Margaret M Allemang Centre for the History of Nursing
Bulletin Description Bulletin Archives Membership
Description Bulletin Archives Membership





Margaret M. Allemang Centre for Nursing History

Editor: Natalie Riegler, RN, PhD. 3 Dromore Crescent, Willowdale, Ontario, M2R 2H4.
TEL: 416-221-5632 E-MAIL:


BOOK REVIEW: by Joyce MacQueen

Bullough, Vern L., Bonnie Bullough, and Marietta P. Stanton. Florence Nightingale and her Era: A Collection of New Scholarship. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1990. 365 pp.

What would nursing do without Nightingale? We would have to invent a Nightingale and, of course, to a large extent we have. Nightingale--myth, reality, era--provides a never-ending source for nurs-ing research. Having said that, it is clear that we will never produce the definitive work.

This collection of papers, presented at a con-ference on Nightingale and her Era (University of Buffalo), provides, nonetheless, an incredible fund of recent research. Because the papers were prepared for oral presen-tations they have a pleasant, informal tone. For the same reason, however, many of the authors were not concerned about the editing of their papers; that the publishers were equally unconcerned with editing or at least proof-reading the manuscript is difficult to understand. Some articles, of course, are well prepared for publication, for example, those of Baly, the Bulloughs, Riegler, and Young.

The nineteen articles making up the collection are divided under five headings: New Scholarship about Florence Nightingale; American Nursing at the Turn of the Century; Nineteenth Century Norms: The Status and Education of Women and Nurses; Nightingalism and Reform in Psychiatric Care; Nightingalism: and Impact and Relationship with Secular Re-ligious Organizations. Con-cluding the collection is an invaluable 41-page Nightingale Bibliography prepared by Bullough, Bullough, and Lilli Sentz.

The articles in this collection comprise an incredible range both in type of history and in quality of research, from traditional narrative history to psycho-logical and medical specu-lation. In her delightful way, Monica Baly, for example, presents solid research to show the reality of the establishment of the first school at St. Thomas's. Brook and Veith, on the other hand, both speculate about the cause of Nightingale's reclusive-ness; Brook postulates a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and Veith suggests that Nightingale

had systemic lupus erythe-matosus. Despite the uneven quality of the materials, this collection is an important addition to the growing body of nursing history.



Ontario Community Newspapers Association. This organization advertised this past summer that it now had many of the Ontario's weekly newspapers in microfiche form. Contact: 416/844-0184.

Queen Street Mental Health Centre Archives. 1001 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1H4. The Griffin-Greenland Collection on the history of Canadian psychiatry is held in this respository. The Archives is interested in the "evolution of mental health services in Upper Canada from the earliest times to the present."



American Association for the History of Nursing, Inc. PO Box 90803, Washington, DC 20090-0803. Exec. Dir. Rosemary McCarthy.

Canadian Association for the History of Nursing/Association Canadienne Pour L'Historie du Nursing. c/o Membership, Sheila J. Rankin Zerr, 5333 Uplands Drive, Delta, BC, V6T 1X4.

Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. University of Pennsylvania, 307 Nursing Education Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096. Dir. Joan E. Lynaugh, RN, PhD. Tel. 215/898-4502.

History of Nursing Society. Royal College of Nursing. c/o Director of Education, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1M OAB.

Midwest Nursing History Resource Center. College of Nursing, University of Illinois, Chicago. Acting Director, Susan Dudas, Assoc. Prof., University of Illinois, Chicago, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing (M/C802), 845S Damen Avenue, 7th Floor, Box 6998, Chicago, IL 60680.

Nursing Archives, Boston University. Mugar Memorial Library, 771 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215. Tel. 617/353-3696. Nursing Archivist, Helen Sherwin.

The RNABC History Group. c/o Glennis Zilm, 2606 Bayview Street, Surrey BC, V4A 2Z4. Tel. 604/535-3238.

Historical Research Section, German Association for Nursing Science and Nursing Research. Chairperson, Frau Hilde Steppe, Director of the Centre of Continuing Education for Health Professions, Gutleutstr. 169, 6000 Frankfurt/M. 1, Federal Republic of Germany.

The Society for Nursing History. Nursing Education Department, Box 150, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. Pres. Helen Murray.

Women's Studies in Nursing Research Group. University of New Brunswick, Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3. Tel. 506/453-4642. FAX. 506/453-4503. Co-ordinator, Dean Penny Ericson, Faculty of Nursing.



Bell, Liane. "Shortage of Nurses 1928-1935: Was Nursing Going--Or Was Nursing Going On?" History of Nursing Journal 3 (1991): 16-23.

Carnegie, M. Elizabeth. "On Filling Endowed Chairs in Nursing." Nursing Outlook 39 (September/October 1991): 220-221.

