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.

Coming Soon!

We care currently working on a project to create an online database for our collections. Throughout 2021 we will be adding our collection to eHive so that you can search through our collection.

Donating to the Museum

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. If you have an object that you believe fits our collecting policy, and you would like to enquire about donating it to the museum, please send the following information:

  • What you are offering
  • Description of the object/s
  • Any brief details that you have on the provenance/history of the object/s
  • Photographs of the object/s

Once we have received your offer, we will consult our Collections Development Policy and be in touch within 4-6 weeks. We may ask for some more information before we reach a decision.

Please do not send objects to us without confirmation that we are able to receive them. An appointment will be made with you to complete the process of donation and to handover the object/s.

We cannot guarantee that donated objects will be display in the main gallery of the museum.

Contact us

Please do not bring 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.

Loans

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.