Newark City Hospital

Newark City Hospital
(Named, Harrison S. Martland Medical Center, 1955-1963; renamed, NCH, 1963-1968)
Records, 1898-1971
A Guide to the Collection

Revised April 1999
Record Group RG/K
88-05, 90-29, 93-55, 90-11, 92-47, 93-116, 92-57, 94-43, 92-106


The records of Newark City Hospital (NCH) date from 1898 to 1971, with bulk dates from 1910 through the late 1940s. The records total approximately 11 linear feet. They form Record Group RG/K in the Special Collections' Bergen University Archives. The records are open for research without restriction under the conditions of the Archives' access policy.

Organizational History

For several years until 1882, the City of Newark was without its own municipal hospital. Instead, a total of ten beds were maintained at St. Michael's, St. Barnabas and the German Hospitals for the care of the indigent sick and injured. Seeing a need for better facilities, a City Hospital was organized by obtaining the use of the north wing of the Almshouse located on the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Concord Street. With 25 beds, the hospital was opened to the sick on September 4, 1882 and was incorporated on February 23, 1883. In its first year, the hospital staff cared for 267 patients and only 30 of them died. In its early days, City Hospital treated mostly contagious diseases, but 118 operations were performed in the first eight months of service. In its second year City Hospital was moved to the former Insane Asylum building on Fairmont Avenue.

Newark City Hospital, 1910

By the late 1880's the hospital had outgrown its second home, which was torn down in phases, and replaced by a red brick structure. Construction of the new hospital began in 1898; the hospital was occupied in 1890. In 1914 a new five-story residence facility was open for the student nurses on Fairmont Avenue across from the hospital, which was vacated in 1983. It was the first permanent Nurses Home that the students had since the school began in 1885. In 1925, the hospital was enlarged by the addition of the north wing, a four-story structure with a basement. The hospital now consisted of a central building with two wings and adjoining solaria, each four-stories high with a basement, and the north wing.

Between 1930 and 1944 there does not appear to have been any marked changes in either the City Hospital or the School of Nursing. A psychiatric affiliation with Marlboro State Hospital was added in 1950. A communicable disease affiliation with Essex County Isolation Hospital was set up in 1950, then discontinued in 1956. The psychiatric affiliation was changed to Essex County Hospital at Cedar Grove in 1956.

To cope with the rising demands of the large postwar migrations of poverty-stricken people to Newark, construction began in 1954 of a new 17-story hospital with 750 beds. The City of Newark dedicated the new hospital the Harrison S. Martland Medical Center, in honor of the prominent pathologist, Dr. Harrison Stanford Martland (1883-1954),* who had served the city for 28 years as pathologist for the hospital and as Essex County Medical Examiner. The $13 million hospital, located behind the 1900 structure and facing Bergen Street, was completed in May 1958. From 1956 to 1964 total yearly admissions, births and clinic visits almost doubled. In 1962 the hospital's name was changed back to Newark City Hospital. From 1960 through 1967 the hospital had numerous problems including collections, accreditation, poor housekeeping, sanitation, community criticism and work condition protests. On July 1, 1968 the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry assumed operation of the hospital and renamed the entire complex the Martland Hospital Unit of the NJ College of Medicine and Dentistry. In 1969 the hospital had 773 beds, 1340 employees, cared for 22,000 inpatients and had approximately 150,000 outpatient visits. Martland Hospital served as the primary teaching facility for the College until it was replaced by the CMDNJ-College Hospital in 1979 (now, UMDNJ-University Hospital). The old Newark City Hospital was torn down in 19___; the Nurses Home building was demolished in 1994.


The records of the NCH were transferred to the Bergen University Archives in 1988. Records originating in the NCH-School of Nursing (NCHSN) were transferred by Eunice Tichnor, University Hospital - Office of Nursing Staff Development in November 1991. The records are continually added as materials are donated by (former) students, faculty, and staff.

