Friday, 6 May 2011

Making a scarce resource more accessible

Stephen, our Archive Assistant, recently scanned about 200 film negative copies of photographs of former Presidents of the Royal Medical Society. The originals of these photographs were contained within an album that no longer exists, therefore, the negatives are the only known copy.

The negatives

The Royal Medical Society was formed in 1737 by medical students who met to further their education after formal teaching. Many of the Society members became notable practitioners.

The negatives show Presidents of the Society from approximately 1809 to 1899 and include well-known Edinburgh figures such as David Skae, Sir James Young Simpson and Thomas Annandale. Although there are some dates on the outer sleeve for the film negatives, the names of the Presidents can only by identified from minute inscriptions photographed onto the negatives from the album.

To make the images more accessible, the negatives have been scanned into a high quality format and uploaded onto our image catalogue. We will add all of the known information about the images to the catalogue, and then any of the Presidents can be easily searched for under the recorded terms.

The equipment used to scan the negatives

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