Object of the month: Florence Nightingale’s Lace Cap
Every month we feature a fascinating object that's on display in one of the University's museums and galleries. You're invited to come along to the exhibition and see it for yourself! This month: Florence Nightingale’s Lace Cap.
On the 8th of May, Lothian Health Services Archive will be hosting an event to celebrate International Nurses’ Day. LHSA holds a wealth of records relating to nursing in Edinburgh, ranging from letters and certificates to training registers from across different hospital nursing schools. This event will be an opportunity to learn about the history of nursing in the region as well as a rare chance to see historic collections items including a lace cap belonging to ‘the lady with the lamp’, Florence Nightingale!
Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. After opening the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1860 she introduced a greater degree of professionalism to nursing and transformed it into a career for educated women by formalising procedures and creating high standards for nurses to attain.
In Edinburgh the Royal Infirmary were inspired by these developments and the managers’ instituted a probationary period of training and a higher wage to attract “a better class of woman” to the profession. A Lady Superintendent of Nurses, Elizabeth Barclay, was appointed in 1872, and the RIE Nurse Training School was founded in the same year.
On display alongside her lace cap will be a selection of letters written by Nightingale. These were presented to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 1951 by Miss Angelique Lucille Pringle, who had trained under Nightingale. There will also be training records, copies of the RIE Nurses' Training School magazine ‘The Pelican’, and a host of other records that help to shed light on individual nurses’ experiences.
By Louise Neilson, LHSA Access Officer
For more information and to book your place visit: https://bit.ly/2DfGFW0