Midwest Nursing History Research Center

Overview

The mission of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center (Center) is to promote scholarly research and professional interest in the history of nursing through the collection, preservation, and dissemination of Midwestern Nursing History.

The Center is the central repository for nursing historical documents and artifacts from the Midwestern United States and serves as a center for scholars engaged in historical research. It 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 the Annual Harriet Fulmer Lecture, given by a noted historian of nursing, in the fall. 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.

History of the Center

The Midwest Nursing History Research Center developed out of an historical methodology research interest group that was part of the federally funded Nurse Faculty Research Development in the Midwest Project (1978). Its original promoters were doctorally prepared nurses who wanted to establish a repository for significant documents relating to nursing history in the Midwest. The Center originally opened in October, 1982 within the University of Illinois Medical Center. In 1989, it moved to its present site on the fourth floor of the UIC College of Nursing.

Significant Collections

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.

Save the Date!

Dr. Julie Fairman will present the annual Harriet Fulmer lecture on Tuesday October 21, 2014.

Dr. Fairman is the Nightingale Professor of Nursing and the Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fairman is an internationally recognized nurse historian whose work has focused on health policy, critical care nursing, and the evolving role of nurse practitioners.

Refreshments and tours of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center will follow the 1:00 PM presentation.

Details of this free event, including a registration link, will follow. 

 

Related links

American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) at http://www.aahn.org/index.html.  The AAHN provides a wealth of information and links to sites relevant to the history of nursing.

UIC Library of the Health Sciences, Special Collections at http://library.uic.edu/home/collections/manuscripts-and-rare-books. Some of the Center’s collections have been moved to the Library of the Health Sciences at UIC to facilitate researcher access.

American Association for the History of Medicine 
(AAHM) at http://www.histmed.org/. The AAHM web site has links to many interesting resources in the history of science and medicine. 


Chicago Area Medical Archivists at http://www.chicagoarchivists.org/cama. CAMA, a specialty within the Chicago Area Archivists group, showcases the Chicago areas’ healthcare history resources.

NIH Directory of History of Medicine Collections at http://wwwcf2.nlm.nih.gov/hmddirectory/index.cfm. This directory includes key Chicago area medical history resources.

Donations

Your support is needed.

Don’t throw that old nursing stuff away!

Please help to preserve historical nursing materials through your donation of agency, organizational or individual records. Records from Midwestern training schools, hospitals, individual nurses, or any organizations employing nurses or providing nursing care in the Midwest would be particularly appreciated. We are also interested in nursing textbooks and photographs of nurses.

We also need your financial support, to help the Center preserve and publicize the collections, and provide for activities such as lectures and displays.

In addition—we have specific needs. These include:

  • Support for the Harriett Fulmer Lecture Series
  • Reframing photographs currently in century-old unsealed frames (Cost varies by size)
  • Purchase of museum quality displayers for nurses’ caps ($80 each)
  • Transfer of 1950s educational reels of film to dvd
  • Transfer of 1960s and 1970s VHS tapes to dvd
  • Archival photograph albums ($100) and storage boxes for scrapbooks ($70)

If you have any questions, please contact the Center. We would be very pleased to talk with you.

Please contact:

Brigid Lusk, PhD RN

Director, MNHRC, and Clinical Professor, Department of Health Systems Science
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing


Midwest Nursing History Research Center (M/C 802)

845 South Damen Avenue
, 416-424 NURS

Chicago, IL 60612-7350

Email: bmlusk@uic.edu

Contact Us

We welcome your comments and would be pleased to show you the Center or facilitate your review of our collections.

Please contact:

Brigid Lusk, PhD RN

Director, MNHRC, and Clinical Professor, Department of Health Systems Science
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing


Midwest Nursing History Research Center (M/C 802)

845 South Damen Avenue
, 416-424 NURS

Chicago, IL 60612-7350

Email: bmlusk@uic.edu