Papers of Florence Nightingale now digitized using Handwritten Text Recognition technology

From Adam Matthew:

Medical Services and Warfare, 1850-1927, the latest primary source collection from Adam Matthew Digital, has transformed access to the personal and professional writings of Florence Nightingale with exclusive Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). The HTR technology allows these handwritten papers to be fully searchable for the first time.

“[HTR] is going to transform scholarship and the types of questions researchers can ask,” commented Dr Patrick Spero, Director, American Philosophical Society Library, explaining the impact of HTR. “The technology has tremendous potential.”

Along with the Nightingale Papers, thousands of digitized documents from prestigious archives will give students and scholars first-hand knowledge of the development of medical practice as influenced by the wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Presented across military, scientific, professional, and personal perspectives, key developments including X-rays, plastic surgery, artificial limbs and sanitation are explored, with a focus on rehabilitation, nursing and the psychological toll of war.

Users are invited to browse the interactive data tool based on Nightingale’s famous coxcomb diagrams, read personal correspondence of Civil War nurses, and explore the Jonathan Letterman Collection: correspondence and memoirs from the “father of battlefield medicine.”

Researchers will be able to see photographs of artifacts, including surgical equipment, prostheses, medals, and uniforms, bringing to life the different experiences of warfare, as well as documents including The American Red Cross collection highlighting American service in the First World War and the work of national and international Red Cross societies.

“These sources are second to none,” said Professor Christine Hallett, University of Manchester, “and their digitization has opened up a whole world of material to historians and students.”

These unique primary sources and interactive features are available now. To find out more or to request a free 30-day trial of Medical Services and Warfare, contact, read our blog, “Ever Yours”: The Florence Nightingale Papers and Handwritten Text Recognition Technology, or watch the HTR demonstration here.