McGoogan News

From the archives: Notes on nursing history

Engraving of Florence Nightingale (from a portrait), cover of the Trained Nurse and Hospital Review, Vol. LXX, No. 4, April 1923.
Engraving of Florence Nightingale (from a portrait), cover of the Trained Nurse and Hospital Review, Vol. LXX, No. 4, April 1923.

By John Schleicher

When we consider nursing history, most of us know the name Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). The library’s rare books collection includes the first British (1859) and the first American (1860) editions of Nightingale’s landmark work Notes on Nursing: What it is, and what it is Not.

Following Nightingale’s work in the 19th century, a number of other nursing innovators and educators, in the United States and other countries, wrote works dealing with the history and professionalization of nursing. Among these important works are:

  • Nursing: its Principles and Practice: for Hospital and Private Use (1893), by Isabel Hampton Robb (1859-1910)
  • A History of Nursing: the Evolution of Nursing Systems from the Earliest Times to the Foundation of the first English and American Training Schools for Nurses (four volumes, 1907-1912), by Mary Adelaide Nutting (1858-1948)
  • A Short History of Nursing: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1920), by Lavinia Dock (1858-1956).

Obvious from these titles, the history of nursing and evolution into a profession are very important to these authors.

To see more works on the history of nursing visit the library’s rare book rooms and history of medicine collection. Contact the Special Collections Department to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall.

Time to plant a garden … with the library

By Dawn Wilson

IMG_0229The cold, brutal Nebraska winter is over; it’s time to plant and try to keep those New Year’s Resolutions to live healthier.

Health and gardening have long been associated, be it the simple act of getting out into the sun and doing manual labor, or eating homegrown vegetables. Over the last few years, studies have even been conducted into the soil bacteria, mycobacterium vaccae, which may help raise serotonin levels and actually make people happier—just for playing in the dirt!

As a specialty library, instead of run-of-the-mill, “how to plant and when to water” books, we carry these unique titles:

Historical and Folklore Plant Information

Bizarre Plants by William A. Emboden – This book covers giant oddities, carnivorous plants, and even the magical properties associated with plants used in black magic ceremonies.

Folklore & Odysseys of Food & Medicinal Plants by Ernst and Johanna Lehner – Who knew the tomato had its own story? This book collects the histories of common foods in different cultures. For instance, the tomato has a long and glorious history wherein it was marketed in France as an aphrodisiac, but other portions of Europe grew them only ornamentally and never ate them, as they are relatives of nightshade, which is, of course, deadly.

Herbs for the Mediaeval Household: for Cooking, Healing and Divers Uses by Margaret B. Freeman – This is a fun little book put out by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, which includes historical woodcut illustrations dating back to the 1400s, and how herbs were used at that time for cooking, freshening clothing, and healing.

Early American Gardens: “For Meate or Medicine” by Ann Leighton – This book also includes historical illustrations from 1630s and covers topics ranging from Physick to making your garden fashionable by shaping your shrubberies into animals and geometrical designs.

The Folk-Lore of Plants by T. F. Thiselton-Dyer – First published in 1889, this book explores plants known to affect dreams and visions, plants believed to embody lightning, and the use of plants in love-charms.

Poisonous Plants by Robert E. Arnold, M.D. – Whether you’re planting or foraging, this full-color book is indispensable to teach the dangers of certain plants.

Further reading on modern medicinal plants, homeopathy, and alternative medicine

  • CRC Handbook of Medicinal Spices by James A. Duke
  • Handbook of Medicinal Herbs by James A. Duke
  • Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals by Carol A. Newall
  • The History of American Homeopathy: The Academic Years, 1820-1935 by John S. Haller, Jr.
  • Nurse’s Handbook of Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Resource spotlight: Health Business Elite

By Alison Bobal

Looking for information on health care administration and not finding much in MEDLINE? Try using Health Business Elite, a database that covers the journal and trade literature on all aspects of health care administration and other non-clinical aspects of health care institution management. The majority of the journals covered in Health Business Elite are not included in MEDLINE.

Topics covered include hospital management, hospital administration, marketing, human resources, computer technology, facilities management and insurance. Health Business Elite contains full text content for almost 600 journals such as H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks, Harvard Business Review, Health Facilities Management, Health Management Technology, Healthcare Financial Management, Marketing Health Services, and Modern Healthcare.

Health Business Elite is available on the EBSCOhost platform so you can easily search it along with MEDLINE, CINAHL (nursing and allied health literature) and PsycINFO (mental health and behavioral sciences).

Who in the library … faculty & staff profiles

McGoogan News is starting a new feature, faculty and staff profiles! Each month, you will meet someone new who works in the library.

Alison Bobal
Associate Professor
Head of Collection Development and Metadata

Tell us about your job in the library.

I oversee collection development and metadata services in the library. I negotiate agreements with publishers and vendors for electronic resources and coordinate their acquisition and implementation. I also identify books (print and online) to add to our collection. I track usage of our collection and monitor whether it’s meeting the needs of students and faculty. Fortunately I have wonderful colleagues who handle a lot of the essential, day-to-day acquisitions and cataloging work which makes my job easier and, more importantly, helps our users get the information they need in a timely fashion.

When would you most likely meet or talk with me?

The folks at the Ask Us desk are extremely knowledgeable about our collection so most of the time they can help you out. However, I’m available if you if you ever have any specific questions or feedback about the library’s collection (e.g. databases, journals, books) or wish to make suggestions of resources to add. I’m tucked away up on the 8th floor of the library so you may never meet me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not here to help.

What do you like about working in the library?

I really like that most days aren’t the same (ok, sometimes that frustrating). I enjoy working with colleagues who are passionate about facilitating access to data and helping people find the information they need. I’ve been here for five months and it’s been great seeing how our library is working to position our services, resources and space for the future.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Currently, I’m trying to find ways to safely cross streets in Omaha.