News

Retreat hospital archive available online

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The Borthwick Institute are pleased to announce that The Retreat hospital archive has been digitised (with funding from the Wellcome Collection) and is now available online.
The Retreat Archive relates to the one of the most important institutions in the care and treatment of mental health patients. The Retreat in York was founded by the Society of Friends and opened in 1796. The archive itself is unusually complete and includes administrative, financial, staff, estate and patient records and consists of bound volumes, loose papers, maps, photographs, artefacts from the museum and a small number of paintings.
Over 650,000 digital images have been captured by the project team – amounting to about 80% of the catalogued archive (note that material relating to patients dating from 1920 to the present day was excluded from the digitisation project).
There is a wealth of material in the archive that can be used for research. To get a flavour of some of the interesting things that staff have encountered whilst working on the project read some of our blog posts:
Or dive into The Retreat catalogue and follow the links that are available to the digital content hosted by the Wellcome Collection.
News

New online resource: ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’

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Members may be interested to know of a new project, ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’, a joint initiative of the University of Portsmouth & the National Railway Museum: www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk

The website features the extensive database of railway worker accidents in the UK between 1911 and 1915. It provides insight into the working conditions on Britain’s railways around the time of the First World War, including addressing issues around the nature of railway work, what actually happened in practice, and changing understandings of occupational health and safety and relationships between employees, employers, unions and the state.

There are also a range of resources, including a regularly updated blog exploring cases from the database, all of which help contextualise work and life in what was one of the UK’s largest and most dangerous industries.
The Twitter feed is also part of the project and features regular content: @RWLDproject
News

HSRAA Annual Conference 2018 and Pre-Conference Workshop Tickets NOW ON SALE

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Members may be interested in the Health Sciences Records and Archives Association (The HSRAA) Annual Conference is being held between 25th April and 27th April 2018 in Brighton.

 

To find out more about the agenda, click here.

To find out more about the venue and location, click here and to find out more about accommodation and travel, click here.

The conference will open at 09:00am on 26th April 2018 with the day closing around 5:00pm. Day 1 is followed at 7:00pm with a drinks reception and conference dinner.

On Friday 27th April 2018 there is full programme of presentations throughout the day with the conference ending at 3:00pm to allow plenty of time for delegates to get to the airport for their return flights or other transportation home.

The agenda is currently under development and will include a range of presentations covering topics of interest to records managers, archivists and related functions in healthcare / life sciences. The HSRAA currently has confirmed expert speakers from industry and regulators, including the MHRA and EMA. Six panel sessions have been scheduled for the two days.

Thursday 26th April 2018
Regulatory
Document Management
Digital Archiving

Friday 27th April 2018
GxP Data Integrity
Legal and Intellectual Property
GDPR

 

For more information please check the HSRAA website (https://the-hsraa.org/overview-hsraa-annual-conference-2018-2)

 

 

Archives

Upcoming seminar: Approaches to Opening Up Medical Records, London Metropolitan Archives

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Date: Fri 19 January 2018

Time: 09:30 – 13:30 GMT

Venue:
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB

 

At this professional seminar, LMA and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Archives will share their approaches to opening up access to medical records in their collections through two current projects funded by the Wellcome Trust Research Resources in Medical History scheme. Speakers include: Philippa Smith, Lara Speroni, Giorgia Genco, Kate Jarman and Rebecca D’Ambrosio.

 

You can register for free for this event via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/approaches-to-opening-up-medical-records-tickets-40179235174?aff=es2

 

 

Archives

Unlocking the Asylum Project at Denbighshire Archives

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My name is Lindsey Sutton and I am the Project Archivist employed on the Wellcome funded Unlocking the Asylum project at Denbighshire Archives. The project began in October of this year and is due to run until November 2019.

The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, was the main institution in North Wales for the care of the mentally ill. The institution opened in October 1848 serving the whole of North Wales and the borders. A century later, its patients numbered in excess of 1,500. It was by far the biggest employer in the area and activities recorded in its voluminous archives reflect its importance in the social and economic life of the area, with its farm, sporting activities, community events and cultural festivals.

The hospital finally closed its doors in 1995. The resulting archive is unique in its completeness including: patient records; annual reports and committee minutes; financial records; plans; and staff records.

The project team is made up of three roles. There is the Project Archivist (myself), whose role is to produce an itemised catalogue of the existing accessions re-catalogued to current standards and an itemised catalogue of later accessions of administration records. There is a Project Support Officer who will spend two years indexing and repackaging the later series of patient case files, some 23,000 in total.

Finally there is the Project Conservator who has been employed for three months to assess the collection for conservation needs and suggest preventive preservation measures.

We are now three months into the project and the first phase to re-catalogue the existing accessions is now complete, the temporary catalogue is available online via the Denbighshire Archives website.

http://archives.denbighshire.gov.uk/collections/getrecord/GB209_HD-1

Work is also well under way on the indexing and repackaging of the patient files, of which just under 1000 have been completed. Additionally a detailed conservation survey has been completed, the repackaging recommendations of which will be implemented next year.

If you would like to find out more about this project please see our two recent blog posts which look at the plans for repackaging the series of maps and plans, and take a closer look at the information contained within the patient files predating the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948.

Unlocking the Asylum: Unrolling the Archive

Exploring the Asylum: Patient Case Books

We will continue to post regular updates throughout the project on our blog and Facebook pages.