Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy



The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN), funded a project detailing the outstanding work and achievements of the Edinburgh medical community from 1750 to 1950. The work, to build a Web-based resource, was undertaken by Mr Arnott Wilson, Edinburgh University Archivist, Dr Mike Barfoot, Lothian Health Services Archivist, and Lynn Davidson, Project Researcher. The project was completed in 1999 and can be seen on the Scran website.

With the project grant of £26,000, they created 2,100 digitised versions of photographic and other images organised around three main themes: people, places and activities. People will include medical men and women, nurses, other health workers, donors and patients. Among places featured is the University Medical School, the Royal Infirmary, the Royal Colleges, other local hospitals, dispensaries and clinics, as well as the general sanitary conditions of historical Edinburgh. Activities will include those taking place in hospitals, such as ward work, operations, x-rays and other specialities; and in the wider community, including blood transfusion, mass miniature radiography, and health promotion pageants.

The first three months of the project was taken up with compiling a list of 2,100 images from the Lothian Health Services Archive and the University Archives. This list is now complete, and around 250 images have already been digitised; and work has commenced on writing the text records which will accompany these images.

The digitised resources, based largely on the unique 19th and 20th century medical photographic collections housed in the University Library, will have numerous educational uses ranging from secondary school projects on health and sanitation for Edinburgh to university teaching and research of the social and economic history of health care.

The project will give the public the chance to look at previously unseen pictorial resources, and is in line with Edinburgh University Library’s aim of moving towards the electronic media of the future.

SCRAN is a Millennium Commission project, creating a World Wide Web-based resource for the study, teaching and appreciation of history and material culture in Scotland.

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