Hermann Hospital Archive records

Campaign for Life Internal Fundraising Video George H. Hermann: The Man, His Gift, His Concern, His Legacy

Identity elements

Reference code

IC 086

Level of description



Hermann Hospital Archive records


  • 1869-1998 (Creation)


481.5 cubic feet (644 boxes)

Name of creator


Administrative history

Hermann Hospital was a public hospital endowed by George Hermann (1843-1914) with a fortune accumulated through investments in oil and real estate. The hospital opened south of downtown Houston in the summer of 1925. It merged with Memorial Hospital in 1999 to create Memorial Hermann Health System. The original Spanish-style building is now part of Children's Memorial Hermann in the northwest corner of the Medical Center.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Hermann Hospital Archive records consists of administrative records, founding documents, legal papers, maps, photographs, films, videos, oral histories, nursing school records, yearbooks, and artifacts ranging from the late 1800s to 1998 that document the creation, development, and history of Hermann Hospital, the first institution in what is now known as the Texas Medical Center. The materials document the long history of the hospital from its inception to the merger with Memorial Hospital System in 1997. Hermann Hospital Archives contains the institutional records of Hermann Hospital (1925-1997) as well as the Hermann Estate (1914-1985).

Real estate-related material from the Hermann Estate business offices, some of it predating the hospital, including professional correspondence, property deeds, copies of letters to tenants and lessees, maps, photographs of construction sites, and a salesman sample or miniature real estate sign (silk-screened metal, circa 1935) (1918-1950’s). Materials related to the construction of the hospital building including work orders, construction progress reports, and order forms and receipts for building materials (1920’s). There are some advertisements and information sheets from companies that supplied hospital and cafeteria equipment to the new hospital (x-ray machines, milk coolers, lighting, surgical implements, etc.) (1920’s). Copies of orders for medical supplies and alcohol permits from the Prohibition years. A small amount of material is related to the lawsuit filed by Hermann’s Swiss relatives over his bequest to the city. There are items dealing with daily operations in the earlier part of the century, including staff newsletters, letters of application for “cards” (permitted local doctors to see patients at the hospital even if they did not practice there full-time), administrative memos. Some material about the financial situation of the Estate and funding of the hospital, including accounting records, ledgers from the pre-hospital Estate, and legal papers (1910’s-1950’s). Staff publications, meeting minutes for various committees, board of trustees items (1940’s-1980’s). Oral History Project transcripts, 1992-1998.

There are photographs (originals or copies) of Houston in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; of Mr. Hermann in his last years; of the hospital interior and exterior when it was new; of early nursing school graduation classes (ca. 1850-1930’s). Nursing school yearbooks, records, and a uniform (1940’s-1970’s). VHS tapes of relevant television specials, news reports, and educational programs for staff (1980’s). A sizable collection of patient registers and logbooks from various departments (1920’s-1980’s) including the register with the hospital’s first patients in 1925. Scrapbooks of staff photos and news clippings (1960’s-1980’s). There are large numbers of slides and photographs that document the history of LifeFlight and the work of Dr. James "Red" Duke (1970’s-1980’s). There is a small amount of realia including decorative plaques, awards, small commemorative items, and a mailbox from the old hospital building. A few boxes contain administrative papers (1980’s). One contains working papers of the Rice University Oral History Project.

A group of photographs equaling 12.5 cubic feet (25 boxes) were compiled for hospital publications by media relations staff in the mid to late 1980s. Most of the items are undated.

The collection is 481.5 cubic feet in size which includes 644 boxes. Materials are in good condition.

System of arrangement

The arrangement of the collection is based upon an initial arrangement outlined by Lesley Brunet, archivist employed by Hermann Hospital. The original order of the records had been disrupted in the past due to individuals pulling files for the purposes of writing histories of the hospital and estate, as well as for litigation purposes in various lawsuits. The arrangement reflects the order created by these groupings.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Material is open for research. Some restrictions may apply to oral histories and legal documents. Consult an archivist for access to restricted materials.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission to publish from this material must be facilitated through the repository, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

EAD finding aid

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


The Hermann Hospital archives were maintained by Hermann Hospital from 1925 to 2004. During that time, materials were collected from various sources related to Hermann Hospital. Naomi Foster maintained the Herman Hospital School of Nursing records and hospital subject files up until 1975. Rice University Oral History Project and later joint oral history project with Dr. Marchiafava and archivist Lesley Brunet compiled the Hermann Hospital Archive Oral History Collection. Hermann Hospital donated the collection to the McGovern Historical Center in 2004. Documents in the administrative control folders of the McGovern Historical Center provide a extensive custodial history of the materials.

Immediate source of acquisition

Hermann Hospital donated the materials through a Deed of Trust in November 2004.

Three additional boxes of records were donated by Nancy Vecera Clark in October 2021.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Three boxes of workers compensation files from the 1990s have been marked for disposal.


No accurals are expected for this collection.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related Material IC 022 Memorial Hospital System, IC 098 TMC Library Historical Photograph Collection, IC 019 Hermann Hospital records, IC 071 Memorial Hermann Healthcare

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Preferred citation: Hermann Hospital Archives records; IC 086; McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: Materials have been processed to a Tier 1 or box level. The arrangement of the collection is based upon an initial arrangement outlined by Lesley Brunet, archivist employed by Hermann Hospital. The original order of the records had been disrupted in the past due to individuals pulling files for the purposes of writing histories of the hospital and estate, as well as for litigation purposes in various lawsuits. The arrangement reflects the order created by these groupings.
  • Processing information: Materials have been housed in document boxes, oversize boxes, and map drawers according to the size and preservation needs of the items. A large amount of real estate documents originally housed in old accordion folders were rehoused into half cubic foot document boxes. Loose publications including magazines, brochures, and newsletters were organized and placed in boxes. We removed framed portraits from their frames and rehoused the photographs in a box, and rehoused 35mm slides from deteriorating non-archival slide sleeves into archival slide preservers. Scrapbooks, financial and hospital ledgers, binders of administrative files, and memorabilia items that had been lying out on open shelving were organized and placed in boxes. A collection of acrylic paintings were placed in individual folders and placed in an oversized box. We encapsulated some fragile documents and photographs in polyester sleeves, but this level of processing was limited due to time constraints. Appraisal decisions and any changes in arrangement were documented throughout processing. As items were boxed-up the boxes were marked with temporary labels for identification purposes.
  • Processing information: 35mm slides from the media relations department were originally stored in two filing cabinets. Slides were rehoused into new slide polypropylene preserver sleeves where necessary and placed in archival quality folders in document boxes. Titles from the original hanging folders were transferred to the archival folders. Where no title was available the word "Untitled" is used in the inventory.
  • Processing information: Three new boxes were created to house the addition from Nancy Vecera Clark in 2021. Audiovisual and oversize materials from that donation were added to existing boxes in the collection. Newsprint was photocopied.
  • Processing information: In 2022 the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) Speedy Startup funds facilitated the digitization of two films from this collection. These were described and posted online in spring 2023. -Matt Richardson

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid prepared by Kiersten Bryant, 2016.

Archivist's note

Encoded by Sandra Yates, 2017.

Archivist's note

Updated by Matt Richardson, 2022, 2023.

Access points

Place access points

Accession area