Crown Street Women's Hospital guide
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
RANDWICK NSW 2031
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:
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
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
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
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
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 estray records are open to public access after 30 years.
See the Register of Access Directions for more detail.
The State Records Act 1998 establishes a general entitlement to access to State records that are at least 30 years old. Not all such records, however, are open for public access.
A public listing detailing the opening or closing of State records to public access under the State Records Act 1998