Author: Tara Oldfield
Senior Communications Advisor
New to our collection this month are records from Monash Health – Queen Victoria Medical Centre. These records will be of particular interest to those researching history of women’s health in the late 19th and 20th century.
Queen Victoria Medical Centre records
The Queen Victoria Medical Centre has a long and fascinating history beginning in 1896 when it was opened under the name of the Victorian Hospital for Women and Children. It was established by eleven female doctors including the first woman ever to be registered with the Medical Board of Victoria, Dr Constance Stone. Dr Stone had to go overseas to study medicine as, at the time, the University of Melbourne did not admit women to the course. She studied in the US and Canada, then worked in London before returning to Melbourne in 1890, forming the Victorian Medical Women’s Society and setting up the hospital.
Shortly after being renamed the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in 1897, it found its permanent home in Mint Place, which was a section of Little Lonsdale Street between William and Queen Streets named Mint Place owing to the Royal Mint building built there between 1869-72. The hospital remained there until 1946 when it moved to the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets taking up residence in the old Royal Melbourne Hospital. Over the years the hospital continued to expand and employ many female medical professionals ranging from dentists to nurses. A pathology lab and Venereal Diseases Clinic were opened and in 1919 it was an emergency hospital for the Spanish Flu.
Notable people involved in the hospital included Dame Mabel Brookes who was the President from 1923 to 1970 and Sir William McPherson, a former Premier of Victoria, who founded the building of the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital (1931) in memory of his mother which is still in operation today as the Jessie McPherson Private Hospital. In 1963, the hospital became Monash University's teaching hospital and centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Paediatrics. In the same year, they admitted their first male patients, employed male medical staff and became known as a 'Family Hospital' before amalgamating with the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, McCulloch House and the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital in the 70s to establish the Queen Victoria Medical Centre.
Throughout the 70s the hospital was the home of many firsts. In 1972 it was the first public hospital to establish a Family Planning Clinic, it was the first to include a state-funded Sexual Assault Clinic in 1977, and the first to establish a Birth Centre in Victoria in 1979. It also led the way globally in fertility research with the birth of 21 children by 1982 as a result of their work in in vitro fertilization (IVF).
On the 1st of January 1987, Queen Victoria Medical Centre, Prince Henry’s Hospital and Moorabbin Hospital merged to form the Monash Medical Centre (VA 2823) and in the same year moved to new facilities in Clayton where it remains today operating within the Monash Health (VA 5264) network.
Historical records transferred by Monash Health to PROV include annual reports and 1970s and 80s newsletters featuring such titles as “The Centre News” and “QV Quarterly”, correspondence files and meeting minutes of the Board of Management, outward letter books dating back to 1900, staff registers and even an in-patient book spanning from 1899 to 1924.
See full list of records below or access the list for ordering here.
|VPRS 18809 Annual Reports||1896-1986||Annual reports that detail hospital personnel, reports from departments as well as images and reports on events.|
|VPRS 18810 Index to General Correspondence||Circa 1992||An index to the General Correspondence in VPRS 18825.|
|VPRS 18811 Record of General Committee and Board of Management Members, and Contributors||1897-1978||A single file that provides details about the people who served on the General Committee and Board of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. Also includes details of Contributors.|
|VPRS 18812 General Committee and Board of Management Minutes||1896-1986||Minutes of the General Committee and Board of Management. The General Committee and its successor, the Board of Management, was the prime decision making body of the hospital responsible for overall management.|
|VPRS 18813 Outward Letter Books||1900-1916||Letter books containing copies of correspondence despatched from the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.|
|VPRS 18814 Index to General Committee||1924-1947||Index to the General Committee Minutes in VPRS 18812.|
|VPRS 18815 Visitor Report Book on the State of the Hospital||1900-1921||A single visitor report book containing comments by official visitors on the state of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.|
|VPRS 18816 Advisory Board Minutes||1921-1986||Meeting minutes of the Advisory Board of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. The Advisory Board reported to the General Committee, later known as the Board of Management (VPRS 18811 and VPRS 18812).|
|VPRS 18817 House Committee Minutes||1899-1974||Minutes of the House Committee of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. The earliest minutes cover accounts, medical and matron reports, visiting and investigating committees, tenders and requisitions.|
|VPRS 18818 In-Patients Book||1899-1924||A volume that includes details concerning in-patients at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.|
|VPRS 18819 Nursing Staff Registers||1922-1948||Registers that include details concerning the nurses at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital including trainee nurses and sisters (registered nurses).|
|VPRS 18820 Finance Committee Minutes||1897-Circa 1986||Minutes of the Finance Committee of the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital which includes treasurer's reports and accounts payable approvals.|
|VPRS 18821 Building Committee Minutes||1897-1974||Minutes of the Building Committee of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre.|
|VPRS 18822 Jessie McPherson Community Hospital Balance Sheets||1931-1949||Balance sheets that document the financial transactions of the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital. These are the only financial records of the hospitals early years.|
|VPRS 18823 Committee Minutes||1897-1987||Minutes of the committees and sub-committees, established under the General Committee, later called the Board of Management, from the earliest period of the Medical Centre prior to its absorption into Monash in 1987.|
|VPRS 18824 Central Council of Auxiliaries Monthly Meeting Minutes||1964-1987||Minutes of the monthly meetings of the Central Council of Auxiliaries of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. The auxiliaries were formed during the early 1920s to raise funds.|
|VPRS 18825 General Correspondence||1896-1986||Correspondence of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. This is the only known series of correspondence except for two Outward Letter Books for 1900-1916 (VPRS 18833).|
|VPRS 18826 Central Council of Auxiliaries Annual General Meeting Minutes||1925-1985||Minutes of the Annual General Meetings of the Central Council of Auxiliaries of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. The auxiliaries were formed during the early 1920s to raise funds for the hospital.|
|VPRS 18827 Central Council of Auxiliaries Annual Reports||1944-1987||Annual reports for the Central Council of Auxiliaries of the Queen Victoria Medical Centre.|
|VPRS 18828 Newsletters||1973-1987||Newsletters to inform hospital staff in matters relevant to the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. Five different newsletters were published over different periods. They were titled “The Family Hospital”, “Staff Newsletter”, “Centre News”, “QV Quarterly” and “Queen Vic News”.|