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Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Collecting Diversity

The RCN has a strategic commitment to being a world-class champion of diversity, equality and human rights in the health and social care sector. This diversity should be reflected in our collections, ensuring our collections represent our members across the board. 

The RCN archive is home to hundreds of thousands of items of nursing history. However, our collections do not reflect the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) nurses, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) nurses or nurses with disabilities.

In 2017, the RCN Library and Heritage Centre will host an exhibition and event series – ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ – focusing on diversity in nursing. We urge members to contribute their stories, so that the lives and experiences of our members are made visible to this and future generations. Some items may be added to the collection but not made publicly accessible until after a set closure period, which we’re happy to discuss with you.

In particular, we are looking for items from South Asian nurses, lesbian nurses and deaf nurses.

What to donate

Anything relating to your personal story and experiences as a nurse.

  • Objects, such as support items, e.g. old hearing aid or personal item important to your nursing work, e.g. book/art work 
  • Oral history interviews
  • Personal documents, diaries and letters
  • Fliers, posters and campaign collateral, e.g. badges, t-shirts (around Black, disability and LGBT rights)
  • Photographs (with as much information about the images as possible)
  • Newsletters and publications
  • Conference papers and collateral
  • Anything else

Please be aware, RCN archives does not collect financial information.

It doesn’t matter about the age of your item; old or brand new – collecting them now ensures we have them in the future.