Friday, 31 May 2013

Home again, across the sea

We have received a multitude of accessions in the past week, including one that has travelled all the way from Canada! These items, and the individual story that accompanies each one, tell us of the experiences of those who originally used them. There is often an interesting tale about their return ‘home’ to Edinburgh too.

A pile of accession packages builds up!
A lady in England has sent two postcards showing wards at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. They were originally sent in 1912 by the depositor’s grandmother, a patient at the Hospital, to her daughter, then a seven year old child. She writes:  “Dear, this is a photo of the ward that I am in. That is the door at the bottom, that is the House Dr…your little brother is 7 months old today…I am yearning to be better to get the wee pet back”. The depositor had seen one of our postcards advertising the Royal Edinburgh Hospital bicentenary archive appeal at a family history fair in the Borders, and was reminded of the 100 year old postcards she had at home. Although this deposit relates to a different hospital, we are happy to collect them and add them to our collection.

Postcard of RIE Ward, sent by patient, 1912

Late last year we were contacted by a former employee of the Museum and Archives of Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. This archive had sadly closed and the contents were being dispersed to suitable repositories. We agreed to take a small collection of midwifery training notes from the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion. They were obtained by a former employee of the hospital  in Canada, who originally came from Scotland. The collection includes class notes and a case book of deliveries attended by a midwife as part of her training in the 1940s. The misfortune of the Canadian archive has been our gain as another part of Edinburgh nursing history becomes available to researchers here.

'The Health of Mother and Child'

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