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Posted on: May 11, 2020

Virtual Exhibit Celebrates International Nurses Day

COQUITLAM, BC, May 11, 2020 – In honour of International Nurses Day and the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, both on May 12, 2020, Coquitlam Archives’ current online exhibit shines a spotlight on the School of Psychiatric Nursing at the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale. 

The exhibit, An Emerging Profession: Psychiatric Nursing at Essondale, 1913-1973, provides a brief history of psychiatric nursing in British Columbia and highlights photographs, documents, and ephemera from the Riverview Hospital Historical Society collection, preserved by the City of Coquitlam Archives.

Psychiatric nursing in British Columbia has a distinct history parallel to the development of the profession in Canada. BC charted its own course with training that was separate from general nursing schools. 

The exhibit is rich with detail about the nurses’ experiences learning, working and living at Essondale, as well as the various matrons, superintendents, and teachers who charted the course and direction of the institution for over 60 years. 

Please visit coquitlam.ca/nursing to view this exhibit.

About the City of Coquitlam Archives

Since the inception of the program, the City of Coquitlam Archives has been raising its profile to encourage people to use its services and discover the trove of records in the collection. In addition to online exhibits, other outreach includes weekly #TBT posts on the City’s social media platforms and a collection of historic photos at www.historypin.org.

Thousands of archival records, including hundreds of historical images, are available in digital form through the Archives’ online search portal, Quest searcharchives.coquitlam.ca.  

For more information about the City of Coquitlam Archives and to view the online exhibits, visit www.coquitlam.ca/archives.

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