Georgia Infirmary Records
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Georgia Infirmary Records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Georgia Infirmary (Savannah, Ga.)
Title: Georgia Infirmary Records
Dates: 1833-1973
Extent: 6.25 cubic feet (19 volumes, 1 folder)
Identification: MS 0301

Biographical/Historical Note

The Georgia Infirmary was chartered December 24, 1832 for the care of infirm and aged African American people. It was the first hospital in the United States founded for African American people, though it was operated solely by whites. The Georgia Infirmary was established under a grant in the will of Thomas F. Williams, a Baptist minister and landowner. The original hospital was on the grounds of the Bethesda Orphanage, about ten miles outside of Savannah, Georgia. The institution was moved to Abercorn Street in Savannah in 1838, where it remained until its closing in 1973. During the Civil War, the hospital's buildings were destroyed, and the new hospital reopened in 1871. The Georgia Infirmary established the first nursing school for blacks in the United States, which operated from 1906 until the 1930s. A 100th Anniversary ceremony was held in 1933 at which a bronze tablet was unveiled commemorating the hospital's unique history. In 1964, the hospital admitted whites for the first time in an attempt to counteract the loss of patients following integration. The Georgia Infirmary closed in November 1973 due to a decrease in referrals and therefore patients. In 1974, a stroke rehabilitation center was opened in the building using the name, The Georgia Infirmary.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains minute books, patient registers, birth records, and miscellaneous administrative materials. The minute books (5 volumes), January 15, 1833-October 10, 1960, contain minutes, treasurer reports, resolutions and newspaper clippings.

Patient registers (13 volumes) contain the names, addresses, date of admission, date of discharge, age, nativity, occupation, diagnosis, doctor, births, and deaths of patients admitted to the hospital from 1911 to 1973. The birth records are contained in one volume that dates from 1945 to 1956.

One folder of miscellaneous administrative papers includes minutes of the board of trustees, report of the superintendent for 1947, 1948, and 1949, hospital accounts and staff lists, articles pertaining to the hospital's operation during the 1940s, and a history of the Georgia Infirmary since 1833.

Index Terms

African American nursing schools--Georgia--Savannah.
African Americans--Hospital care.
Birth records.
Birth registers.
Georgia Infirmary (Savannah, Ga.)
Medical records.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Georgia Infirmary Records, MS 301, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

5 volumes and 1 folder of minutes, gift of Clarence A. Williams and Albert H. Stoddard, 1971. Patient and birth records, gift of Clarence A. Williams, 1983.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List


Minute Books, 1833-1960


11833 January 15-1891 July 27


21892 January 4-1915 April 5


31916 January 26-1926 October 4


41927 January 3-1933 October 2


51951 July 24-1960 October 10

Patient Registers, 1911-1973


11911 May-1920 December


21921 January-1927 December


31928 January-1935 October


41935 November-1941 December


51942 January-1946 December


61947 January-1951 May


71951 June-1954 August


81954 September-1957 September


91957 October-1961 October


101961 November-1965 February


111965 February-1968 Juy


121968 August-1972 December


131973 January-October 26

Birth Records, 1945-1956


1Birth Records, 1945-1956


1Correspondence, 1941-1950; minutes and reports, 1947-1951; financial statements, 1946-1950, 1941-1950