Friday, 24 March 2017

Looking at TB - World Tuberculosis Day

Since it's World TB Day today, Archivist Louise shares some of the stand-out images from the archive and gives a preview into work to make our catalogue entries more visual, too...

We've had a lot of posts about our work to catalogue records from the Royal Victoria Hospital recently as part of our major Wellcome Trust-funded project - from the early days of treatment under the pioneering Edinburgh Scheme to the wonders of Mass Miniature Radiography.

As well as our case notes, we have a set of slides recording TB treatments in the first half of the twentieth century, and these are some of my favourite images in our collections. They show the early days of TB nurses coming into families' homes (which were often over-crowded and un-sanitised, though notably not in this early publicity image):

Royal Victoria Dispensary nurse visiting a 'consumptive's home', 1900s (P/PL41/TB/001)

and the open, airy wards that were eventually opened in institutions like the Royal Victoria Hospital and City Hospital:

Ward in Royal Victoria Hospital, c. 1910s (P/PL41/TB/023)

There are also records of the physical exercise that was promoted as essential in the final stage of recovery:

'Respiratory drill' in the Royal Victoria Hospital grounds, 1910s (P/PL41/TB/071)
Our case note cataloguing is going on a small break, but work on information from the cases still very much goes on in another form. Intern, Kiersten Hay (through funding from University of Edinburgh Information Services), is taking on the challenge of turning our case note catalogue descriptions into charts, word maps and graphs to help researchers really get to grips with the information our cases present as a whole. She's working with the Library Digital Development Team on these data visualisations, using the same redacted information (through which patients can't be identified) that we'll feed into our public TB case note online catalogue when the project is complete.

A redacted TB case note catalogue entry, showing the type of  XML data Kiersten will be working with. - and the basis of our forthcoming public online catalogues
We'll update you with more news of how Kiersten is making our case note data more visual and accessible as the weeks go on - showing that images in archives aren't always black and white...

No comments:

Post a Comment