Professor puts out call for distinctively Australian tomes to be reproduced in new volumes.
An Australian academic is on a mission to find old nursing journals, and she is calling on nurses for help.
Professor Megan-Jane Johnstone, academic chair in nursing at Deakin University, has been chosen by international publisher Sage to prepare three edited volumes on nursing and healthcare ethics, and she wants Australian nurses to help find old editions.
“What I am looking for is whether nurses have got their grandmothers’ trunks buried away in the garage or basement somewhere, where there might be some old material,” Johnstone said.
“I am particularly interested in any of the older journals from 1903 to before the war. Anything that is distinctively Australian from the turn of the 20th century up until before the war. So, it’s either been written by Australian nurses or published in Australian publications.”
She said that the older Australian journals now available are fragile, and few and far between. “When nurse education shifted from hospitals into the higher education sector, a lot of nursing schools’ libraries were dismantled and a lot of those books were trashed,” she explained.
Johnstone, who has just started four months leave to complete her project, will be locating originals, which will then be reproduced.
“I am going through all the major nursing journals to track the history of ideas. So it’s about codes, ethics, etiquette, theories, and then the second volume is about practice issues and the third is about politics.”
She said that early Australian journals contained a lot of reprints from Canadian, American and British journals but interesting commentaries and notes can be found from nurses, matrons and doctors from the Australian hospitals about ethics and etiquette.
Once complete, the reproduced volumes are intended to go to libraries in east and South-East Asia, Europe and North America, particularly where students and staff don’t have strong library holdings.Do you have an idea for a story?
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