Journal of Dr. Ionia Rollin Whipper, 1939

About the Project

Dr. Ionia Rollin Whipper (1872-1953), was a skilled physician specializing in obstetrics. One of the only African American female physicians of her time, Dr. Whipper not only practiced medicine, but was a passionate advocate and teacher of public health. This journal provides insight into Dr. Whipper’s spiritual and intellectual life. Dr. Whipper graduated from Howard Medical School in 1903, worked as an assistant medical officer for the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and in 1929 started working as an obstetrician for the Maternity Ward of Freedmen's Hospital. She encountered many teenage mothers in her work, mentoring them through their pregnancies and caring for their infants. With the help of a small group of women from her church community, AME St. Luke's, Dr. Whipper raised money to open a home for unwed pregnant girls. In 1931, the Ionia R. Whipper Home for Unwed Mothers opened in Northeast Washington, D.C. and remained the only maternity home for African American women in the Washington area for decades. Help us transcribe this important journal that offers insight into Dr. Whipper’s daily life in the forefront of obstetrics medicine.

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(4 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
64pages completed





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