Using photo analysis to examine the history of nursing in political spheres: Canadian and European perspectives

2023 Nursing History Symposium Webinar

The Webinar’s recording has now been archived in the UBC Library Open Collection, and assigned a persistent link, as follows:

Title: Using photo analysis to examine the history of nursing in political spheres : Canadian and European perspectives
Item URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/86672


A panel presentation by representatives of the Canadian and European Associations for the History of Nursing, and hosted by the UBC Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry 

A free online event via Zoom. Once you register (for free) you will receive a zoom link closer to the time to join the webinar.

Date & Time

Tue, November 21, 2023

Considering the time difference with European partners, the panel is presented at 9.00 – 10.30 am in BC (Pacific time in Canada), and 18.00 – 19.30 pm in Europe (mid-European time). Please adjust your participation time accordingly when joining from other time zones.


Panel presenters:

  • Helen Vandenberg, PhD RN (University of Saskatchewan, Canada, CAHN past president and current treasurer)
  • Peter Twohig, PhD (Saint Mary’s University, Canada, current CAHN president)
  • Geertje Boschma PhD RN (University of British Columbia, Canada, CAHN past-president)
  • Maria Eugenia Galiana Sanchez PhD RN (University of Alicante, Spain, current EAHN president)
  • Anna La Torre RN, MA, PhD Candidate (Faculty of Nursing, University of Milan, and current EAHN communications officer)
  • Hugo Schalkwijk, PhD candidate (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands, current EAHN vice president)

Panel presenters and members of the respective Canadian and European Associations of the History of Nursing will present and examine a series of photographs representing key events in the history of nursing from various perspectives, time periods and national and international contexts. The panel will show how photographs can provide insight into nursing’s past that may not necessarily be captured by document analysis alone and may invite reflection on the ways in which nursing has interacted with different political influences. Recording of the presentation, previously presented by the respective organizations at the 2023 AAHN conference, will be made available through the Open Collection of the UBC library following the webinar.


Helen Shore Nursing History Endowment

Helen Shore Nursing History Endowment, May 12, 2022

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Helen Shore Nursing History Endowment in the UBC-V School of Nursing. The fund will support nursing history scholarship, research and initiatives in alignment with the goals of the UBC Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry. Professor Emerita Helen Shore, who passed away in 2020, was an alumna (BSN ’61, MA in education ’71), a faculty member from 1965 to 1990, and a longstanding friend of the UBC-V School of Nursing. She is the late Patron of the Consortium, which she generously supported since its early beginnings. We are greatly indebted to Helen Shore.

Teaching Nursing History with Photographs

The video recording of “Teaching Nursing History with Photographs” presented at the 2021 ICN Congress, is now available in UBC’s library Open Collection at the following link: 



Presented by nursing history scholars Helen Vandenberg, Sandra Harrisson, Maria Eugenia Galiana-Sanchez, Cecilia Sironi, Lydia Wytenbroek, Anna La Torre, and Geertje Boschma, representing the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing and the European Association for the History of Nursing at the International Council of Nursing Congress, November 2, 2021


Teaching nursing history through photographs: between realities, cultural constructions and social idealisations. Countless images of nurses have been captured on camera, but what do they tell us about nursing’s past? This symposium examines historic photographs of nurses at various periods in history and from a range of social and national contexts in Europe and Canada. The purpose is to show how the analysis and interpretation of an image may form a way to gain a deeper understanding of nurses’ critical role in maintaining people’s health. Secondly, we demonstrate how photographs can be used as an intriguing educational strategy to teach nursing history. In a panel presentation with a brief discussion period, we will present and explain a series of historical photographs, either as slides or within a short video, and applying multiple analytic lenses, including gender, race, religion, nation and place. What determines an adequate and critical representation of nursing’s past?



COVID in Long Term Care Event – save the date – be invited

Subject: SAVE THIS DATE!!! COVID in Long Term Care Event

A message from Megan Davies:

Dear Project Supporters, Friends, Colleagues, and Family,

A project that I have been putting my heart into for the last six months is nearly ready to go.  This will be one of the first public commemorations of the pandemic in Canada. It looks at the mass deaths and the extended isolation of our seniors in long-term care facilities, but also at longstanding problems in the eldercare system. It calls for radical, care-centred change.

On January 14, 2022 the COVID in the House of Old project will become public with an online launch and a new website featuring a powerful storytelling exhibit, a haunting audio-visual representation of aggregate death stats, and a podcast that is also cooler than me.  Beginning in the spring, a series of in-person exhibits will take place at BC’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University, local libraries, community centres and educational spaces. Funding is being sought to take CIHO across the country

The EventBrite Invitation below allows you to register for the zoom event.  Please sent it on to all your friends and networks and share on social media. I particularly want to engage seniors and caregivers, though of course this relates to all of our future selves. It is a major concern of our time.

