletter, 1975-1981

Midwife graduation programmes and class photographs

Hospital buildings

Building development and overall planning, 1946-1972

Sketches and floorplan of Crown Street Hospital

Labour Ward administration

Operations books, 1928-1949

Registers of examinations, 1936-1947

Account book/District nurses expenses, 1938-1975

Operations register, 1946-1956

Labour Ward procedures for Sisters, c.1968-c.1970 & 1979-1980

Labour Ward notices, 1973-1976

Medical Student Register, 1977-1981

Sample case histories and pro forma

Other records

Letter book, 1897

Appeal book, 1922-32

Register of deceased peoples estates, c.1925-c.1950

Obstetric notebook of Dr JN Chesterman, 1928-1936

Press cuttings, 1929-1983

Various publications relating to mifwifery, c.1960-c.1970

Crown Street photographic albums, c.1900s-1980s

Hospital Committee clipping book, 1965-1966

Hospital menu, 1971

Obstetrical Nursing Training Notes

Photographs of medical staff and equipment. Some are unidentified.

Unregistered files and loose papers relating to a variety of medical, administrative and social matters

Various registered files


Staff records

Crown Street Women's Hospital staff summary records, such as indexes and registers, are open to public access after 50 years. Crown Street Women's Hospital personnel records, excluding summary records, are open after 100 years.

Publications, training material and promotional records

Publications, educational, promotional and training material (in all formats), such as the clipping book, are authorised for early access. Access is for viewing only. Requests for copies should be directed to the NSW Ministry of Health South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

Patient identifying medical records

Although the records in our collection mainly relate to administration and management functions some records, such as the Obstetric notebook of Dr JN Chesterman, contain patient identifying information. These records are closed to public access. Requests for permission to access these records should be directed to the NSW Ministry of Health South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

All other records of Crown Street Women's Hospital

All other Crown Street Hospital records held in the State Archives Collection are open to public access after 20 years.

See the Register of Access Directions for more detail.

WSRC Volunteer shoot

Accessing the records guide

State records are open to public access after 20 years unless the record is subject to an early access authorisation or a closed to public access direction

Staff at State Records, Kingswood NSW

Register of access directions

This register lists access directions to State records under the State Records Act 1998