Friday, 27 April 2012

Shared experiences: getting together with custodians of health archives and records

Today we’ve been delighted to welcome members of the Health Archives and Records Group (HARG) to LHSA. HARG was established in the late 1980s and acts as a representative body for archivists and records managers working in the health sector in the UK and Ireland. For more information see their website.

Members from across Scotland and England converged on Edinburgh University Main Library’s meeting room suite for an afternoon of productive discussion, which ranged from ways to reinvigorate HARG through the website/social media and the issues associated with digitisation, to possibilities for project funding and creating catalogues with built-in links to related material. We also found out about the online catalogue for the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh ( – a great new resource for research in the history of medicine.

Once the official business of the meeting was over, we offered those attending a tour. Starting off in the Centre for Research Collections reception area (to show off the fabulous reading room facilities), we moved on to the Viewing Room (where the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Royal Charter, dating from 1736, was on display) and the Conservation Studio to see some architectural plans of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital undergoing treatment.

It was a fantastic opportunity to talk through shared issues relating to the long-term preservation of, and access to, health records and to strengthen professional contacts with those working in our sector: an afternoon well spent!

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