Daisy, Carol A. "Searching for Annie Goodrich." Western Journal of Nursing Research 13 (June 1991): 408-413.

Dudas, Susan. "The Midwest Nursing History Resource Center." Journal of Professional Nursing 7 (September-October 1991): 266.

Fitzpatrick, Joyce J. "Endowed Chairs: Opportunity for Academic Freedom." Nursing Outlook 39 (September/October 1991): 218-220.

Hegedus, S. Kathryn. "From Case Study to Plans for Caring." Western Journal of Nursing Research 13 (October 1991): 653-657.

McGann, Susan. "Eva Charlotte Lückes: Pioneer or Reactionary?" History of Nursing Journal 3 (1991): 24-29.

Mereness, Dorothy A. "From There to Here in Fifty Years." Nursing Outlook 39 (September/October, 1991): 222-225.

Newby, Malcolm. "The Problems of Teaching Nursing History--Twelve Years On: A Personal View of the Progress." History of Nursing Journal 3(1991): 1-9.

Pollitt, Phoebe. "Lydia Holman: Community Health Pioneer." Nursing Outlook 39 (September/October 1991): 230-232.



Arnup, Katherine, Andrée Lévesque, and Ruth Roach Pierson. Delivering Motherhood: Maternal Ideologies and Practices in the 19th and 20th Centuries. With the assistance of Margaret Brennan. London: Routledge, 1990.

Dingwall, Robert, Anne Marie Rafferty, and Charles Webster. An Introduction to the Social History of Nursing. London: Routledge, 1988.



The AAHN Bulletin (Fall 1991/No. 32) has an article on a database for nurse historians. David M. Weinberg (University of Pennsylvania) writes that the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN) is an international information management and retrieval system operated by the Research Libraries Group, Inc., (RLG). This is a non-profit consortium of research institutions working to advance education and scholarship.

The Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania contributes bibliographic information about its holdings to the RLIN database. At present the RLIN has records from 106 institutions including the Rockefeller Archive Center, the Johns Hopkins University and the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. According to the AAHN report, one segment of the database is the Archival and Manuscripts Control (AMC) file of personal papers and records of businesses, organizations and governmental agencies. As of May 1991, the AMC file contains more than 800 bibliographic records of primary sources relating to nurses and nursing.

All you need is a personal computer, modem, a telephone line and a RLIN searching account and password. For further information contact the RLIN Information Center at 1-800-537-RLIN (Ed. This 800 number may not work in Canada). Or you may send electronic mail to BL.RIC@RLG.BITNET or BL.RIC@RLG.STANFORD.


Bramadat, Ina J., and Marion I. Saydak. "Nursing on the Canadian Prairies, 1900-1930: Impact of Immigration." To be presented 29 September 1991 at the Eighth Annual Conference on Nursing History held by the American Association for the History of Nursing.

Helmstadter, Carol. "Old Nurses and New: Nursing in the London Teaching Hospitals Before the Mid-Nineteenth Century Reforms." To be presented 30 September 1991 at the Eighth Annual Conference on Nursing History held by the American Association for the History of Nursing.

Kerr, Janet Ross, and Pauline Paul. "`Her Loyalty, Her Heart and Soul Had Been in the Work': A Feminist Analysis of Early Alberta Nursing." To be presented 30 September 1991 at the Eighth Annual Conference on Nursing History held by the American Association for the History of Nursing.

Kirkwood, Rondalyn A. "E. Kathleen Russell, Canadian Nursing's Rockefeller Connection: University of Toronto, 1933-1939." To be presented 29 September 1991 at the Eighth Annual Conference on Nursing History held by the American Association for the History of Nursing.



17-20 June 1992. CAHN/ACHN/American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) Conference in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Fall, 1993. Tenth Annual Conference AAHN and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia.

Fall, 1994. Eleventh Annual Conference AAHN and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.

Fall, 1995. Twelfth Annual Conference AAHN and the University of Arkansas School of Nursing, Little Rock.



For the mystery reader, Anne Perry has in her most recent Victorian story brought in a new character. Hester Latterly is, according to the review in the Globe and Mail, "a smart young nurse trained by Florence Nightingale and a veteran of the Crimean War. The book is called A Dangerous Mourning and is now available in paperback. (I haven't read it but expect to do so when the local library obtains a copy.)



Sooner or later, just as Joyce has pointed out in her book review, those of us writing the history of nursing realize that Florence Nightingale is a constant in our past and present. We will never be able to jettison her. Recently, while writing about the death of Mary Agnes Snively (September 26, 1933), I was impressed that Snively was ever hopeful for nursing, despite the travails during the twenty-five years she had spent at the Toronto General Hospital (1 December 1884-1 September 1910). On March 18, 1933, (when she was in her eighties) she wrote Ethel Johns, who had just assumed the editorship of the Canadian Nurse. In the last paragraph of her letter, Snively asked "may I repeat the words of Florence Nightingale, when parting from a friend of mine many years ago? `Into the future open a better way.'"

