Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

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Special collections

A unique collection of material on British nurses and nursing which captures the evolution and development of nursing through the 20th-21st Centuries.

Book cover

Historic printed collection

The RCN printed collection dates from 1614 and is made up of over 8,500 monographs, it is the most comprehensive collection of Nursing titles in Europe and includes 100 rare books.

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Collage of RCN publication covers

RCN Publications

A collection of publications produced by the Royal College of Nursing including guidance, annual reports, commissioned research, and promotional literature dating from 1919.

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Jamaican Nurse journal cover

Historical Nursing Journals

The Royal College of Nursing’s collection of c.250 historical nursing journals is a fantastic resource for researchers, family historians and students from a huge range of disciplines.

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Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale Collections

We have 25 books from Nightingale's personal library from 1841, donated to the Royal College of Nursing by her relative Sibella Bonham Carter (1899-2005).

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Scrapbook image

Personal papers, diaries and scrapbooks

This is a rich collection illustrating nurses' real lives and careers from 1822 to present.

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Doctors and nurses in busy ward

Postcard Collection

Over 2000 nursing and hospital postcards donated to the Royal College of Nursing.

The RCN archive holds two main postcard collections - Francis Biley's postcard collection which was bequeathed to the RCN archive in 2012, and the Boardman collection of nursing and hospital related postcards, a collection which she bequeathed to the Royal College of Nursing Archive.

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Focus 2000 badge

Badges and Medals

Over 8,000 nursing and hospital badges donated to the Royal College of Nursing.

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Oral History Kiosk

Oral history

Over 600 recordings of individuals from across the nursing profession are available to users.  These nursing voices from across the UK reflect the work and diversity of our members.

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