Florence Nightingale letters collection
MSNigh00

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910
Title
Florence Nightingale letters collection
ID
MSNigh00
Date [inclusive]
1855-1881
Extent
0.25 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract:
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was a pioneer in the field of nursing and a reformer of medical sanitation practices. The Florence Nightingale Letters Collection highlight aspects of Nightingale's work throughout her life. The correspondences exemplify her engagement in policy matters as well as her leadership in the field of Nursing. Many appear on black-bordered mourning stationary.

Preferred Citation

Florence Nightingale letters collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Biographical Sketch

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was a pioneer in the field of nursing and a reformer of medical sanitation practices. She developed a model of statistical gathering and reporting for medical data, distinguishing herself as a professional statistician. She authored several books on the topics of medical practices and women's rights, and effected legislation related to medical practices and military medicine.

She was born in 1820 in Florence, Italy to a wealthy British family. Her father believed strongly in education, and as a result both she and her sister were well educated in a variety of subjects. Throughout her early adulthood, Florence disappointed her mother by rejecting various suitors and at 25 declared an interest in nursing. After training in Germany, she was recruited for service in an army hospital in Scutari in 1854 during the Crimean War. It was there that she became horrified with sanitary practices and began to campaign for improvement. She returned to England in 1856 as a national heroine for her efforts on the soldiers' behalf. Back in England, she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas' Hospital. She continued to advocate for a wide variety of social reform issues until her death in 1910.

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Scope and Contents

The Florence Nightingale Letters Collection highlight aspects of Nightingale's work throughout her life. The correspondences exemplify her engagement in policy matters as well as her leadership in the field of Nursing. Many appear on black-bordered mourning stationary.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives November 2004

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

None

Acquisition Information

Karl A. Meyer, MD, former Medical Superintendent of Cook County Institutions acquired the Nightingale letters at an estate auction in England and presented them to the Cook County School of Nursing in 1954 for display in its library. When the school closed in 1971, Dr. Meyer donated the letters to the Alumni Association of the Cook County School of Nursing (AACCSN) with the proviso that should the School ever reopen, the letters would be returned to that institution and again be put on display. In 2003, AACCSN Board Member Chieko Onoda spearheaded the effort to transfer the letters to the Midwest Nursing History Resource Center at the UIC College of Nursing.

The collection has been housed and made available for research access by the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library Special Collections Department since 2000.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Meyer, Karl A.
  • Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 -- Archives
  • Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 -- Correspondence

Subject(s)

  • Midwest Women's History.
  • Nursing.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Florence Nightingale Letter Collection 

Box Folder

Letter from Florence Nightingale to unknown man [with transcription], 1855 

1 1

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Queen Victoria, 1863 

1 2

Letter from John F Clark to Florence Nightingale [with transcription], 1863 

1 3

Letter from John F Clark to Florence Nightingale [with transcription], 1863 

1 4

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Right Honorable Gathorne Hardy [with transcription], 1866 

1 5

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Colonel Baird, 1874 

1 6

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Henry Fawcett, 1880 

1 7

Letter from Florence Nightingale to Henry Fawcett, 1880 

1 8

Letter from Florence Nightingale to unknown man [with transcription], 1881 

1 9

Payment Receipt to Florence Nightingale, 1854 

1 10

Exhibit Catalog - Cook County School of Nursing, 1954 

1 11

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