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The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale

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The research behind the 16-volume Collected Works of Florence Nightingale drew on a much greater volume of contemporary source material than could be quoted in the volumes themselves. PDF compliations of the bulk of this material are now available for download. In most cases these are plain-text transcripts -- easily searchable within your PDF viewer or browser -- taken from microfilm or paper copies of the original records.


The various files allow a researcher or curious person to find letters by and to Nightingale, her publications, and her comments on books and articles she used. The files are all digitized and are here available as PDF files. Use the search facility to track names, dates, and archive sources as needed.

1. Chronological files, split into 2, chrona up to 30 December 1874, chronb from 1875 on; for each date (day-month-year) items are listed, beginning with Nightingale's own letters, indicated FN letter. Letters to her are listed next. Events and publications follow. Items give a brief description of the contents. The archive (or other sources) is given at the end of the entry.

Examples of chron entries:

16 09 1860 FN letter to Chadwick, 45770 f178
this indicates a letter by Nightingale to Edwin Chadwick, written on 16 September 1860, available at British Library Add Mss 45770 f178, which is in a combined BL file (BL06)
25 01 1875 letter from Lord Salisbury to FN re in acknowledgement that permission to forward FN's letter has been granted 45779 f31
this indicates a letter to Nightingale, from Lord Salisbury, in British Library Add Mss 45779 f31, in a combined file BL07
04 03 1881 Lord Roberts to FN re helping Mrs Fellowes on nursing in Egypt, Columbia 018
this indicates a letter to Nightingale by Lord Roberts in a Columbia University collection, in USA1

Notes: for background on the names mentioned, Edwin Chadwick, Lord Roberts, Mrs Fellowes, see the names file; for other letters to, from or about them, search the chron files

2. Transcription files. All Nightingale's letters and printed works have been transcribed and are available as PDF files. Since there are so many archives and volumes of material, they have been combined, by country and major archive. The largest archive is the British Library (BL); the next largest collection is the Wellcome.

3. Names file, a massive alphabetically listed file of names of correspondents (people she wrote and those who wrote her), plus names of people mentioned in correspondence, or books or articles noted. Anyone seeking further information on a correspondent or author noted in a chron file, or transcription file, can get further information here, dates of birth and death, positions, books authored, meetings with FN, with the archive in which the correspondence appears.

For further background on accessing archives and transcriptions, see Appendix E: Research Methods and Sources, in vol 1 of the Collected Works, Florence Nightingale: Life and Family.