Friday, 12 August 2011

User services update

Up to the end of July this year we’ve had 80 readers who between them have made nearly 200 visits and consulted 951 items! Our readers have come from all over the UK and Ireland, from mainland Europe and further afield from the USA, Australia and Canada. A wide range of topics have been researched: students from Edinburgh College of Art have used Archive material to inspire their artwork to be displayed in the forthcoming Unsung Heroes exhibition (see blog of 13th May), records of the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital have been used as part of a birth weight study to examine the effects of birth weight, amongst other things, on cognitive ability in old age. We’ve also had retired nurses looking at their nurse training records from the 1940s and 1950s; it’s often a shock for them to see the comments made by the matron, or a photo of their younger selves! LHSA shares reading room facilities at the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library which offers a bright, modern area in which to consult records and is free to use.

An item recently consulted in the reading room (from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Physician Superintendents' collection)

We’ve also received 356 remote enquiries, usually by email or through our website, from all corners of the globe. There are requests for images of our material to be used in publications, guidance on records retention schedules for NHS staff, advice on conservation and a whole host of academic and local history queries. These have come from a wide range of sources including the NHS, the media, other archive services, students and academics. Many enquiries are from family historians looking for information on an ancestor’s stay in hospital, or as an employee of a hospital. No two enquiries are the same and they provide an opportunity for staff to learn more about the material held in the Archive and to develop research techniques.

To make an appointment to view LHSA records, please email us at or call on tel: 0131 650 3392

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