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Diana Hartley Indian Collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022NNN

Scope and Contents

Album of photographs relating to Miss Hartley's nursing activities in India, and places visited by her. These photographs are chiefly amateur snapshots taken by Miss Hartley or her friends and are 70 x 110 mm or smaller, unless otherwise stated; a few have been enlarged to post card size and there are also some commercially produced post cards which are so identified. Number 120 to 136 were taken by a missionary, and are her copyright. The descriptions of the photographs are drawn partly from details supplied by Miss Hartley, and to a small extent from references in typescript articles by her in the RCS manuscript collection. Information from the Nursing Journal of India is indicated by NJI.

The office of the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) was at Kilpauk, Madras from 1935 to December 1936, when it was moved to Egmore, Madras, where it had also been for a few months earlier in the year. From April 1938 to March 1941 it was at Valley View, Coonoor (plate 172) when it moved to Richards Town, Bangalore. In December 1941 Miss Hartley travelled to Delhi, arriving in January 1942, to establish the office there.

Since the album is not in chronological order, the following list sets out the photographs to correspond to Miss Hartley's visits to the places depicted:
March: outward journey 207 (and possibly some of 196-201)
March-May: Madras 164-166, 206
May-June: Nilgiris 47-49, 148-153, 168, 179-181, 220-222; Palni Hills 50-52, 182-183, 252-253; Vellore 64-68
29 July: Chanda 40; ? Itarsi 39, 45-46
9 August: Baroda 37
August: Poona 167, 169
November: Nagpur 155
November-December: Agra 13-36, 231-232, 241
December: Delhi 109-111, 171

May-June: Jalapahar (Darjeeling, Kinchenjunga) 41-44, 53-59, 104, 106-108, 175-178
September: Seven Pagodas, Madras 1-10, 219
October: Periapaliam (Miriamma Festival) 80-89; Madras Conference 173-174, 251

January: Travancore 92-93, 139, 184-192, 236; Tinnevelly 60-61, 69-79, 142-147
November-December: Karachi 114-116, 163, 203-205; Quetta 237, 249; Kangra 223, 233-235

April: Coonoor 172
9 May: Coonoor Conference 154, 156-158
November: Mysore Conference 140

March: Homeward journey on leave 11, 196-201, 254-25
September: South Africa 159-161, 193

January: Gwalior 162, 226, 250

South India generally 62-63, 94-103, 117-132
Sukkur 208
Kashmir 227-230
Chittagong 133-136
Gujurat 38
Mrs Kneeshaw's collection 207, 209-214, 256
Nursing activities 90-91, 109-111, 138, 140-141, 154-161, 170-174, 202, 215-218, 233-235, 241-242, 245-248, 251, 257-259
Miscellaneous, including England 12, 105, 112-113, 137, 224, 225, 239, 240, 242-244, 260-262.


  • Creation: 1935 - 1944


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Diana Hartley was born on 23 November 1894. During the first World War she was nursing her mother until she died in December 1917. After her father's death in 1918 she spent two years with relatives in the U.S.A. On her return she trained as a midwife in Gillingham, Kent before qualifying as a State Registered Nurse at the Royal West Sussex Hospital, Chichester.

Miss Hartley did private and district nursing until 1935 when she went to India as the first General and Organizing Secretary of the Trained Nurses Association of India (the equivalent of the Royal College of Nursing in England). This position was a pioneering one aimed at raising the standard, status, and conditions for nurses of all grades throughout the whole sub-continent. Her duties also involved editing the Nursing Journal of India, and she took a general interest in public health and infant welfare. She was also responsible for overseeing the Student Nurses Association, the Midwives Association, and Health Visitors' League. During her time in India, Miss Hartley was stationed in Madras, Coonoor, Bangalore, and in the Vice-Regal Estate in Delhi.

She was awarded the Silver Kaiser-i-Hind (an award for outstanding social service in India) in 1944 when she was invalided. After returning to England she became General Secretary of the Association of State Enrolled Nurses which involved administration, touring and addressing meetings and drawing up the constitution. Following further ill health, she took short-term posts in children's nurseries, until retiring at the age of 68. Miss Hartley died on 15 July 1986.

An appreciation of her work states: 'She gave herself wholeheartedly to the work and it is in no small measure due to her initiative and keenness that the membership was greatly increased (800 to 2060) and the work carried steadily forward. Her personal visits to the different hospitals throughout the length and breadth of the land, from Cape Comorin to the North-West Frontier Province, were a source of inspiration and help, and did much to forward the interests of the Association amongst all branches of the profession'. (Wilkinson 1958, p.84).


1 album(s) (262 images in 1 album)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Miss Diana Hartley.

Related Materials

Other material presented to the R.C.S. by Diana Hartley includes papers and other material relating to her work for the T.N.A.I. and her time in India (RCMS 77), photographs of Indian nursing activities in World War II (Y3022OOO) and an album once belonging to Lt. Col. G.L. Walker (Y3022P). The papers of the R.C.S. also include extracts from letters written in Nigeria by Diana Hartley's brother, Richard St John Hartley (RCMS 22/40), letters to Diana Hartley from Lucy Latham, a missionary in Uganda (RCMS 168), and copies of the 'Nursing journal of India'.


For biographical information on Miss Hartley see: Hartley, Diana (1977), 'The St. Aubyns of Cornwall, 1200-1977', Chesham: Barracuda Books Limited, pp.97-8; Wilkinson, Alice (1958), 'A brief history of nursing in India and Pakistan', [Delhi]: Trained Nurses' Association of India.


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Hartley, Diana, 1894-1986, nursing administrator in India

Includes index.
2004-04-20 16:08:09+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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