Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020:an historico-literary analysis of her family life

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Health Sciences

Abstract

Although Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is a familiar historical figure, most people do not know that her early years, and plentiful summers throughout her life, were spent in Derbyshire, where her family had built a home and held prominent business connections. It was also where Nightingale conducted a lot of her copious writing. Somewhat surprisingly, even scholarly works on Nightingale have spent comparatively little time analysing these regional influences on her professional and literary life and the way her East Midland's based friends, family and experiences contributed to the development of her attitudes and work. The filling of this knowledge gap sits at the heart of the project's aims. The overarching aim of which is to 'bring Florence Nightingale home' to the East Midlands and to find imaginative and engaging ways to use and celebrate this underappreciated story of regional success.

The primary research focus of the project is to advance academic perspectives on Nightingale's regional connections in order to develop a more complete biographical understanding of this iconic figure. It is anticipated that this research thread will also yield important insights into the daily life of the important industrial valley in which the Nightingale family played such a prominent part. To fulfil the research aims of the project, dispersed sources, available both locally and throughout the country will be systematically mined for the first time for information about Nightingale's regional connections. This project will deliver pioneering research targeted at leading academic journals and resulting in an interdisciplinary edited collection. It will additionally advance early career capacity in Nightingale studies by employing two postdoctoral researchers and sponsoring two PhD students.

Further to these academic objectives, the project will engage with local community members (particularly targeting nurses) to deepen regional identification with this important female leader. The project is perfectly timed to fit into the national cycle of events planned for 2020 celebrating the bicentenary of Nightingale's birth. Many obvious Nightingale stakeholders, for example the Nightingale Foundation, London and the Nightingale Museum, London will be actively engaged in these proceedings but, given Nightingale's importance in the East Midlands, it is important for the region to also play a prominent role in these celebrations. The project will add to events in London by highlighting the role Nightingale held regionally through three academic workshops, two public exhibitions (with accompanying talks and outreach events) and the provision of three discussion arenas specifically engaging with the nursing community. As Nottingham and Derby combine to make the largest regional hub for nurse training it seems a pertinent opportunity to explore new ways for Nightingale to stimulate a shared community identity; relating some of her obstacles and dilemmas to modern day issues faced by the nursing profession.

The project has a particular interest in making Nightingale history visible and widely accessible via the web. A dedicated website (www.floem.org) will provide an outline history of Nightingale's local influences, and will showcase key documents and images pertinent to her time in the region. The site will also provide a cross referencing facility with other Nightingale collections as an aid to Nightingale scholars worldwide. As an user-friendly resource, the website will allow site visitors to follow the project's research in an engaging way. Finally, the website will advertise and promote Nightingale events whether they are conceived as part of, or outside of, this project.

Planned Impact

The research is deeply concerned with impact activities and identifies three core beneficiary groups. These groups with be connected to the specialist academic community via the project website which will contain areas for visitors to receive information about the research developing from this project and events associated with it.

(i) The local nursing community:
The project reaches out to the nursing community through a series of events planned for nurses training at NHS sites in the East Midlands. These discussion arenas (to take place in 2018, 2019 and 2020) will add quality to the large local nursing community enhancing their regional pride and sense of historical identity. The arenas will be sessions developed around a theme pertinent to modern nursing (e.g. public health, gender representation, the wider remit of nursing). These sessions will bring in nursing professionals and associated experts to talk about their experiences, drawing on lessons provided by Nightingale's circumstances and linking these directly to modern experiences. The project is fortunate enough to have the support of John Rivers, Chair of the Derbyshire Teaching Hospitals Trust, who will be a vital prominent supporter in connecting this project to the nursing community. Crawford will also author two popular discussion pieces in the Nursing Times and Nursing Standard that will draw on insights gleaned through the discussion arena thereby bringing issues uncovered locally to the attention of a wider national audience.

