Upcoming History of Medicine events at the Festival of Creative Learning at The University of Edinburgh

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The Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA) are holding two workshops as part of The Festival of Creative Learning at The University of Edinburgh (20th – 24th February).

On 20th and 22nd February, Samar Ziadat will be running workshops on ‘Making History’. Exploring the collections through a crafty zine-making sessions, we’ll be taking a closer look at the achievements of some notable but lesser-known women in our collections.

Sign up here:
Monday 20th February: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-history-a-feminist-cr…
Wednesday 22nd February: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-history-a-feminist-cr…

Also occurring during the festival, on 23rd and 24th February, Surgeons Hall will be hosting a history of medicine Wikipedia editathon. We’ll be working with librarians, archivists, academic colleagues and the University’s Wikimedian-in-Residence to improve the quality of articles about the history of medicine on Wikipedia.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/history-of-medicine-wikipedi…

You don’t need to be a dab hand at zine-making or a Wikipeida expert to get involved with either of these – the Festival of Creative Learning is all about trying something new. You can find out more about the full programme on the Festival website: http://www.festivalofcreativelearning.ed.ac.uk

Scientific Archivists Group 2017 Conference

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HARG members may be interested in attending this year’s Scientific Archivists Group (SAG) conference to be held on Thursday 27 April and Friday 28 April 2017 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester, UK.

The conference includes papers on data protection regulation, data migration from legacy systems, digital preservation and project management skills.

For the full agenda and to make your booking, please go to https://sagroup.eventhq.co.uk/sag-2017-conference. There is a significant discount available for early booking (up to 5th March) and the conference is open to non SAG members.

New resource offers unique insight into life and death in Leeds

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Visualisations of the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index

A mine of information for genealogists has been made available online by the University of Leeds Library Special Collections. The burial registers of Leeds General Cemetery are now available for students and the public to access and use for research.

Containing entries relating to the 97,146 people buried at the cemetery, the 25 registers have been transcribed, digitised and made available through the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index:
https://library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/Leeds%20General%20Cemetery%20Burial%20Registers%20Index

The registers record information such as name, age, gender, date of death and burial, cause of death, occupation, and parents’ details. It is possible to browse a full list of all the recorded causes of death and occupations and view charts of key statistics from the data.

Leeds General Cemetery opened in 1835 as a public burial ground. The University of Leeds acquired the company in 1956 and the final burial took place there in 1969, although ashes continued to be scattered there until 1992. Today the site is a public park, its name reverted to the original – St George’s Fields.

The digitisation and transcription project was undertaken as part of the Medical Collections Project, launched in November 2015. The project’s aim is to make medical-related collections more widely accessible, to encourage use, and inspire new research by creating online catalogues and digitising selected items. This includes improving the long-term preservation of this material by undertaking repackaging and conservation treatments where appropriate. The project is funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award, and runs until May 2018.

The University Library’s Special Collections hold the extensive records of the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd. Mainly consisting of business and administrative papers alongside the burial registers, the archive covers the lifetime of the company, with records dating from 1733 to 1992. A new catalogue for the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd Archive is also now available.

Exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Masonic Hospital

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Thought that members of the Health Archives and Records Group might like to know about our current exhibition, Healing Through Kindness, which commemorates the centenary of the founding of the Royal Masonic Hospital. For further details see: http://freemasonry.london.museum/event/exhibition-healing-through-kindness/

The exhibition will be open Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm until 7 April 2017.

Opened as a hospital for war casualties in 1916, it was conceived originally as a hospital for freemasons in 1911. The First World War led to a change it plans and the freemasons offered to run the facility for the War Office if that government body found it suitable premises. The former Chelsea Hospital for Women was secured and the freemasons met all the running costs for the Freemasons’ War Hospital at 237 Fulham Road, Chelsea. It proved so successful that a second hospital was established at Fulham Palace in 1917 and a convalescent facility in Caversham, Berks as well.

After hostilities ceased the Hospital re-opened as the Freemasons Hospital and Nursing Home in 1920 and treated freemasons, their wives and children. This was before the formation of the National Health Service, when private nursing or hospital admittance was expensive for those on average incomes but public charitable hospitals offered limited, basic care.

Funds to maintain and finance the Hospital were raised by members and it proved so successful that a new, purpose-built Hospital with over 200 beds was opened in premises at Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith in 1933. Opened by King George V and Queen Mary, the new building was known as The Royal Masonic Hospital.

The Wakefield Wing opened in 1958 with new operating theatres, wards and a nurse training school. Nurse training began in 1948 in the hospital basement until the purpose-built school and nurses home opened. Nurses who qualified at the Hospital wore a special silver belt buckle and were well-regarded within medical circles for their expertise and training. The Percy Still Wing, named after one of the founders of the Hospital, opened in 1976, providing state of the art operating theatres and a new pathology laboratory.

Freemasons contributed to care according to their means or was funded by the Hospital charitable funds. By the 1980s the Hospital accepted non-Masonic private patients as freemasons explored private medical treatment locally or chose NHS treatment. A series of Masonic reports recommended closure of the Hospital and support of local treatment for members requiring medical care. Despite these recommendations, the Hospital remained a popular cause among members and the Hospital continued to offer innovative services, such as Neurolinguistic Therapy and a private IVF Unit run by Robert Winston and Raul Magara during the 1980s-1990s. However, rising medical and service costs led to the closure of the Hospital in 1996.

The exhibition draws on the archives of the Royal Masonic Hospital which are now catalogued to item level, with details included in our on-line catalogue, reference: GBR 1991 RMH – see http://freemasonry.london.museum/catalogue16.php

Publication of the Survey of Hospital Records In Ireland

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The National Archives of Ireland have published their survey of hospital archives in Ireland. The survey funded by the Wellcome Trust was carried out between May 2014 and December 2015 with the objective of establishing the location, extent, content and condition of the archives of hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. Approximately 200 locations were identified as holding records and It was envisaged that the survey findings and recommendations would provide a basis for the development of policy on permanent preservation and access, and facilitate the formulation of a strategy to ensure the transfer of all records of permanent value to the custody of archival institutions.

For more information on the survey and to download a copy please visit the following link: http://www.nationalarchives.ie/2016/11/talk-on-survey-of-hospital-archives-22-november-at-1800/