Wellcome Library Blog: Florence Nightingale Centenary
100 years ago today, Florence Nightingale passed away in her sleep at the grand old age of 90. During the Crimean War (Oct 1853 to Feb 1856), her use of statistics and a subsequent collaboration with one of the leading epidemiologists of the day, William Farr, provided evidence for the need for sanitary reform of military hospitals. She also laid the foundation of professional nursing care with the establishment in 1860 of her nursing school at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London.
Her impact on the cultural psyche was set after she was dubbed ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ due to her practice of doing the ’rounds’ at night, which was popularised by artists and writers of the time. Perhaps what is less well known is that she was also the first woman to be accepted into the Royal Statistical Society due to her gift for mathematics and their aforementioned statistical use.
The Wellcome Library collection contains many of Nightingale’s own writings and more and you can read about them in their latest post at their blog, as well as hearing a recording of her speaking in 1890 in an effort to raise money for the impoverished veterans of the Charge of the Light Brigade.