History of British Nursing Research Discussion (Feb 1997)


Query From Kathy Rawls krawlshx@aol.com 05 Feb 1997

Hi everyone! I am a graduate student in history at the University of California, Irvine. I am engaged in researching the history of British nursing from 1888, the beginning of the British Nurses Assoc. up to 1919, when the Nurse Registration Act is finally passed. I am currently studying a nursing journal, _The Nursing Record_, for the reporting of the problems women faced in professionalizing their career and obtaining a national registry of qualified nurses. I am attempting to situate nursing against the backdrop of Victorian women and work, as well as against the discourse of British feminism.

I would be most grateful to connect with anyone researching either British or American nursing. I am looking for information on Henry C. Burdett and Ethel Bedford Fenwick. Finally, does anyone know how I can locate Monica Baly and Anne Summers? Thank you in advance.

Response From David Doughan, The Fawcett Library doughan@lgu.ac.uk 06 Feb 1997

Anne Summers is at The British Library, Manuscript Collections, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG; phone: (0)171 323 7745.

By the way, do you know the little book entitled _Mrs. Bedford Fenwick_(author: Winifred Hector), published by the Royal College of Nursing in 1973? And have you been in touch with the RCN? 20 Cavendish Square, London W1M 0AB.

>From Tamara Miller ummille7@cc.umanitoba.ca 6 Feb 1997

You may want to contact Kathryn McPherson at York University. She's done some excellent work on nursing in Canada during your identified time period, including some fascinating interviews.

>From Joyce A. Berkman jberkman@history.umass.edu 7 Feb 1997

Although flawed in certain respects (see my forthcoming AHR review) John Hutchinson's _Champions of Charity: War and The Rise of The Red Cross_(1996), offers very useful information and perspectives on British nursing from late 19th century to the 1920s. His work is particularly helpful on British military nurses and features a splendid bibliography.

Since I am engaged in a comparative study of the impact of world war one on the lives of Vera Brittain and Edith Stein, both of whom were volunteer Red Cross nurses though on opposing fronts, I am eager to learn what new studies on the history of the English and German nursing are underway or about to be published.

>From James Beaton rcpsg@enterprise.net 7 Feb 1997

I received your query through caduceus-1, and have forwarded it onto a colleague of mine at the Fawcett library at London Guildhall University, who might be able to help. We have a bit of nursing materials here, but nothing too relevant for yourself. Hope the replies are forthcoming for you.

>From Catherine Stodolsky u932201@sunmail.lrz-muenchen.de 10 Feb 1997

Very important on nursing in 19th century England is Mary Poovey, _Uneven Developments_

>From Glenda Strachan mggs@cc.newcastle.edu.au 11 Feb 1997

There has been a great deal of work done in Australia o the history of nursing both in terms of health care and in terms of nursing as a principal women's occupation. My recent book _Labour of Love: The History of the Nurses' Association in Queensland, 1860-1950_(Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1996) deals with the transition of the occupation of nursing from the work of "servants" to that of educated women in the latter half of the nineteenth century, a process which has many parallels with other English speaking countries. It then examines the development of the occupation and nurses' associations and trade unions in the first half of the twentieth century.

Other historians such as Judith Godden are also researching and writing on this area. Contributions from historians looking at various aspects of nursing history in Europe and North America, as well as myself and J. Godden, are in the recent collection _Nursing History and the Politics of Welfare_ edited by A.M. Rafferty, J. Robinson, R. Elkan (London & NY, Routledge, 1997).


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