Friday, 15 April 2011

Current volunteer placement comes to an end

This week we say goodbye to Mary MacPherson who has been volunteering at LHSA since September 2010. Mary has completed a wealth of cataloguing during her one day per week placement, working her way through lots of material that as a result of her efforts is now available for readers to view. These include Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Pharmaceutical Department papers, Royal Victoria Hospital patient registers, administration files from Edinburgh Central Hospitals Board of Management and photographs from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH).

By far the most complex part of Mary’s cataloguing has been a large collection of nineteenth and twentieth century plans from the REH. In 2010, LHSA received nearly 150 plans of varying condition, and relating to numerous buildings on several REH sites. After they had been re-housed in tissue paper and acid free plan boxes by Ruth, our Paper Conservator, Mary set to work on retrieving the necessary information from the plans to make a useful catalogue for our users. This typically comprises the date of the plan, the architects responsible for creating it, the building that it relates to and the scale. The plans form an integral part of the collection, detailing the hospital’s expansion over the years, reflecting changes in technology (such as the addition of electric lighting) and changes in patient care including the addition of Craig House which was meant to simulate the atmosphere of a gracious country mansion. 

Mary working on the REH plans

We wish Mary well and hope that the experience with LHSA stands her in good stead in her future career!  Although it’s the end for Mary, LHSA’s volunteer programme continues with the arrival next month of a new volunteer, Claire Kirkpatrick, who completed a volunteer training day with us earlier this year and will now take up a longer term placement.

If you're interested in volunteering at LHSA, please see our volunteer application form.

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