Scope and Content Note

The records of NCH date from 1898 to 1971. Log and Protocol books help document the early years at the Hospital. The NCHSN is the strongest series in this Record Group.

The collection contains nine series including Medical Surgical Logbooks, Scrapbooks, Artifacts, Patient Admission Cards, Publications, School of Nursing, Department of Pathological Anatomy: Laboratory, and Correspondence. One series remains open for future records.

For additional material regarding the NCH including photographs, annual reports, commemorative programs, correspondence, intern registers, residency certificates, and clippings, please see the following collections:

PC/1-Harrison Stanford Martland, MD, Papers, 1907-1954.
PC/2-Samuel Berg, MD, Collection, 1882-1963.
RG/K-6-2, NCH School of Nursing Records, 1889-1966.

Series Description

This series contains four bound volumes from the NCH. Each book contains clinical pathology reports, types and number of cases, and vital statistics on each patient. Titles include: Obstetrical Conditions, Diseases and Injuries, New Born Child; Fractures (two volumes); and Digestive Systems, Abscess-Gastric Ulcer.

This series consists of one scrapbook (bound) containing newspaper clippings on NCH, Essex County area morgues, Essex County Medical Examiners and Coroners, deaths requiring autopsy, and Harrison S. Martland. Also included is a photograph dated July 1934, possibly of Clifford H. Kaehler, an aid to the First Assistant Essex County Medical Examiner. The inclusive dates are 1934 to 1959, with the bulk dates of 1934 to 1937. The scrapbook is in poor condition with some items missing.

This series consists of artifacts from the turn-of-the-20th century. Although exact dating is unknown, circa dating is provided where possible. Items include two wooden benches (in use in the Library's Lobby), a wooden bookcase with a glass front, a red brick casement sign, a wood and leather chair, a marble dedication plaque, brass elevator fixtures, and a wooden wheelchair. There is also an illuminated parchment manuscript, which commemorates the Martland lectures.

This series consists of a sampling of seventeen NCH admission cards, dated from February to November 1936. The cards contain personal data about individual patients, and are handwritten with some typed information.

This series contains publications from the NCH. Included is a program from the 9th Annual Presentation of Diplomas of Service to Interns and Residents, dated June 29, 1967.

The Newark City Hospital Nurses Training School (NCHSN) was established in 1885. The two-year training program entailed one year of practical training in various wards. During the second year, nurses were placed in charge of a ward, trained in obstetrics, and served at the Newark Eye & Ear Infirmary, as well as being sent to private homes. In 1968, the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (CMDNJ) purchased the Hospital and the School of Nursing from the City of Newark. The NCHSN closed in 1971.

This series consists of four subseries including Publications (K-6-1), Student Records (K-6-2), Photographs (K-6-3), and Artifacts (K-6-4). For a more in-depth history, series description, and container list, please refer to the separate register for RG/K, Subseries 2, NCHSN. Student Records, 1889-1966 (RG/K-6-2).

This series contains a bound volume entitled, "Post-Mortem Protocols," which contains records of autopsies performed. Data includes name, death date, date of autopsy, source of cadaver, and diagnosis anatomica. The latter is complete for most subjects. Each entry is signed by pathologist, Dr. Harrison S. Martland.

Researchers using this series should consult William D. Sharpe, "Autopsies at Newark City Hospital, 1908-1911," Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey, 1984; 81 (1): 53-62. SEE VF-Hospitals-NCH for copy of article.

This series contains correspondence between Robert R. Cadmus, MD (former President NJCMD) and W. J. Russell Taylor, MD (Former Research Director, NCH) discussing the deficiencies in patient care at NCH.

Because the NHCSN Student Records (RG/K-6-2) were processed first, and thus boxed first (boxes 1-9), box numbering for the remaining series may appear out-of-order.