I accepted this admonishment of Nightingale and thought nothing more about it. But it must have been ever-present with Snively. One day, as I was leafing through the Minutes of the American Society of Superintendents I came across another reference to it by Snively. In the afternoon of February 13, 1895, at the Second Annual Convention of the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses (held in Boston that year), she included it in her paper entitled "A Uniform Curriculum for Training Schools." At the time, she was commenting to the audience that "we stand to-day upon the attainments of our predecessors." She continued,

we are living not for the present only. Be it ours so to do our part, that those following us may occupy a much higher plane than we now occupy--ours to `open into the future a better and more perfect way.'

When I had these two instances before me, I noticed the variation in words and wondered what Nightingale had said originally. This sent me to Nightingale's writings. I found the phrase in her paper "Sick Nursing and Health Nursing" which was read at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago during the week of June 12-17, 1893. It had been given in Section III (The Hospital Care of the Sick, Training of Nurses, Dispensary Work, and First Aid to the Injured) at the International Congress of Charities, Corrections and Philanthropy. Nightingale wrote in her conclusion that "we are only on the threshold of nursing." She stated,

may the methods by which every infant, every human being, will have the best chance of health--the methods by which every sick person will have the best chance of recovery, be learned and practised! Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, never intended, at all events, to take in the whole sick population.

She had begun this paragraph with "in the future, which I shall not see, for I am old, may a better way be opened!"

The intent of Nightingale's message survives the changes in the words. In 1893, she had written, "in the future, . . ., may a better way be opended"; in 1895, Snively quoted her as, `open into the future a better and more perfect way'; and in 1933, Snively cited it as `into the future open a better way.' Still, the origin of the phrase remains unclear. Snively may have had a version which pre-dated 1893. Nightingale may have said it to Snively's friend (probably Isabel Hampton Robb) before the Chicago Exposition or used it in some of her earlier correspondence or publications. This part of the search I will leave for someone else. But at least when you see the words, "into the future open a better way" and associate it with Nightingale, now you know that it may be an adaptation of her original phrase.



Adamick, Paula. "Nightingale Romance Story Takes a Twist: Chalices Taken from Church in Elora were Nurse's Gift to Lover." Toronto Star 20 July 1991, A2. [ed. They were later found.]

Freedman, Adele. "A Quirky Office Building, Rare and Refreshing." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 3 August 1991, C8. This building replaced the Georgia Medical Dental Building at Georgia and Hornby Streets in Vancouver and is now known as Cathedral Place, an office and retail complex. The office tower of 23 stories fronts on Georgia and faces the Hotel Vancouver. If you look up you should see either the originals or replicas of the originals of the nurse statues which had graced the former medical/dental building. According to Freeman, "three life-sized fiberglass nurses of dour mien occupying strategic points on the three storey podium, . . . overlook the traffic as if intent upon discouraging drunken driving."

Glennis Zilm in the December 1991 issue of the Member's Newsletter for The RNABC History Group notes that one of the above statues of the WWI Nursing Sisters has been replicated in Belgium chocolate. Brussell's Chocolates in Cathedral Place have "developed a pure chocolate statuette of one of the statues. The 4 1/2 inch chocolate figure comes in a gift box ($5 each)." So next time you are in Vancouver treat yourself to a sweet.

"Ministry to Build New Blood Centre." Toronto Star 2 November 1991, A6. According to this short item, the health ministry has "earmarked $26 million to redevelop" the old Sick Kids on the corner of College and Elizabeth Streets. It will accommodate facilities for blood donor recruitment, laboratories and administrative services. It is expected that "the facade and some of the historical features of the building, which was built in 1890, will be retained."

A representative of the Toronto Historical Board told me that the Toronto General Hospital owns the building and that an heritage easement agreement has been given for the redevelopment. The Boardroom is one of the rooms to remain unchanged.



Healey, Phyllis Foster. "Mary Eugenia Hibbard: Nurse, Gentlewoman and Patriot." The University of Texas at Austin, 1990.

Zalumas, Jacqueline. "Critically Ill and Intensively Monitored: Patient, Nurse and Machine--the Evolution of Critical Care Nursing." Emory University, Atlanta, 1989.



`If what we sought to be, we have not been,

Our striving may have helped another's need.'

Mary A. Snively, Canadian Nurse 1 (June 1905): 24. 



© 2000, The Margaret M Allemang Centre for the History of Nursing