The 16-volume Collected Works of Florence Nightingale (2001–2012) makes available for the first time the full range of Nightingale’s written work. It includes letters, most of them previously unpublished, short articles, pamphlets, letters-to-the editor and her full books and reports to government and royal commissions.
The volumes are arranged thematically as listed below. They begin with background on her life and family (Volume 1), move through the influence of her faith (Volumes 2–4), her social science work (Volume 5), public health (Volume 6), European travels (Volume 7), women (Volume 8), two volumes on her India work (Volumes 9 and 10), her philosophical Suggestions for Thought (Volume 11), two volumes on civilian nursing (Volumes 12 and 13), and two on war: the Crimean War (Volume 14) and later wars (Volume 15), ending with hospital reform (Volume 16), a subject on which she worked throughout her professional life.
All the volumes have comprehensive introductions, plus introductions to the major sections and individual letters or reports. Correspondents are identified, and, wherever possible, so also are persons mentioned in the letters or reports. There is a “Dramatis Personae” at the beginning of each volume, and biographical sketches of major figures at the end of each.
Extensive research was conducted to find Nightingale’s writing. She was famous in her lifetime and for years afterwards, so that people kept her letters and passed them on in the family. Many letters only arrived in archives generations later. Letters were obtained from over 200 archives worldwide. Print sources were also pursued for material, for sometimes a letter was available in a published source, but no manuscript could be found.
All the volumes are available both in print and eBooks.
The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale Project website at the University of Guelph makes available free-of-charge short papers influenced by the series. Electronic publication is planned of the names file (information on correspondents, colleagues, authors and experts cited), a full chronology of her letters, including incoming letters as well as her own, and events, and the transcription files themselves. All letters will be made available electronically (not all are in the published volumes, and for some excerpts were taken, to avoid repetition).
Lynn McDonald, director of the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, is university professor emerita at the University of Guelph, Ontario. She did her PhD at the London School of Economics and has an honorary doctorate from York University, Toronto. She has published extensively on women theorists (three books and numerous articles), on political sociology, criminology and the environment. Her paperback, Florence Nightingale at First Hand (2010), gives highlights from the Collected Works series.
McDonald is a former member of parliament and a former president of the National Action committee on the Status of Women, then Canada’s largest women’s organization. An environmentalist and political activist, she has served on the board of directors of Climate Action Network, Canada, and works on electoral reform, for proportional representation. As member of parliament, McDonald introduced Canada’s groundbreaking health legislation, the Non-smokers’ Health Act, 1988, which led to smoke-free work and public places around the world.