The Museum of Nursing History is a rich object and archival collection of the practice of nursing and health care at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. 9331 records of all nurses trained at RBH from 1886 to 1993 comprise a comprehensive archive of nursing training and practice on the site.
The personal collections of nurses contain archival material such as competency and registration certificates, lecture notes, diaries, scrapbooks, poems, newspaper clippings, texts, small reference books such as nursing dictionaries, photographs of individuals and groups, small items of uniform such as caps and aprons and artefacts including badges, medals, and small pieces of nursing equipment such as thermometers, watches and syringes. They denote the experiences of individual nurses but they also illuminate the general process of training itself and how it changed over time.
10,000 images, 850 reference books, 50 uniforms, 1200 objects and the extensive archival collection provide a wonderful resource for the telling of stories of nursing and medical care. The gold pocket watch presented to Sister Annie Miller in 1868 by the Duke of Edinburgh for her nursing care of him following an assassination attempt is a fine example of the quality of the collection.
Strong provenance and valuable research material provide a great resource for interpretive displays of the significance of the site and the development of nursing practice in Queensland and makes a valuable contribution to the history of health care in Australia.