Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Workhouse - Segregated Lives exhibition and talks

From the Florence Nightingale Museum (www.florence-nightingale.co.uk) in Lambeth, London:

28th February – 5th July 2013

This spring, the Florence Nightingale Museum will host an exhibition that explores the experience of the unfortunate inmates of the workhouse in nineteenth century Britain. The workhouse will be brought to life by examining the design of the buildings and the inmate’s diet, their work and their health. Real life stories will be drawn upon to counterbalance the often sentimentalized and sensationalist portrayal in the press and literature of the time. Combining rare workhouse artefacts, documentary firsthand accounts, pictorial representations and publications, the world of the workhouse will be vividly brought to life.

The Florence Nightingale Museum is also running a season of public events in tandem with the exhibition, including lectures by historians Ruth Richardson and Peter Higginbotham, among others. Themes covered include food served in the workhouse, how to trace ancestors who were workhouse inmates and the workhouse’s role in medical care.

Full events programme can be found here: www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/what-s-on.html

Natalie Conboy, Curator of Workhouse, says: “We are really excited about Workhouse – Segregated Lives because it explores the social history of the local area here in Lambeth - we’ve had terrific input from neighbouring museums, libraries and archives. We are aiming to provide a balanced view of what life was really like for those in need, and what alternatives people had to entering the workhouse.”

Natasha McEnroe, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum says: “This much-needed exhibition will illuminate the health of the very poor in Victorian Britain. Nightingale’s influence on workhouses is unjustly neglected, and this exhibition goes some way to redress that.”

Latest talks:

Dissecting the Workhouse Dead
Historian Ruth Richardson will explain the terrible fear of the pauper funeral, its historical roots, and its long shadow into our own times.
Thursday March 14th at 6.30pm

Contagion in the Workhouse
Historian Andrea Tanner examines how workhouses cared for the unfortunate victims of infectious diseases that raged through the streets of Victorian London.
Thursday April 25th at 6.30pm

‘Down and Out’: The Lives of Tramps and Vagrants (1750 – 1950)
Simon Fowler will look at the experiences of vagrants and the attempts to help or hinder them in the bleak casual wards of the workhouses.
Thursday May 9th at 6.30pm

Miss Nightingale Said...
An illustrated talk given by one of the museum’s curatorial team examining the incredible life and achievements of Florence Nightingale.
Every Wednesday at 3.30pm in the Florence Nightingale Museum

Further details at www.florence-nightingale.co.uk

(With thanks to Natalie Conboy)


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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