Nursing postcards

Visting nurse in Scotland, 1926
Visting nurse in Scotland, 1926

The National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division has created a new exhibit called Pictures of Nursing, which is based on the postcard collection of American nurse, Michael Zwerdling. His collection consists of 2,588 postcards of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world, most of which date from 1907 to 1920. The exhibition at the National Library of Medicine and the online exhibit feature some of these postcards, but you can browse 500 digitized postcards from the collection here.

Japanese Red Cross nurse, c1905
Japanese Red Cross nurse, c1905

The exhibit examines how these images of nurses and nursing portray ideas about gender, healing, and healthcare- and how they change over time and cultures. Its a fascinating way to look at the history of nursing through the context of images and popular culture.

The Melnick Medical Museum is on the waiting list to reserve the traveling banner version of this exhibit. Stay tuned!

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