Keeping History Alive

Two of our health records staff were invited to take a peep into the past recently when they viewed a different type of record which has now been preserved for posterity. Agnes Provan, Head of Health Records and Fiona Hutchison, Community Health Records Services Manager, visited the University of Stirling to see the archive which has been created for the former Royal Scottish National Hospital (RSNH).

The Hospital, which stood on the site now occupied by Forth Valley Royal, was established in 1862. Revolutionary for its time, it provided care and education for children with learning disabilities. Previously these children could not be looked after by their families and would have been sent to an adult asylum.

In 2012, all of NHS Forth Valley’s old patient registers, records and photographs were sent to the Stirling University Archives for preservation and in 2014, thanks to a Wellcome Trust fund, work started to catalogue and conserve some of the records. An exhibition is now available online on those relating to the RSNH.

Keeping History Alive 2Agnes Provan said: “It was absolutely fascinating to see these records being preserved and used and for the really old ones to be made accessible to the public via the University website. The visit reminded us of how important the work of Records staff is and the need to maintain information for the future.”

The impressive collection contains items such as applications for admission, cash books and lots of early photographs of the buildings, staff and children. Agnes and Fiona also visited the bindery and met conservator Liz Yamada who helps restore damaged documents using a combination of Japanese paper and wheat starch.

Archives & Special Collections: