The University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) is pleased to announce that its Carrie Tingley Hospital records have been processed and are now available for research onsite on UNM’s north campus.
The Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children was created on December 1, 1936, in Hot Springs (now Truth or Consequences), New Mexico. It was named after Governor Clyde Tingley’s wife, Carrie Wooster Tingley, because of her love for helping children. The hospital’s goal was to give high-quality orthopedic care, specifically associated with
the polio outbreaks of the early twentieth century, to New Mexico’s low-income children. The hospital was located in Truth or Consequences because of its abundance of natural hot springs, a therapeutic treatment for polio at that time. Governor Clyde Tingley modeled the New Mexico rehabilitation center after the treatment center Franklin D. Roosevelt went to in Warm Springs, Georgia. It is popularly known that Carrie Tingley Hospital treated all patients, regardless of color and financial ability. This would have been progressive on New Mexico’s part as many medical facilities in the U.S. were segregated at that time.
The hospital stayed in Truth or Consequences until 1981 when the hospital was relocated to Albuquerque, and ultimately became part of the University of New Mexico Health System.
HSLIC supported the processing of this important body of records through one of its seed funding grants, which are designed to help foster a variety of research and innovative projects by library employees. HSLIC hired UNM student Maxx Harrison (he/they) to review 16 boxes of unprocessed materials and physically rehouse them in acid-free archival containers and folders. Maxx used the time-saving archival processing framework More Product, Less Process (MPLP) as well as contemporaneously identified logical series/subseries structures within the boxes, and described the entire collection in an archival finding guide. This guide is now available for review via New Mexico Archives Online: https://nmarchives.unm.edu/repositories/23/resources/4839. The guide also includes a link to digitized board of directors minutes (https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_cth_bdm/).
These records should be helpful to researchers in the fields of history, healthcare management, orthopedics, physical medicine, virology, and population health, among others. For those interested in Chicano literature, Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Tortuga is based on his own experiences at Carrie Tingley Hospital.
To make an appointment to view these records, please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least five business days before your expected visit.
Our thanks to Maxx for their work and contributions to this article.
Laura Hall, Head of Resources, Archives, and Discovery, UNM HSLIC
Maxx Harrison, Intern, UNM HSLIC
Jonathan Pringle, Scholarly Communications and Digital Librarian, UNM HSLIC
Abbie Weiser, Archivist, UNM HSLIC
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