Founded in 1975, the Center for Nursing History is one of a small number of centers dedicated to a historical appreciation of nursing’s influence in health care. The heart of the center is the Historical Gallery, housed in UWM’s Cunningham Hall so researchers, students and visitors can experience rare artifacts, momentos and photos related to the advances in the art and science of nursing.  The center contains more than 700 rare books and other publications and is the largest academic collection of its kind in Wisconsin.

The Historical Gallery aims to:

  • instill the appreciation of the history related to nursing education and health care
  • increase awareness of the historically significant role played by nurses
  • serve as a learning resource for faculty, students and the community
  • provide a rare viewing experience of historically significant artifacts.

The Historical Gallery is appreciative of donations of memorabilia that are or will be, of historical interest in the area of nursing.  Memorabilia keeps nursing history alive and is meaningful to current students, the community and nursing historians. Examples of in-kind donations include portraits; books; films; notes; equipment; posters; uniforms; pins and: momentos of student nursing, military nursing, hospital, and public health nursing.  Financial support from individuals, groups or foundations is also greatly appreciated and used for acquisitions and upkeep of the Historical Gallery. To make a donation please contact Michele Weinschrott, Director of Development.

Historical Collections

Schools (uniforms, photos, pins, some records)
St Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee
Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee
Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee
Milwaukee Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee
Milwaukee County Hospital/ John Doyne Medical Center, Milwaukee (limited amount)
Milwaukee General Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee
UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing, Milwaukee
UW Madison School of Nursing (limited amount)

Ada Garvey, WWI nurse and Wisconsin public health nurse.
Helen Creighton- nurse legal scholar
Harriet H. Werley- nurse researcher
Norma M. Lang- nurse researcher and quality of care scholar
Inez Hinzvark- Nurse educator, nurse historian

Small collections of individuals
Helen Swain, Nancy Wright, Sharon Hoffman, Elise Fitzpatrick, Frances Cunningham, 2 WWI nurses, 4 WWII nurses

32 representing schools, and Armed Forces

110 representing schools, colleges and Armed Forces, Red Cross

School of Nursing Pins

Numerous uniforms 1890 – 2010. Schools, Army Nurse Corps, Navy Nurse Corps, Air Force Nurse Corps, WWI Red Cross, WWII Cadet Corps, United Airline nurse stewardess.

World War I and World War II photos; various certificates, licenses, student notebooks and workbooks.

Director Information

Laurie K. Glass, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus/Director, Center for Nursing History
Phone: 414-229-4073

Related Sites

American Association for the History of Nursing

Florence Nightingale Museum