RG/K-1 NCH. Medical Surgical Logbooks
Box Folder Contents
17Obstetrical Conditions, Diseases and Injuries, New Born Child. Vol. 1, 1909.
17Fractures. Vol. 2, 1911.
not boxedDigestive Systems, Abscess-Gastric Ulcer. Vol. 1, 1912.
not boxedFractures, 1913.


RG/K-2 NCH. Scrapbooks BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
16Scrapbook, 1934-1959.


RG/K-3 NCH. Artifacts BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
18Artifact. Ambulance Cap, n. d. [Berg]
Not BoxedA. Benches (wood); used by waiting patients.
B. Bookcase (wood with glass front); possibly for instruments. [deaccessioned in 1997]
C. Casement Sign (red brick); from front of NCH with the institution's name on it, ca. 1900. [deaccessioned in 1997]
D. Chair (Wood and Leather); from doctor's office. [deaccessioned in 1997]
E. Dedication Plaque (marble); from NCH, ca. 1898.
F. Elevator Fixtures (brass); from NCH.
G. Wheelchair (wood); from NCH/Martland Medical Center, ca. early 20th century.
H. Broadside. "The Martland Lectures, Dr. Harrison Stanford Martland--An Appreciation." By Emmanual Libman, NY, NY: The DeFelice Studio, n. d. (illuminated calligraphy on parchment)


RG/K-4 Patient Records BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
101Admissions Cards (17 cards), Feb. 18-Nov. 30, 1936. [90-11]
49th Annual Presentation of Diplomas of Services to Interns and Residents, June 29, 1967. [94-43]


RG/K-8 Correspondence BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
107Correspondence, 1967. [94-43]


RG/K-6-1/2 NCH. School of Nursing BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
1-8NCHSN. Student Records, 1914-1955. [95-57]
Please refer to the separate register for this subseries (RG/K-6-2).
91NCHSN. Publications. Affero Spem, 1941 (photocopy).
2NCHSN. Publications. Affero Spem, 1946 ("Cadet Nurse"). [90-29]
3NCHSN. Publications. Affero Spem, 1962. [90-29]
4NCHSN. Publications. Affero Spem, 1968. [90-29]
5NCHSN. Publications. Alumni Association. Programs and Newsletter, 1938, 1956, 1971. [90-29]
6NCHSN. Publications. 50th Commencement Program, May 24, 1938. [90-29]
7NCHSN. Publications. 79th Commencement Program, August 17, 1966. [94-43]
8NCHSN. Publications. Commencement Programs, 1968-1970. [90-29]
9NCHSN. Publications. Miscellaneous, n. d. [90-29]
10NCHSN. Publications. Photocopied Materials (duplicates).


RG/K-6-3/4 NCH. School of Nursing BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
Photographs. Class Photo, 1941. (photocopy in broadsides)
11Artifact. Alumni Association. SN Flag. [92-106]
12Artifact. School Nurse's Cap (graduate cap-white w/ navy stripes), c. 1956. [93-55]
13Artifact. School Nurse's Cape (navy wool with red lining w/ NCH crest on left breast, "Oliver" embroidered on inside neck), c. 1956. [93-55] (oversized box)
14Textbook. Kimber, Diana Clifford and Carolyn E. Gray. Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology, 8th ed. NY: Macmillan, 1933. [92-47]
14Textbook. Van Blarcom, Carolyn Conant, RN. Obstetrical Nursing, 3rd ed., rev. NY: Macmillan, 1935. [92-47]
14Textbook. Harmer, Bertha, RN, BS, AM. The Principles and Practices of Nursing, 2nd ed., rev. NY: Macmillan, 1933. [92-47]


RG/K-7 Dept. of Pathological Anatomy: Laboratory BOX LIST
Box Folder Contents
15Post-Mortem Protocols. Vol. 1, 1908-1911 (bound & oversized)


Page Revised: 3/6/01

For reference service and information contact:

Robert Vietrogoski
Special Collections
(973) 972-7830
FAX (973) 972-7474