Our blog takes you behind the scenes at the Florence Nightingale Museum, giving fresh insight on everything from discoveries new and old in our collection, to exhibitions, events and learning initiatives.

You’ll be hearing from a variety of Museum staff and volunteers as well as guest curators, academics, artists and even members of the public who want to share their experiences at the Museum. If you would like to get in touch about guest blogging or have any questions relating to the blog please email Holly Carter-Chappell

Museum Poetry: 13th August 1910

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In the museum there’s a recording of Florence Nightingale’s voice.  A recording made on 30th July 1890, 127 years ago.  In a high-pitched voice, Florence says: ‘When I am no longer even a memory, just a name, I hope my … Read More

Museum Poetry: Mother Seacole

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This week my poem is about Mary Jane Grant, more famously known as Mary Seacole.  It’s to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of the Mary Seacole statue situated at the front of St Thomas Hospital.  She will forever … Read More

Museum Poetry: Lady with the Lamp

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On 24th February 1855, the Illustrated London News, published a picture of Florence Nightingale as the Lady with the Lamp.  According to Mark Bostridge, in his detailed biography of Florence Nightingale, it was either the work of J.A Crowe or … Read More

Museum Poetry: Dorothea Dix

I’m currently reading the Mark Bostridge biography of Florence Nightingale.  It’s dense and rich in detail, the research and writing is excellent.  I was reading it on the bus this morning and my head was in Victorian London, 1859,  Florence … Read More

Museum Poetry: Half Term

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This week, it’s half-term at the museum and we’ve been busy with families visiting.  I’ve been enchanted by many small faces and their enthusiasm to learn about Florence Nightingale.  It took me back to my childhood and my first trip … Read More

How Clean is Your Beard?

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  We’re all familiar with Roald Dahl’s famous grizzly depiction of Mr Twit and his horrifically dirty face fungus but are beards really unhygienic? We’ve been asking visitors to the exhibition to answer this question and it seems that the … Read More

Museum Poetry: Crimea painting

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This week, inspired by the Crimea section of the museum, instead of writing a poem, I’ve been looking at a painting by Elizabeth Southerden Thompson, Lady Butler.  The painting is, ‘Calling the roll call after an engagement, Crimea’ (also known … Read More

Museum Poetry: The Nightingale Pledge

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This week, I’ve been looking at the ‘Nightingale Pledge’ written by Lystra Gretter and a Committee at the Farrand Training School for Nurses in 1893.  A pledge created for student nurses to recite at their graduation. To contemporary ears, I … Read More

Museum Poetry: A Calling at 17

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I’ve been working in the Florence Nightingale museum since May 2016 and prior to that I worked in bookselling.  I would like to write a poem a week inspired by my experience of working in the museum.  This week, I … Read More

Making Santa’s beard

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Christmas may be slowly fading into distant memory now that the mince pies and turkey leftovers have finally been digested, but before we move on from St Nicholas to St Valentine there’s one yuletide event to reflect on. Just before … Read More

Bluebeard: the panto

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Last week saw two evening openings for performances of our hirsute panto Bluebeard, bringing the bright lights of the stage to the museum world. Audience members were given a party popper and songsheet as they entered the gallery and were … Read More

Why does Santa have a beard?

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Whilst commenting on the trustworthiness of beards, many of our visitors have remarked that “you can trust Santa and he has a beard”. Santa’s beard, is arguably the most renowned facial fluff out there. Nowadays Father Christmas and Santa Claus … Read More

Can you trust a bearded man?

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Trust trʌst/noun firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. Trust, is often a difficult concept. How do you know who you can trust? Can you tell based on outward appearance? For instance, can you trust … Read More

Why do men have beards?

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One of the main questions we are asking visitors about is the reasoning behind growing or keeping a beard. In the nineteenth century a myriad of motivations were given, many of them medical, in order to encourage an adorned chin. As … Read More

Object of the month

This week’s mystery object from the museum’s collection store is Florence Nightingale’s foot warmer. Upon her return from the Crimea, Nightingale suffered from brucellosis, commonly known as ‘Crimean fever’. Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease caused by ingestion of unsterilized … Read More

95% nurse

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When visitors arrive at the Florence Nightingale Museum they quickly identify themselves as a part of Florence Nightingale’s legacy. This is how we can state with such confidence that our visitors are 95% nurse. An impressive figure that does exclude … Read More

October half-term: Hijinks and Horrors!

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At Florence Nightingale Museum, we had a fantastic half term week, with different activities each day. All week, families successfully completed our activity trail, exploring the life of Florence Nightingale and our special half term “Rat Quiz”, exploring the gruesome … Read More