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Eva M. Noles papers

 Collection — Box: 1-14
Identifier: MS-0125

Scope and Contents

The Eva M. Noles collection includes eleven scrapbooks documenting her professional career. Most were disbound, with pages kept intact. Pages with unfixed items were photocopied to record original placement. Three scrapbooks were photocopied in their entirety for preservation purposes (originals were retained): "My First Graduation, 1932," "Book Ia, 1928-1965," and "Book Ib, 1953-1967."

A large selection of awards (certificates, plaques, and commemorative plates) gives further insight into her achievements as a nurse, writer, and volunteer. Photographs and memorabilia document events, exhibits, and the many milestones of Mrs. Noles career.


  • circa 1932-2004


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Eva M. Noles papers, circa 1932-2004 are open for research.


Copyright is held by Eva M. Noles. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Eva Malinda Noles (née Bateman) was born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 5, 1919. Her family relocated to Youngstown and Chicago before settling in Buffalo, NY in 1928, where she would later become the city's first African American nurse. When she graduated from Hutchinson Central High School, she courageously applied and was accepted to E. J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (now the Erie County Medical Center). In 1940, she finished at the top of her class and became the first black woman to be trained as a registered nurse in Buffalo. After establishing herself in the field, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (1962) and a Master of Arts degree in Education (1967) from the University at Buffalo.

Noles began her career working at Meyer, Sisters and Columbus Hospitals before she was hired as a staff nurse at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in 1945. She climbed the ranks, breaking race barriers at every step, until she became the director of nursing in 1971. She retired in 1974, and wrote her first book, Six Decades of Nursing at Roswell Park, 1914-1974. From 1977-1984, she worked as a Home Care Supervisor and staff developer at the Medical Personnel Pool.

Eva Noles dedicated her life to nursing, education, and outreach. She has served on many local and national committees, including New York State Board of Nursing and the American Nurses Association. She also served as a board member with the Buffalo General Hospital Board of Trustees, Community Mental Health Center of Buffalo, and Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has received many awards for her dedicated community service, including the Achievement Award of the Buffalo Branch, American Association of University Women and the Uncrowned Queens Institute's Culture Keepers award for outstanding contributions to African American culture in Western New York.

Noles is the author of several publications including Black History: A Different Approach - A Compilation (Buffalo, NY Noles Publishing, 1988); Buffalo's Blacks: Talking Proud (Buffalo, NY Noles Publishing, 1986); and Six Decades of Nursing at Roswell Park, 1914-1974 (Buffalo, Roswell Park, 1975).


7 Linear Feet (9 manuscript boxes, 1 half box, 3 oversize boxes, 1 box audio/visual cassettes)


Scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, awards, and publications documenting the professional career of Eva M. Noles, nurse, author, and local activist.


This collection is arranged in four series: I. Professional work, II. Scrapbooks, III. Awards, and IV. Photographs.

Acquisition Information

Eva Noles donated her collection to the University Archives on March 14, 2005.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

MS 114, Uncrowned Queens Digital Oral History project, 2004

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Vilz, November, 2005.


Finding Aid for the Eva M. Noles papers
Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)