|A small exhibition entitled "Selections from the Nursing History Collection" was on view in the Special Collections Reading Room of UWM's Golda Meir Library from March 1996 through September 1996 and has been reconstituted as this online exhibit. The exhibition of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs, posters, and artifacts highlights the resources of a significant collection of more than 400 rare and classic books and pamphlets covering all aspects of American nursing history from the late nineteenth century to the 1950s.|
|The collection was donated to Special Collections in November 1995 by the UWM Center for Nursing History, and represents the largest academic collection of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. The collection has since been augmented by generous gifts from the Friends of the Golda Meir Library. The transfer of materials between UWM departments provides for greater accessibility by researchers, and places the collection in the larger context of the women's studies focus in Special Collections.|
The exhibition focuses on several areas of concentration in the Nursing History Collection, including early technical skills and general nursing care; the legal and ethical aspects of nursing and its development; obstetrics and pediatrics; community health; nursing education; nursing and the military; Wisconsin and Milwaukee area history (particularly hospital nursing programs and the Lutheran Deaconess movement). The Nursing History Collection in Special Collections compliments the very strong holdings in nursing history in the Golda Meir Library's general collections and UWM Archives. The Archives hold several important and unique collections relevant to nursing history, including the Papers of Helen Creighton, Distinguished Professor of Nursing at UWM and a pioneer in nursing law, and the records of Milwaukee's St. Mary's School of Nursing, 1894-1969. The Golda Meir Library also holds a complete microfilm set of the extensive Adelaide Nutting Historical Nursing Collection. This collection consists of over 1100 items that are separately cataloged and accessible individually through the library's online catalog system.
Examples of materials on display from the Nursing History Collection include Dr. H. H. Kane's early nursing manual The Sick-Room, A Practical Manual on Nursing (1878); Mary A. Gardner Holland's retrospective Our Army Nurses (1895); a first edition of Clara Barton's The Red Cross (1898), a history of the international movement of which she established the American affiliate; the anonymous Mademoiselle Miss: Letters from an American Girl Serving . . . in a French Army Hospital on the Front (1916); and a signed presentation copy of Margaret Sanger's My Fight for Birth Control (1931). Also on display are manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera from the UWM Archives' Helen Creighton papers and the records of Milwaukee's St. Mary's School of Nursing, and historical nursing artifacts on loan from the UWM Center for Nursing History.