The NLN Collection at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

The NLN and the Barbara Bates Center have joined forces to preserve the NLN’s rich history in an archival repository for scholarly historical research. In 2014, the Independence Foundation of Philadelphia awarded a matching grant to the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education to help build the repository. With this generous support, the NLN initiated a process to collect, preserve, and afford access to a single archival collection that will be housed at the Bates Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Presently, the NLN Collection includes a repository of reports and proceedings of annual conventions, minutes of meetings, biographical data of early leaders, and correspondence detailing trends and historic milestones. A selection of these holdings has been digitized and is now available online, including Annual Reports and Conference Proceedings dating from 1894 through 1952. A full Table of Contents for these holdings is available.

The Bates Center has also digitized over 150 video tapes produced by the NLN during the 1980s and 1990s. Video topics range from annual convention keynotes to interviews with nursing leaders to health care policies and practice, among many others. Preview clips of selected NLN videos are available on the NLN Resources page.

The Bates Center also has over 1,100 books, pamphlets, and booklets published by the NLN in its collection. A current listing can be found in the NLN Finding Aid. A selection of publications related to the Curriculum Revolution and Demographics are now available online under Books and Publications

The NLN’s Unscripted Conversation Saga podcast series, an additional resource diving into the history of nursing education, features discussion regarding the NLN’s Curriculum Revolution throughout the years and how successful or not it was.

Plans to digitize more content are underway. If you have materials you would like to donate for the collection, please contact We are especially interested in committee work, conventions, minutes, and reports. We will also continue to raise funds to build the NLN Collection, so please support this effort by donating to the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education.

Visit the NLN Archives