In 1900, Edith Madeira obtained a nursing degree from John Hopkins Hospital Training School in Baltimore, Maryland. She served as a nurse superintendent for Howard Hospital in Philadelphia and Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, New Jersey. Madeira also served as a public health nurse and was superintendent of the Visiting Nurse Association in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Waterbury, Connecticut. Committed to helping the needy, Madeira volunteered for the American Red Cross Commission to Palestine during World War I and served as chief nurse from June 1918 to January 1919. The Commission was formed "to look after the sickness and starvation of the civilian population in the occupied area of Palestine."
Madeira's scrapbook encompasses her journey to Palestine, as well as her service in the Red Cross Commission to Palestine. The scrapbook contains photographs of nursing staff and military officers, movement and docking orders, dried flowers and leaves collected on the trip, a palm leaf with a written prayer, postcards, hotel pamphlets, tickets, newspaper clippings, and greeting cards.