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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H01/ST/NC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1828-1970
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 2.5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Nightingale Training School | St Thomas's Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

After the death of Florence Nightingale in August 1910, her executors gathered together her papers and borrowed other letters and papers from many of her correspondents to assist Sir Edward Cook to write her biography. This was published in two volumes in 1913. Shortly afterwards the Matron of Saint Thomas' Hospital, Miss Alicia Lloyd Still, started to collect letters, papers, books, photographs, prints and all manner of objects associated with Florence Nightingale and the early years of the Nightingale School with the intention of forming a museum.

The principal benefactors and donors to the collection included Louis Shore Nightingale, Rosalind Vaughan Nash, and Barbara, Lady Stephen, who were the children of Florence Nightingale's cousin, William Shore Nightingale. Joanna Bonham Carter gave the papers of her father, Henry Bonham Carter, to the Nightingale School. Lord Riddell, whose wife had trained as a nurse at Saint Thomas' Hospital, purchased many letters written by Florence Nightingale, which he gave to the collection. Relatives of Angelique Lucille Pringle, Rachel Williams, Sir John McNeil, Lady Makins, Elizabeth Bosanquet, Helen and Jessie Blower, Mary Cadbury and many others donated valuable collections of documents and books. A room in the Nightingale Home served as a temporary museum. Other prints and photographs were displayed on the walls of Matron's office and in rooms in the Nightingale Home.

During the Second World War Saint Thomas' Hospital was badly damaged by bombing. The Nightingale Home was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944. Florence Nightingale's Crimean carriage was seriously damaged in an earlier air raid in 1940, but was restored. Fortunately most of the Nightingale Collection was stored in Riddell House, which escaped the bombing. Acquisitions to the Nightingale Collection continued to be received both during and after the War. In 1960 Miss E. M. McInnes, Saint Thomas' Hospital archivist, organised a major exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the Nightingale School.

In 1967 the Board of Governors of Saint Thomas' Hospital decided to transfer the archives of the Hospital to the Greater London Record Office. In 1968 the archives of the Nightingale School and most of the documentary and photographic material from the Nightingale Collection were also deposited at the Greater London Record Office. In the early 1980's an appeal was launched to raise money to establish a museum on the lower ground floor of the new Nightingale School building at Saint Thomas' Hospital. The Florence Nightingale Museum was opened by HRH Princess Alexandra on 4 February 1989. Here many personal items formally belonging to Florence Nightingale, clothing, furniture, books, letters, portraits, photographs and Crimean relics have been placed on public display in a museum devoted to her life and the many aspects of her work.


Scope and content/abstract:

The Florence Nightingale Collection, Saint Thomas' Hospital, London, including correspondence with and about Florence Nightingale, 1853-1961, with correspondents including Henry Bonham-Carter, Jane Shaw Stewart, Richard Gullett Whitfield, Sir Henry Acland, Sir Robert Rawlinson, William Rathbone, Sir Harry Verney, Harriet Martineau, and Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, as well as hospital architects, nurses trained at the Nightingale School and soldiers and nurses who served at Scutari and in the Crimea; Christmas cards from Florence Nightingale to various acquaintances, 1882-1889; books, pamphlets and articles by Florence Nightingale, 1863-1952; documents relating to the Crimean War, 1854-1883, including register of nurses sent to the Crimea, reports and financial accounts; documents relating to honours awarded to Nightingale, 1872-1908; papers regarding memorials and commemorative services, 1910-1966; programmes from theatrical performances, 1929-1937; publications about Nightingale, 1855-1937; papers regarding various nursing training institutions, 1856-1943, including prospectuses, syllabuses and regulations; papers regarding nursing, 1856-1920; papers of Dr Pattison Walker who corresponded with Florence Nightingale from India about sanitary matters, 1845-1877; papers of Henry Bonham Carter, secretary of the Nightingale Fund Council and first cousin to Nightingale, 1855-1916; papers of Sir George Makins, surgeon at St Thomas' Hospital, 1886-1923 and commemorative stamps featuring Nightingale, 1954-1970.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The Nightingale Collection has been arranged into 22 main sections. There are also four appendices.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Documents and books relating to Florence Nightingale deposited in 1968 by the Matron, Nightingale Training School, and Saint Thomas' Hospital. Ownership is now vested in the Florence Nightingale Museum Trust. Acquisitions to the Nightingale Collection continue to accrue.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the Matron of the Nightingale Training School at Saint Thomas' Hospital.

Allied Materials

Related material:

There are a large amount of papers relating to Florence Nightingale held in a large number of repositories in the UK and North America. For a full listing please see the entry for Florence Nightingale in the National Register of Archives database, hosted on the website of The National Archives, or consult Florence Nightingale's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Publication note:

E. T. Cook, The life of Florence Nightingale, 2 vols. (1913); C. Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910 (1950); Ever yours, Florence Nightingale, ed. M. Vicinus and B. Negaard (1989); A. Summers, Angels and citizens: British women as military nurses, 1854-1914 (1988); F. B. Smith, Florence Nightingale: reputation and power (1982); M. E. Baly, Florence Nightingale and the nursing legacy (1997); As Miss Nightingale said: Florence Nightingale through her sayings, ed. M. E. Baly, 2nd edn (1997); W. J. Bishop and S. Goldie, A bio-bibliography of Florence Nightingale (1962); Dear Miss Nightingale: a selection of Benjamin Jowett's letters to Florence Nightingale, 1860-1893, ed. V. Quinn and J. Prest (1987); L. McDonald, ed., The collected works of Florence Nightingale, 1: Florence Nightingale: an introduction to her life and family (2001).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

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