Thursday, 31 May 2012

Accessions Update

LHSA receives approximately 50 new accessions every year, increasing the Archive’s size by tens of metres. All offers are carefully considered to ensure that the records fit within the collection policy, which states that the “Archive primarily collects records of long-term legal, administrative, epidemiological and historical value produced by the NHS within the Lothian area, including those of predecessor bodies. In addition, non-NHS institutional records and personal papers related to the local history of health care and the history of Scottish medicine are also collected.”  
Pelican Nursing Badge, received in 2012 (O546)

In the first five months of 2012, 23 accessions have arrived in the Archive, covering the years from WW1 right up to 2012. Accessions of new records for the collection can vary from one item, such as a photograph or annual report, through to many boxes of patient records. So far this year there have been 14 transfers of records from the NHS, and nine gifts from private individuals or organisations. These have included: a collection of negatives from the Medical Photography Department of the Princess Margaret Rose Hospital (1965-2003), NHS Lothian Clinical Effectiveness Team reports (1990s), an image of the Old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) taken in 1923 which had found its way to Canada, a film of Leith Hospital Flag Day (1938), nursing badges (various dates), the RIE Samaritan Society annual report (2012), oral history recordings from the Unsung Heroes project (2011-12), photographs of patients and staff taken at the Astley Ainslie Hospital in 1939, and a sketchbook containing drawings and poems from Craigleith Military Hospital (WW1). The latter has an interesting provenance and shows that archives contain lots of material far removed from its original purpose. The sketchbook was given by soldiers to a nurse as a thank you present, but holds a wealth of information valuable to researchers including the thoughts of the soldiers on the War, their conditions, the political situation, and their perceptions of how members of the public thought of them.
A sketch by a soldier treated at Craigleith Military Hospital (Acc 12/020)
A list of accessions awaiting cataloguing is available to view on our website; it is updated every month: Accessions awaiting cataloguing.

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