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Midwest Nursing History Research Center

Artifacts in MNHRC

Promoting scholarly research and professional interest in the history of nursing in the Midwest

The Midwest Nursing History Research Center is the central repository for nursing historical documents and artifacts from the Midwestern United States and serves as a center for scholars engaged in historical research. Collecting, preserving and disseminating Midwestern nursing history, the center combines a small museum with an archival collection and space for scholarly research. Researchers, students and members of the public are encouraged to contact the center and arrange for a visit or discuss the archival holdings.

Visitors to the UIC Midwest Nursing History Research Center will see nursing artifacts related to nursing education and practice. These include furniture, school catalogs, photographs, and a nineteenth century uniform from the Illinois Training School for Nurses, the first Nightingale-type nursing school in the Midwest. Other displays showcase items used in bedside nursing at home and in hospitals, nursing during war time, and the Nightingale letters. There is dedicated work space for nurse historians and access to the center’s holdings.

The center offers a lecture by a noted historian of nursing in the fall, known as the Harriet Fulmer Lecture, and in the spring. In addition, other educational events are regularly presented.

The center, located on the fourth floor of UIC’s College of Nursing, is open to visitors and researchers by request. Please contact the center as far in advance as possible to schedule a visit.

Why study history? Let this video give you our answer. Heading link

Video created through the generous support of  Karyn Holm, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, a distinguished nurse scholar and member of the MNHRC Advisory Board.

Significant Collections Heading link

Significant archival materials held by the Midwest Nursing History Research Center include:

  • Records from the Midwest Nursing Research Society from 1977 through 1999
  • A collection of letters written by Florence Nightingale
  • Records from the Illinois Training School for Nurses, in existence from 1880 to 1929
  • Collections from various hospital schools of nursing, including Michael Reese Hospital and Cook County Hospital (renamed John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County)
  • Records from the Chicago Nurses Professional Registry

Some records are currently held in UIC’s Special Collections within the Library of Health Sciences. Staff from the CON Center work closely with UIC archivists and librarians.

Karen Flynn, PhD Heading link

Director, Midwest Nursing History Research Center; Professor, Department of Population Health Nursing Science