NLM Launches "Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection"
Special Display, Online Exhibition Opening September 2, 2014
The National Library of Medicine launches a special display in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room and an online adaptation of Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection.
Pictures of Nursing presents a selection of historic postcards from NLM’s recently-acquired Zwerdling postcard collection, spanning a century of nursing imagery. Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards. These images are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men, and work; and by attitudes toward class, race, and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during those times.
This unique exhibition will open to the public in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room from September 2, 2014 to August 21, 2015, and will be available online at www.nlm.nih.gov/picturesofnursing. Julia Hallam, PhD, professor of communication and media at the University of Liverpool curated Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection.
The online exhibition incorporates a “Digital Gallery,” which includes a selection of 585 postcards from the Zwerdling collection not shown in the special display. The Digital Gallery also includes online activities, providing viewers new avenues to explore beyond the exhibition. Education resources are also featured in the online exhibition, including a lesson plan for grades 9-10 that investigates the exhibition content; a higher education module; an online activity, and a robust selection of resources including K-12 suggested readings. In addition, the Web feature, “Related Resources at NLM,” includes a selection of published articles on contemporary nursing issues available through PubMed Central, which provides free access to over 3.1 million full-text biomedical and life science journal articles.
The NLM History of Medicine Division acquired an archive of 2,588 postcards from American nurse and collector Michael Zwerdling, RN. This unique archive consists of postcards with images of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world, produced between 1893 and 2011 with many examples coming from the “Golden Age” of postcards—roughly 1907 to 1920. Pictures of Nursing provides a way to understand the types of images that are represented in the full collection.
About the National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world's largest library of the health sciences and a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Located on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus of the NIH, the Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and its vast online resources are available free to the world at www.nlm.nih.gov. Admission to all onsite NLM exhibitions is free. For more information, visit www.nlm.nih.gov/about/visitor.html or, to arrange a group tour, call 301.594.1947.