Living History Museum
A unique museum dedicated to nursing, the Living History Museum honors the critical role of nurses in health care and chronicles the continuing story of the profession.
The museum displays notable historic items including a nineteenth century nurses’ uniform, early twentieth century medical equipment, and correspondence saved by nurses serving in both World Wars. The museum also features video and audio histories of nurses recounting stories from previous eras. Together, the thoughtfully curated exhibits in the museum weave an insightful tapestry of the nursing profession throughout the generations—with the University of Maryland School of Nursing serving as its common thread.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays during the fall and spring academic semesters. Admission is free. To arrange a tour, contact our curator, Heather Ritterpusch, MA.
The Museum's mission is to preserve the history and heritage of UMSON, honor the critical role of nurses in health care, and chronicle the ongoing evolution of nursing education, research, and practice.
Louisa Parsons was the first superintendent of UMSON, known first as the University of Maryland Hospital Training School. She remembered UMSON in her will, making a bequest of her numerous military nursing medals. Since that initial gift was made, dedicated alumni have collected, preserved, and exhibited many nursing artifacts over the years. In October 1999, a museum dedicated to UMSON history opened its doors, presenting the new exhibition gallery, “A Vibrant Future, A Living History.” Today, the Museum continues to educate the public on the vital role of nurses in society.
“Nursing Through the Ages,” the permanent exhibit at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Living History Museum, covers the history of UMSON, from its founding in 1889 to the present day.
Click one of the links below to take a virtual tour and learn about the history of UMSON and nursing throughout the country, or use the links on the right navigation bar to skip ahead to a specific section.
- History of the School of Nursing
- History of Nursing Research
- History of Nursing Practice
- Military Service & Wartime Nursing
In Their Own Words