The collection primarily reflects the nature of Dr. Disosway's medical practice and missionary work in China and Alaska. She served in China from 1926 until 1941. Among the eighteen letters in the collection are several that describe her work at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Shanghai (1937-1940). The letters discuss Dr. Disosway's living quarters; the high cost of supplies caused by the Sino-Japanese War; and Dr. Disosway's heavy workload, especially in delivering babies. Also of interest are her description of Chinese refugees from Yang Chow and their extremely poor living conditions in Shanghai (Nov. 28, 1937), and the problems caused by the prospect of war between Japan and the United States (Oct. 1940). Other items pertaining to St. Elizabeth's Hospital are Dr. Disosway's brief diary (Jan.-Mar., 1926); the institution's annual reports (1937, 1939); copies of
District of Shanghai Newsletter (1939, 1940),
The Spirit of Missions (1938, 1940), and
The China_Press Sunday Magazine (Mar. 10, 1940); a typescript by Dr. Disosway describing hospital activity under wartime conditions (1937); and a copy of a Shanghai newspaper containing a story about the first baby of the newyear (1940), delivered by Dr. Disosway. Loose photographs and photographs in two albums (ca. 1927) depict the hospital staff and patients at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.
Owing to the danger of war in 1941, Dr. Disosway was transferred to Hudson Stuck Memorial Hospital, Fort Yukon, Alaska, where she served as hospital administrator and physician- and, sometimes, as cook. Letters (1941-1942) reflect the nature of the life and people north of the Arctic Circle and discuss hospital problems. Photographs depict the hospital and its staff and patients, as well as local Indians. Articles describing the work of the hospital are found in copies of
The Alaskan Churchman (Aug., 1948) and
The Mission Herald (1942, 1943, 1947).
Additional material pertaining to Dr. Disosway's career includes her anecdotal sketch of Dr. John Wilson Wood, secretary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church; diplomas, certificates, and licenses reflecting her education and practice; published articles and a speech pertaining to her career and memorials to her in New Bern; and photographs taken in the Good Shepherd Hospital in New Bern.
The collection contains a variety of material tangentially related to Dr. Disosway's career. Contained in one of the photograph albums (ca. 1927) are views of China and the Philippine Islands. Shots taken in China depict junks on the Yangtze River; street scenes and structures in Shanghai, Peking, Soochow, Hong Kong, and Hangchow; and the aircraft carrier HMS
ARGUS. Shots taken in the Philippines depict street scenes and structures in Manila and Baguio in the island of Luzon; the native Igorot people engaged in a variety of activities; missionary structures and thatched roof huts of the Igorot; and rural scenes including mountains and jungles. Also in the collection is a file of correspondence and photographs (1944-1945) pertaining to the launching of the USS
MOUNT KATMAI, built by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, on January 6, 1945.