The virtual launch on 14 January at 1-2 pm PST. This event will be hosted by Simon Fraser University, where a Shadbolt Fellowship that has made this project possible.


COVID in the House of Old – Virtual Launch and Artist Talk – 14 January 2022


[If clicking the link does not work, copy the link into your browser/search line in a new tab]

The project website https://covidinthehouseofold.ca/ will include the entire exhibit, the podcast, and educational materials. It will go live January 14. Project email for further information: info@covidinthehouseofold.ca

Thanking you for your support and hoping you will make it on the 14th,

Megan Davies


Professor Megan J. Davies

Health & Society Program

Department of Social Science

York University



I live and work on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. York University is on the area known as Tkaronto has been taken care of by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat, and the Métis. Hornby Island lies in the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. In both places I do my best to live by the terms of the Great Lakes region’s Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, a wise agreement that honours equitable, healthful, and sustaining life for all beings.


Helen Shore, Associate Professor Emerita and Patron of the Consortium dies at age 95

On Tuesday, November 3rd in the evening, Associate Professor Emerita Helen Shore passed away at the age of 95. She was an alumna (BSN ’61, MA in education, ’71), a faculty member (1965-1990), and a longstanding friend of the School of Nursing.

Helen was proud of sharing common ancestry with Florence Nightingale, and of being the daughter of pioneering health professionals in Alberta. She began her own nursing career in 1946 with an RN diploma from Vancouver General Hospital, and over the years she emerged as an influential nurse leader in Vancouver, especially in public health nursing. Helen was a strong advocate for nursing’s voice in policy, raising awareness of nursing’s important roles in addressing public health problems.

As a member of our faculty for 25 years, she was actively involved in curriculum development for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Even after her retirement in 1990, Helen remained dedicated to the School: she helped establish an internal research award in public health nursing, and contributed funding for nursing history scholarship. In 2013, she generously supported the launch of the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry in the UBC School of Nursing, and remained actively engaged as the Consortium’s patron.

Her achievements have been recognized by many awards throughout her career, including: a Merit Award for Excellence in Teaching (1975); the Nursing Division’s Distinguished Alumnae Award (1990); the UBC School of Nursing Partnership Award (2013); the UBC Faculty of Applied Science centennial Dean’s Medal (2015); and the UBC School of Nursing Centenary Medal (2019).

We deeply appreciated her enthusiastic interest in our School and her commitment to our profession. She was an ardent advocate of public health nursing and strongly committed to nursing history. Her role as Patron of the Consortium of Nursing History Inquiry was highly valued. We will miss her.



A special issue on the history of nursing education

Quality Advancement in Nursing Education/Avancées en formation infirmière [QANE-AFI]

Congratulations to the journal of the Canadian Association for Schools of Nursing for a special issue on the history of nursing education:

The History of Nursing Education | L’histoire de la formation en sciences infirmières

With guest-editors:

Dr. Sioban Nelson, University of Toronto and Dr. Pauline Paul, University of Alberta

Nelson, Sioban and Paul, Pauline (2020) “The History of Nursing Education | L’histoire de la formation en sciences infirmières,” Quality Advancement in Nursing Education – Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 1.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17483/2368-6669.1267

Visit the journal’s website for a full view of the special issue! [https://qane-afi.casn.ca/journal/vol6/iss2/1/]


Nursing History Symposium 2021


Nursing Artifacts and Nurses’ Uniforms: Preserving Nurses’ Cultural History

A Symposium in Honor of the BC History of Nursing Society’s 30th Anniversary

Date: 23 Nov 2021

Presented by: Keynote Speaker: Christina Bates, former curator of the Canadian Museum of History and author of A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform

ONLINE: Webinar/Zoom

Time: 12.00 noon – 1.30 pm

Please register via the School of Nursing – events website: https://nursing.ubc.ca/news-events/events



Schedule of Events

12:00: Welcome and Opening Remarks by

  • Kathy Murphy, President, BC History of Nursing Society
  • Geertje Boschma, Professor, UBC School of Nursing

12:10: Keynote Address by Christina (Tina) Bates, former curator of the Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa

          “Nursing History Embodied: Collecting and Researching a Uniform Collection”

  • Tina Bates will present the Canadian History Collection of 1,800 artifacts, with a focus on its 52 uniforms from nursing schools across Canada. She will demonstrate material culture methods that can tease out meaning from artifacts. Based on her book, A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform, she will examine the role of the uniform in creating nursing identity over one hundred years. The uniform was an active participant in the changing culture of nursing work and thought.
  • Following the presentation, there will be time for discussion with the audience.


12:45: Fashion Show of Nurses’ Uniforms

  • Facilitated by the members of the BC History of Nursing Society

Closing Remarks by Kathy Murphy and Geertje Boschma