We asked our staff members to tell us about their favourite object from the museum collection, which is made up of almost 3000 artefacts relating to the life, work and legacy of Florence Nightingale. Read what they have to say below and once you have visited the museum, we would love to know what you enjoyed the most and whether you discovered a favourite object too.

Peter Boyse

ACCOUNTS CLERK
Chosen object: Athena the Owl

I chose Athena the Owl – she looks so striking, sitting on her branch with the dried grass around her. The exhibit epitomises Florence’s caring attitude, as she rescued Athena and cared for her.

Kristin Buhnemann

LEARNING COORDINATOR
Chosen object: Writing case

I vividly remember this beautiful object from my first visit to Florence Nightingale Museum. I love the shimmering depictions of fruit; they remind me of a Dutch still life painting.

Holly Carter-Chappell

COLLECTIONS OFFICER
Chosen object: Oil painting by Victor Tardieu

I love this painting because not only is it very beautiful, it’s also incredibly poignant, and really brings home how young the soldiers fighting and dying in the First World War were.

Haidee Chuter

FRONT OF HOUSE OFFICER
Chosen object: Graffitied pewter plate

I didn't spot this plate straight away, but once I discovered it, it made me smile as I imagined Florence Nightingale joining the soldiers for a momentary chat.

Catherine McGregor

FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER
Chosen object: Hair bracelet

I have always admired the Victorian sensibility, particularly the elaborate celebration of life, love and death. The physicality and intimacy of hair jewellery belies the primness commonly associated with Victorians.

Sarah Jane McGregor

WEEKEND SUPERVISOR
Chosen object: Staffordshire figurine

I chose the Staffordshire figurines to represent my experience in the heritage sector. I admire the progress of a mass-produced souvenir acquiring sufficient value to be celebrated – and they are lovely objects.

William Ovenden

FRONT OF HOUSE OFFICER
Chosen object: Firescreen

This piece from the museum collection piqued my interest as I am a trained embroiderer. For me, it evokes the dark woods and heavy textiles of a Victorian drawing room.

Emma Shepley

INTERIM MUSEUM DIRECTOR
Chosen object: Medicine chest

The medicine chest is a beautifully designed object, with everything slotting neatly into place. As Florence’s own possession, it also has a terrific historic resonance for me.

Hajra Williams

PERSEVERANCE MANAGER FOR LEARNING & ACCESS
Chosen object: Nurse’s uniform

I chose the Edwardian nursing uniform because it symbolises my love of historical costumes and it also represents nursing history. I can’t imagine having to keep the apron so pristinely white!