Monday, 17 December 2012

On the eighth day of Christmas... true love sent to me…eight(y) metres of accessions.

Not the traditional gift from a loved one at Christmas, but for an archivist, a welcome one! Throughout 2012 LHSA has continued to take in new material for the collections with over 50 accessions amounting to c.80 linear metres added to the Archive. As ever, the new items have ranged from the small (one postcard of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh) to the large (77 metres of Bangour Village Hospital case notes).

Before an accession is accepted, it must be vetted to ensure that it fits with our collecting policy: “Lothian Health Services 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”. Once the accession has arrived, it is assigned a unique accession number and then goes to the Conservation Studio to be checked for bugs or mould, and re-housed in archival standard boxes, before being transferred to the stores. It is then added to our Priority Cataloguing List, to our online list of accessions (available at: and catalogued in due course.

This image is a detail from one of our accessions this year, a page from an "Autographs and Sketches" scrapbook, which is part of Ethel Miller’s nursing papers. The scrapbook contains drawings and poems by military personnel treated at Craigleith Military Hospital, c.1919.

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