Our Collections

The Florence Nightingale Museum collection is made up of almost 3000 artefacts relating to the life, work and legacy of Florence Nightingale.

Notable artefacts pertaining to Florence Nightingale include one of her famous lamps used by her during the Crimean War, her pet owl Athena, her iconic black dress and a nurse uniform from her training school.

Most artefacts in the Florence Nightingale Museum collection were acquired by Dame Alicia Lloyd-Still during her time as Matron of St Thomas’ Hospital in 1913-1937. This collection was held by the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’ and was known as the ‘Nightingalia’.

The collection was first publicly displayed for the centenary of the Crimean War in 1954 at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, then again on the centenary of the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1960, and the 150th anniversary of Florence’s birth in 1970. The collection was transferred into the care of the newly created Florence Nightingale Museum Trust in 1983, who then went on to open the museum on the site of the original Nightingale Training School in 1989.

Online Collection

We have been creating an online database for our collections and we are excited to say that now 80% of our collection is available to access on eHive. Start searching through our collection today!

Donating to the Museum

Thank you for your interest in donation to the Florence Nightingale Collection.

The museum collects objects that were owned by or given to Florence Nightingale, items associated with her work in the Crimean War, her work in army health reform, sanitation, hospital planning and statistics as well as items that reflect her nursing legacy and the origins of the Nightingale Training School. Many of our objects have been acquired through the kind donation of individuals.

Due to a current collections review project, we are currently unable to accept donations to our main collection or handling collection. We will update this webpage when we are able to accept donations again.

Please do not bring or send items to the museum without the agreement of the Collections Officer and a prior appointment being made as we are unable to accept items in this way. Unsolicited postal donations or donations left at the front desk may be returned to senders or depositors. If we cannot return items, they will be held for four months and will be disposed of if not claimed.


The museum welcomes requests from ACE Accredited Museum and similar organisations to borrow objects from the Florence Nightingale Museum collection.

Please contact us to discuss potential loans before formally requesting to borrow. We will be able to advise on suitable objects at this stage.

Welcome to the Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum celebrates the life and work of the best known figure in nursing history.

Did you know Florence Nightingale was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society? That she owned over 60 cats throughout her life and had a pet owl called Athena? Do you know why she was called Florence?

Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing, was one of our greatest Victorians and a female icon in her own lifetime. She is still an inspiration to nurses around the globe.

Visit the museum to celebrate the life of this trailblazing woman; discover all about her affluent childhood, how she fought against her parents’ wishes to become a nurse, her work during the Crimean War and how she campaigned for better healthcare for ordinary people. See the actual lamp she carried which earned her the nickname The Lady With The Lamp, meet her pet owl and see her medicine chest.

Florence Nightingale performer cleans a 'Museum Open' sign outside the entrance

What’s on
at Florence Nightingale Museum

We run a lively programme of special events here at The Florence Nightingale Museum, including our popular ‘Meet Miss Nightingale’ series and museum tours.

at Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum offers formal and informal learning opportunities to discover the story of Florence Nightingale, including KS1 workshops, family activities and trails.