(ii) Members of the interested public:
Six public talks will be organised to accompany the travelling Nightingale exhibition: three to be held in Nottingham and three in Derby. These talks will be pitched at an appropriate level to engage non-specialists as well as those with a more detailed knowledge of this aspect of regional history. Both exhibitions will open with a private view and drinks reception to which prominent local dignitaries (e.g. councillors, members of NHS trusts, tourist providers, local media representatives) will be invited as well as delegates from the Florence Nightingale Derbyshire Association and the Florence Nightingale Museum, London and the Nightingale Foundation, London. Local student nurses will also be invited. An outreach event will accompany the exhibition in each of its locations, which will be in the form of a special art class for children or an exhibition tour.

Additionally, the British Library will host a study day in 2020 on the theme of 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020'. This study day will be open to non-specialists from any walk of life wanting to learn more about the findings of this project and will advance its exposure beyond regional borders.

By promoting the historical importance of Nightingale locally through these public events it is hoped that the residents of the East Midlands and beyond will gain greater understanding and contextualisation of the social, cultural and economic importance of the region.

(iii) Institutions with an interest in Nightingale history:
The activities proposed will spread understandings, and exposure, of Nightingale far beyond the East Midlands. As such, libraries with Nightingale holdings, foundations supporting Nightingale history, and museums in her memory will all benefit directly and indirectly from the additional insights and resources that this project will actively collaboratively share with them.

Additionally there will be, indirect, knock-on effects for local tourist and heritage providers, particularly Derwent Valley Council, Derby City Council, and Nottingham County Council. These initiatives will promote worldwide the East Midlands as a vital player in Nightingale history thereby enriching civic pride in the region's wider relevance. Impact will be measured and evaluated in ways that are fun and participatory throughout the project's life (see 'Pathways to Impact').
 
Title 360-degree Virtual Tour of Florence Nightingale's Home (Lea Hurst) in Derbyshire 
Description 360-degree Virtual Tour, 'At Home with the Nightingales', shot by Bates and Memel in liaison with Nottingham's Health E-Learning and Media Team (HELM). Enabled unprecedented public access to Nightingale's Home at Lea Hurst. 3000 views on Roundme as of February 2019. Crawford negotiated access with the current owner. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This is the first time that Nightingale's Derbyshire home has been made available as a tour for the online international public. The house is in private hands and not open to the public. 
URL https://roundme.com/tour/311645/view/1014264/
 
Title Nightingale Comes Home', Exhibition, Lakeside Arts, 2020 
Description 'Nightingale Comes Home', Exhibition, Lakeside Arts, 2020. Cotterill acquiring artefacts from collections around the UK. Subsequent exhibition tour to hospital sites in the Midlands. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Pending as exhibition set for 2020 
 
Title Online resources on Nightingale in Derbyshire 
Description Online resources on Nightingale in Derbyshire, made available online for the first time following the Florence Nightingale in Derbyshire Association's 2011 exhibition of material. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This is a digital exhibition online about the life and work of Florence Nightingale and her links with Derbyshire 
URL http://www.florencenightingale.org/florence-nightingale-in-derbyshire/nightingales-connections-to-de...
 
Description - 2191 people have visited our project website since its launch in November 2018. www.florencenightingale.org - 2950 people have taken the project's virtual tour of Lea Hurst. https://roundme.com/tour/311645/view/1014264/ - 2834 people saw a twitter post from our project announcing a review of our first workshop, Locating Health. https://twitter.com/nightingaleUoN1/status/1092824254335328256 - The project's blog posts have been discussed on social media by key figures in nursing (Crystal Oldman, QNI) and the Derwent Valley community (Aqueduct Cottage Facebook group).
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Title Florence Nightingale's Letters 
Description The team have secured access to full transcriptions of Professor Lynn McDonald's 6-million word collection of Nightingale's correspondence as a result of a relationship built through the project work and events. Other researchers only have access to those letters printed in the 16-volume Collected Works or reproduced in non-searchable PDF files held online. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Novel corpus-assisted discourse analysis of Nightingale's language 
 
