Highlight of the month

The children’s hospital of The women´s charity organization Hringurinn

The women´s charity organization Hringurinn was founded in Reykjavík in 1904. Its major project was helping poor patients with tuberculosis (TB) in Reykjavík to get medical aid and other necessary support. In 1926 a sanatorium for patients with TB was built in Kópavogur at the initiative of Hringurinn. The society ran the institution until the year 1940 when the State took over the operation.

From the year 1942 Hringurinn has dedicated its support to the affairs of a children’s hospital. The children’s ward at The National University Hospital of Iceland opened in 1957, but it was dedicated under the name Barnaspítali Hringsins (Children´s Hospital of Hringurinn) 50 years ago, on the 26th of November 1965. The women of Hringurinn raised funds in various ways, e.g. by selling Christmas cards. One of the cards, from the 1940´s, is conserved in the Women´s History Archives along with other documents of Hringurinn and can be seen on the photo. Ágústa Pétursdóttir Snæland designed the logo of Hringurinn. She was the first Icelander educated as a graphic designer.

The members of Hringurinn have raised large amounts of money for the Children’s´ Hospital, both for the buying of medical instruments and also for the specially designed hospital building which was dedicated in 2003, on the 99th anniversary of the organization. More information on the establishment and activities of women’s organizations can be seen in the current exhibition in the National and University Library „We cheerfully salute the future“.

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