Teaching Nursing with the Collection

The Dolan Collection provides UConn School of Nursing faculty with valuable resources in their teaching lecture courses on topics throughout the curriculum.

Vintage books (including textbooks) in the collection allow students to see how rich and complex nursing practice has become over the past 150 years. At the same time, many of those same texts show students timeless principles of nursing practice.

Artifacts (including devices and garments) illustrate dramatic changes in nursing care and its technologies and professionalism.

Ephemera (like posters, periodical graphics, and advertising images) provide students with illustrations of the ways that nursing has been represented in popular culture.

Visual art and literature also provide students with aesthetic ways of knowing and understanding the richness of nursing’s legacy.

Studying objects, artifacts, and documents falls under a field called material culture. Provided below are some links to websites that provide instructors with ingenious ways of teaching nursing science through its historical objects.

Material Culture and Teaching Objects

The Object of History (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)


Object Lessons (The Atlantic Monthly)


Twenty Questions to Ask an Object: Handout (H-Material-Culture)


Twenty Questions to Ask (Video)


“Reading a Machine” by Michael S. Mahoney



Leave a Reply