Description 'Disease of Caring', Birkbeck (26 October). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Memel and Cadd attended 'Disease of Caring', Birkbeck (26 October).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-disease-of-caring-syposium-tickets-49431241173
 
Description AHTV (AHRC/Edinburgh TV Festival) Television Masterclass, The Barbican (7 February) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Memel attended a training event, 'AHTV (AHRC/Edinburgh TV Festival) Television Masterclass', The Barbican (7 February)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Academic Workshop: 'Locating Health: Regional Perspectives on Human Care, 1800-1948', University of Nottingham (11 January). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Academic Workshop: 'Locating Health: Regional Perspectives on Human Care, 1800-1948', University of Nottingham (11 January).
33 attendees heard 10 papers from researchers in England, Scotland and Wales broadly working on the history of healthcare in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. Keynote: Professor Christine Hallett (University of Huddersfield).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/conference/fac-arts/humanities/history/the-history-of-nursing-in-the-ea...
 
Description BBC Radio Derby (29 October) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Memel appeared on BBC Radio Derby (29 October)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description BBC Radio Nottingham (30 October) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Crawford appeared on BBC Radio Nottingham (30 October)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Blog, 'Nightingale Comes Home for 2020', designed and written by Bates and Memel using Wordpress system. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog, 'Nightingale Comes Home for 2020', designed and written by Bates and Memel using Wordpress system. To engage the public and academics interested in Florence Nightingale
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/florencenightingale/
 
Description Derby Teaching Hospitals' Annual Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service, St Peter's Church, Derby (12 May). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Crawford, Bates and Memel attended Derby Teaching Hospitals' Annual Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service, St Peter's Church, Derby (12 May).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service, Westminster Abbey, London (9 May). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Bates and Memel attended Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service, Westminster Abbey, London (9 May).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Memel attended 'Home: New Histories of Living', Institute of Historical Research (8-9 February) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Memel attended 'Home: New Histories of Living', Institute of Historical Research (8-9 February)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description New website: www.florencenightingale.org 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact New website with diverse new resources about Florence Nightingale in Derbyshire. This includes the world's first 360 tour of Nightingale's Derbyshire home, Lea Hurst.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.florencenightingale.org
 
Description Nottingham Women's History Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Val Wood from NWHG is a Citizen Researcher and has suggested two possible blog posts that she could write for us. The first is on Annie Mathieson, an early biographer of Nightingale and an account of Val's visit to the Nightingale museum in Scutari about ten years ago. She is also going to submit artefacts/materials that might be of interest for our exhibition, such as the guidebook to the Scutari museum. She going to arrange a meeting of the Nottingham Women's History Group in 2020 related to Nightingale. Val Wood will also connect with a local amateur historian, John Waddington, with an interest in the Crimean War and particularly the Crimean War memorial in the Nottingham arboretum and look to secure a short talk on Nightingale with the 'friends of the arboretum' group. Finally, Val suggested we should look up Country Joe McDonald, who I confess is before my time - he's an anti-Vietnam country singer who performed at Woodstock and subsequently developed a strong interest in Nightingale.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Nursing Discussion Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Nursing Discussion Event: 'Creative Reflection', Institute of Mental Health (28 September 2019, TBC). With Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Royal Literary Fund. Approx. 40 nurses and health professions from the region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project featured in Daily Mail Online 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project featured in Daily Mail Online
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6329053/Look-inside-childhood-home-Florence-Nighting...
 
Description Project featured in Derbyshire Life 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project featured in Derbyshire Life
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project featured in Derbyshire Record Office Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project featured in Derbyshire Record Office Blog
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project featured in Positive (January). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Project featured in Positive (October-November).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/download.cfm?doc=docm93jijm4n5709.pdf&ver=9145
 
Description University of Nottingham History Festival (forthcoming) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact University of Nottingham History Festival. Cadd and Bates will run public-facing sessions on Nightingale and nursing with an East Midlands focus (10 April)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019