Scoping Event: major health collections in Glasgow City Archives

Call for Expressions of Interest

Glasgow Life in conjunction with the Medical Humanities Research Centre and the College of Arts in the University of Glasgow invite expressions of interest from researchers who may wish to work with the internationally significant medical history and humanities collections held in the Glasgow City Archives, Mitchell Library. The following major collections were catalogued with Wellcome Trust funding, and are eligible for Wellcome’s Research Bursary Scheme (funding up to £25k, see https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/research-bursaries), other Wellcome schemes, and those of other funders.

Glasgow Public Health Records
Glasgow has an unenviable reputation in respect of the health chances of its citizens. Ill health and disease within Glasgow was entrenched during the first half of the nineteenth century as a result of large-scale migration. The scale of the problems and the work by Glasgow’s pioneering Medical Officers of Health and its Sanitary Officers, form a major part of the collections.

(1) Department Of Public Health records, including annual reports of the Medical Officer of Health and Sanitary Inspector, 1863-1985; reports on Glasgow housing conditions, 1911-1923; housing photographs, c1902-1944; returns of infectious diseases, 1920-1973; Port Local Authority files, 1901-1969; papers of Medical Officers of Health, 1892-c1959; publications by staff of the Public Health Department, 1897-1974.

(2) Police Commissioners. Prior to the establishment of the Public Health Department in 1895, the Commissioners were responsible for all aspects of public health. Their records date back to 1800 and include: minutes of Nuisances, Sanitary and Health Committees, 1856-1910; minutes of Hospitals Committees, 1867-1914; minutes of the Port Local Authority, 1903-1910.

(3) Annexed Burghs. The 13 burghs which surrounded Glasgow were gradually absorbed as the city expanded. As independent burghs of varying duration, they had public health functions. They include: Gorbals (1700-1900); Govan (1853-1912); Govanhill (1876-1891); Hillhead (1867-1891); Maryhill (1856-1891); Partick (1852-1912); Pollokshaws (1813-1912).

(4) Scottish Women’s Hospital. During WW1 UK female physicians developed, staffed, and led their own voluntary organisations serving honourably and often under direct fire, on the Western Front. Of these, the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service (SWH) represented the largest medical endeavour completely directed by British women doctors. The SWH made a crucial contribution to the delivery of medical care during the First World War, sending out 14 medical units to serve in France, Serbia, Salonika, Russia, Romania, Corsica and Malta.

A scoping event is planned for 2-4pm, Wednesday 14th February 2018 in the Mitchell Library. City Archives staff will introduce the collections, display illustrative materials, and facilitate the development of related research projects. A key, but not exclusive objective, will be to assist in bids to the Wellcome’s Research Bursary Scheme for scoping projects, with a first round deadline in 2018 of 2 April 2018.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Irene O’Brien (irene.o’brien@glasgowlife.org.uk) by 31st January 2018 with your contact details, affiliation and level and stating which collections and particular materials you are interested in, your initial research idea, as well as any particular schemes and funders. The event is open to academic researchers of postgraduate level and above.

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