FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE - Plan of Skutari, shewing the Site of the Barracks and Hospitals. From a survey made ... by B. Handley ... under the Direction of Lieut. A.G. Glascott. Lithographed at the Topographical and Statistical Depot. [London], July 12th, 1856.
Lithographic map, printed in black and sepia with original hand-colouring in pink and blue, 51 x 37cm, linen-backed at the time, one vertical fold; otherwise very good.
A very rare important and beautiful map with the scale of 12 inches to a mile outlining Üsküdar's Selimiye Barracks (built in 1800) which were partly converted into a military hsopital under the direction of Florence Nightingale and 37 volunteers in November 1854. They cared for thousands of wounded and infected soldiers until she returned home in 1857 as a heroine.
'Although healthcare was already well established in England, most of the British military field hospitals were in urgent need of modernisation. In the midst of the Crimean War the army staff struggled to provide adequate medical care prompting Sidney Herbert (the Secretary of State at War for the British Government) to approach Florence and request her help. She quickly assembled a group of 38 nurses to assist in the war effort. On arrival at the Barrack Hospital in Scutari (modern day Üsküdar, a suburb of Istambul in Turkey) in early November 1854 the nurses were shocked by the horrific condition of the medical facilities in which the patients were treated. They found an understaffed hospital with inadequate facilities, overcrowded wards, poor sanitation, and a constant shortage of medical supplies. It soon became clear to them that the majority of injured soldiers were dying from infectious diseases due to the unhygienic environment rather than their battle wounds. The nurses were thrown in at deep end and didn’t have much time to adjust to these conditions as in less than a week after their arrival in Scutari the already overwhelmed hospital had received a contingent of soldiers wounded in the battles of Balaklava and Inkerman. The troops were deployed in the Crimean Peninsula, however, the main British military camp and hospitals were located across the Black Sea over three hundred miles away from the battlefields!' (British Library, Florence Nightingale the Angel of the Crimea blog).
Provenance: Blind-stamp of the Topographical and Statistical Depot in the centre. Probably their filing copy, as we handled this plan before, and it did not have any blind-stamp.
We were able to locate only two copies in British institutions, in the Wellcome Library (not coloured) and in the British Library.