In this week’s blog Project Cataloguing Archivist, Clair,
elaborates on LHSA’s newest case note cataloguing project.
As has been mentioned in a recent blog post, I am now working at LHSA through
the University Collections Facility (UCF) Rationalisation project. This means
I get to take forward the case note cataloguing skills that I have
developed from working on our Wellcome Trust funded, Dott and TB projects to
help open up other case note collections we hold at LHSA. After a trip to the UCF I was able to
see the physical extent of LHSA’s case notes and this gave me a
chance to properly scope the potential collections that could really benefit
from being catalogued. The choices had already been narrowed down by LHSA
Archivist, Louise, according to their size as it is important that within our
project timeframe we complete cataloguing of an entire collection, opening it
up to item level. This was a difficult choice to make as each potential
collection from different time periods and medical specialities were wholly
interesting within themselves. However, in the end I chose to work on Sexual
Dysfunction case notes from the Gynaecological Out-Patient Department at the
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (1973-1994) with around 1249 individual patient
case notes to catalogue.
Fully re-housed Sexual Dysfunction case notes.
This is the most modern case note collection thus far to
undergo cataloguing at LHSA but we are able to adapt our now well established
case note cataloguing methodology to this different medical specialism. The
methodology provides a template that allows us to capture a high level of
detail from each individual patient record but also enables search
functionality through the whole collection. It is flexible and therefore can be
adapted to suit the specific characteristics of different medical specialisms.
For example, I have decided to catalogue the type of medical treatments that
were provided at the Sexual Dysfunction clinic in more detail than can be found
in other case note catalogues. This is because the types of treatment were extensive
and could be quite varied, from a course of sexual therapy to various urogenital surgical procedures. The Sexual Dysfunction case notes are also
particularly interesting because the medical conditionsof
many patients are often linked to other physiological conditions or reflect on
their social circumstances.
Of course, as with all other case note cataloguing projects
we catalogue with the highest levels of confidentiality and patient records are
closed according to appropriate dates under the Data Protection Act and Scottish Government guidelines on health information of deceased patients. However
non-confidential information from the case notes will eventually be able to be
accessed through an online redacted catalogue and provide a new way into another medical speciality.
Thoracic-Cardiac Surgery case notes before re-housing.
The project started in February and will run until July.
Within this timeframe, we will have a lot of work to do but thankfully come next
week I will be joined by our latest LHSA Intern for eight weeks, who will also
be case note cataloguing. The internship aims to provide a recent archives
graduate with experience in developing skills in cataloguing in the digital age
and basic archival rehousing. Specifically, they will be cataloguing Thoracic –
Cardiac Surgery case notes (1951-1958) that came from Dr Andrew Logan’s
Thoracic Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Unusually from our pervious case note cataloguing
projects, which have always been beautifully rehoused for us before we begin
cataloguing, this collections is in its original state. Therefore our Intern
will be getting their hands dirty but will learn some important techniques
about collection re-housing. Look forward to hearing more about our Intern and
the work they will be doing in future blog posts!