The Florence Nightingale Museum was originally part of the school of nursing at St. Thomas hospital- the hospital founded by Nightingale in 1860. Nightingale served as a nurse during the bloody Crimean War. The museum contains many of her personal belongings for public view.
Nightingale campaigned tirelessly for improved health standards, publishing many books and guides on medical hygiene. Queen Victoria awarded Nightingale the Red Cross in 1883 and she later became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit. She played a highly active part in the training of her nurses and is widely respected for her considerable contribution to the high standards in the Nation Health System today. Visitors are invited to view the 63 letters penned by Nightingale which are on display in the Archives- the letters refer to the brutality of the Crimean war and to the procedures she followed to remain an effective and respected medical professional.
The library holds 53 of her 200 published works- many of them inscribed and were gifts for the nurses. There are also many portraits of Nightingale throughout her remarkable life on show. There is a comprehensive gift shop on site- books and memorabilia are available to buy. The archive at the museum is set to be reopened in February 2004.
The museum is easily accessed via Waterloo or Westminster underground stations.