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Dr. Anna Maria Gove Papers

Identifier: MSS 0002

Scope and Contents

Although there are some letters written by Dr. Gove, the bulk of the correspondence consists of letters from relatives, friends and acquaintances. For the early years the most important correspondence is that between Dr. Gove and her parents, Dr. George Sullivan and Maria Pierce Gove. This consists of family news, advice, and encouragement during her student years as well as throughout her early career until the death of her parents in 1912.

When Dr. Gove came to Greensboro, her parents expressed the hope "that nothing will happen to make any of us regret your acceptance of the situation and that it will be a stepping stone to something better for you" (September 27, 1893). Her father gave her advice on how to approach her work mentally--"Do not worry about your patients when you have done your best for their relief. . . . Let the patients and their friends do the worrying" (March 16, 1899). He also counselled her when she lost her patients during the typhoid epidemic (December 14, 1899). Apparently this experience affected her so deeply that she contemplated leaving Greensboro (March 22, 1900).

Some of the letters deal directly with Dr. Gove's career. In a letter of April 27, 1896, Dr. Gove replies to criticism from a mother whose daughter had died of measles at the Normal. In 1906, there are letters from patients who were quarantined with measles. Also included are letters of recommendation from William G. Sedgwick, professor at MIT (July 10, 1891) and Dr. Emily Blackwell of the Woman's Medical College of New York Infirmary (February 25, 1892).

There is also correspondence concerning Dr. Gove's service during WWI. Her letter of appointment to the American Red Cross on January 29, 1918, is included as is her discharge on August 2, 1919. There is also a telegraph from Dr. Julius I. Foust, President of the North Carolina College for Women (now UNCG) asking her to return as college physician (April 21, 1919).

Life at the North Carolina College for Women during the 1920's is reflected in some of the letters written to Dr. Gove by her colleagues while she was travelling. During her trip to Asia, Dr. Ruth Collings, who assumed Dr. Gove's position during her leave of absence in 1926-27, commented that a textbook on hygiene was "too dangerous for use here" because "there was a section in the end of social hygiene with a discussion of the male also." In another letter of December 8, 1926, Mary Channing Coleman, head of the Department of Physical Education, remarked that in a dispute with Sue Stone Durand, Dean of Students, the senior class became convinced that they were "living in a Sue-Stone age." Letters throughout the collection from Dixie Lee Bryant often mention some of the earlier days of the college as well as comment on current affairs.

The collection also contains correspondence with Dr. Gove's foreign friends and acquaintances. These letters often reveal information about economic conditions abroad as well as insights into civilian opinion of public events. The correspondence from Austrian friends discuss the economic problems of inflation; letters from American missionaries in China and Korea speak of conditions in those countries. Later the correspondence reflects the drift into WWII. A letter on the martial spirit of the Chinese (February 6, 1938), a description of life in Nazi-occupied Vienna (July 30, 1938), attitudes toward the Munich agreement and its aftermath in France, and thoughts on the fall of France (November 1, 1940) are some of the topics.

Dr. Gove's American correspondents offer glimpses of events happening in the States. Some of the most interesting are the letters of Louise R. Swift, a close friend and frequent correspondent. Mrs. Swift frequently comments on politics and foreign policy. Among her comments are jokes about Franklin D. Roosevelt and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944 and her anti-Russian, anti-communist views of the Cold War in 1947. Other correspondents comment on the possibility of bombing attacks on Alexandria, Virginia (February 1, 1942), civilian life and opinion during WWII, and the shortages of goods after the war (October 9, 1946).

The photograph and postcard collection reflects her travels as well as those of her friends. Her visit to Vienna in 1896-97 is reflected in photographs of Vienna as well as several from Italy and Morocco. Several photographs were taken during her trip to a medical conference in Moscow in 1897. There are photographs from a trip to Nicaragua in 1896 and another to Constantinople in 1913. Numerous snapshots of refugees, war damage, and other aspects of WWI in France are included. A final group of photographs and postcards originated from Dr. Gove's trip to Asia in 1926-1927.

Dr. Gove also collected snapshots, photographs, and postcards on her personal trips in the United States and from friends who traveled. The collection includes items from Southern California, Utah, Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida and New York as well as from New Orleans, Atlanta and Charleston, South Carolina. Special events pictured in the photographs are Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Greensboro and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. There is also a collection of photographs of African Americans, probably dating prior to 1900. It is believed that Dr. Gove took these photographs in the Greensboro/Guilford County area. Some of the postcards originally belonged to her mother.

There are a large number of portraits in the collection. These are apparently pictures of friends, relatives, students and acquaintances of Dr. Gove. Finally, there is a large collection of photographs of Dr. Gove and her family.

Miscellaneous items in the collection include the notebooks which she kept of her lectures in Vienna and conferences in the United States, a French guidebook to Moscow, a French phrase book, French ration books, maps of France and a French manual on child care. There are also interesting notes apparently prepared for a talk on China and the Chinese people and a collection of personal bills and accounts, 1912-1923. The collection also includes Dr. Gove's license to practice medicine in New Hampshire and North Carolina, her wills, and a manuscript book of recipes.


  • 1826 - 1952
  • Majority of material found within 1890 - 1947


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.


15.00 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials



Anna Maria Gove (1867-1948) came to the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) in 1893, and served as resident physician, professor of hygiene, and director of the Department of Health until her retirement in 1937. She also served with the Red Cross during World War I.

The Anna Maria Gove Collection dates from 1864 to 1952 and contains correspondence, notebooks, lecture notes, greeting cards, photographs, postcards, travel brochures, reports, and other miscellaneous items.

Method of Acquisition

The majority of the collection was saved by Anne Shamburger after Dr. Gove's passing in 1948. Some biographical material was transferred from the University Archives vertical file.

Offensive Language Statement

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Processing Information

Reprocessed by Jennifer Motszko in December, 2015.

Dr. Anna Maria Gove Papers
Jennifer Motszko
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • April 19, 2021: This finding aid underwent changes in Spring 2021 after a reparative archives review. The following link leads to the legacy version of this finding aid:

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US