As I bid farewell to LHSA after eight years as the archive assistant I present a snapshot of the wide variety of different tasks I have done in this role. When I first started in May 2007, my duties were focussed on re-ordering over 200,000 of LHSA’s case notes and producing handlists for each collection. Once this was completed, handlists were written for case note collections already in the correct order as well (another 800,000 case notes) and finally a case note database was created condensing the information from these tasks, considerably increasing the accessibility of these records. The image shows a page of an unusual case note from 1910 found in the Alexander Miles collection with a hand drawing of the operation in progress:
As well as core duties of collecting items for readers at the library, helping with transit of material between the LHSA’s storage locations at the Main Library and the Library Annexe in South Gyle, and supporting the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Research Collections, I have had the privilege of working with a wide variety of the LHSA’s collections.
I have scanned and produced a catalogue of 3600 of LHSA’s 35mm slides, re-housed over 6000 glass plate negatives, catalogued boxes of photographs and listed LHSA’s departmental files. The image shows a 35mm slide of the entrance to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in approximately 1900.
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Accident and Emergency Department, c. 1900 (LHSA slide collection, Case 66.2)
Digitisation and photography have been a regular part of my duties and I have photographed many of the fascinating objects accessioned by the archive for the objects database, such as this beautiful nursing badge from Leith Hospital:
Leith Hospital nursing badge (LHSA object collection, O472)
Also more recently I have bookscanned the first seven volumes of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital newscuttings books.
Occasionally I have been asked to perform some more unusual tasks. I helped to set up shelves in the archive stores wearing a hard hat in 2008 and earlier this year, I helped bag and dispose of confidential anatomy department records after their appraisal in the basement of the McEwan Hall prior to its refurbishment. So, all in all it has been a very busy but enjoyable and worthwhile time here. I look forward to the new and different challenges in my next role.