National Museums NI launches new Florence Nightingale exhibition digitally

In the week that marked the bicentennial anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer credited as the founder of modern nursing, a new digital exhibition has been launched by National Museums NI and the Florence Nightingale Foundation to highlight the contribution that nursing and midwifery has made to life in Northern Ireland.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Friday, 15th May 2020, 10:22 am
Florence Nightingale in the Military Hospital at Scutari, 1855. Image © National Army Museum.
Florence Nightingale in the Military Hospital at Scutari, 1855. Image © National Army Museum.

Florence Nightingale – Nursing and Midwifery 200 Years was originally set to open at the Ulster Museum in March before social distancing measures were introduced.

Its launch as a digital exhibition coincides with the 200th year anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (May 12) and International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020.

The special exhibition explores the vital work of nurses and midwives through two centuries of nursing, covering themes such as nursing in wartime, nursing during The Troubles, and nursing education and innovation in Northern Ireland. It also features an original voice recording of Florence Nightingale.

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Since the lockdown began, National Museums NI has been working to digitise the exhibition and make it accessible to the public.

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive of National Museums NI, said: “Over the past couple of months our colleagues at National Museums NI have been working hard to find new and innovative ways to make our collections engaging and to reach audiences safely.

“During these difficult times it’s important to maintain access to the arts and culture and this latest show represents our first fully digital exhibition. It demonstrates the value of our museums and cultural institutions and the vital role they play in telling the stories that connect our past with our present.

“Its timing could not be more appropriate. When social distancing measures were first announced we were keen to ensure this exhibition and celebration of our healthcare workers was made available to the public. It pays homage to those we are indebted to and celebrate every day.”