Around the World in 90 years- the Story of Historic Leith Improvement Scheme Photographs

When Fraser Parkinson first contacted us about the collection of historic photographs of Leith that he had been entrusted with, my colleagues and I at the Centre for Research Collections were very excited. The photographs were taken to show the slums of Leith prior to the ‘Edinburgh (Leith) Improvement Scheme of 1924’, where large areas were to be cleared and rebuilt. Fraser tells us that:

‘The Town Council Minutes of 3rd April 1924 propose the demolition or reconstruction of ‘certain houses, courts, and alleys unfit for human habitation’.

The concerns of William Robertson, Medical Officer of health for the City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh, were that the

‘narrowness, closeness and bad arrangement, or the bad condition of the streets and houses, or the want of light, air, ventilation or proper conveniences or other sanitary defects are dangerous or injurious to the health of the inhabitants of the buildings in the said Areas, or of the neighbouring buildings.’

The scheme involved large-scale demolition in this area of Leith, and the re-housing of most displaced residents out-with the areas covered by the scheme.

These photographs were taken as a record of the area at this time by the City Council.  They provided the photographic evidence of the conditions that presented significant risk to public health at this time.’

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A Passage to India – Part 2

In this week’s blog, Special Collections Conservator, Emily Hick, describes the next stage of conserving a collection of Indian paintings, and explains how she used a rigid gel to remove old tissue papers that were adhered to the front. You can read part one of this blog here.

After completing a condition report and putting together a treatment proposal, we began interventive treatment. The first step was to surface clean the paintings. This removes all loose surface dirt, which can be harmful to paper documents, and prevents the dirt from sinking further into the paper fibres during the later aqueous treatments, making it difficult to remove. To do this we used a soft goat hair brush on the painted areas and smoke sponge on the borders. We cut the smoke sponge into small pieces and used a dabbing motion to avoid removing any of the gold leaf sprinkled on the surface. A good quality Mars Staedler™ rubber was cut into thin slithers and used to remove areas of ingrained dirt on the edges of the painting.

Ingrained dirt at the corner of a painting

Ingrained dirt at the corner of a painting

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Dawsonera downtime

logoE-Books on the Dawsonera website will be unavailable for up to half an hour between 7:30am and 8:00am on Thursday 25th August 2016 while they undertake essential work on the platform.  Dawsonera will be offline during this time and students should ensure they have downloaded and opened any e-books they need access to before this outage occurs.  It will also not be possible to read titles which have been downloaded but not opened before the outage period.

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Main Library Summer Improvements 2016 – Update 18th August

Work is continuing in the Main Library on a programme of works to bring significant improvements for library users through increasing the number of study spaces by 350 and providing additional power and data facilities at study desks.

Work underway this week (22nd – 31st August)

1st  floor – construction and electrical enabling work will now begin in what was the ‘New Book Area’ and ‘Reception Desk’ to transform these area into new study spaces. In addition to these works, study desks adjacent to accessible study rooms 8 – 11 will also undergo upgrade which will include desk top power being installed to these desks. Please be aware that whilst these works are being carried out,  temporary diversions will be put in place to both the meeting room suite and south side study area.  Directional signage providing alternative access to these areas will be placed on 1st floor to assist you.

Lower Ground Floor – construction work has also now started in this area and will continue throughout the rest of August.

Apologies for the continuing noise and disruption – thank you for your patience while work is underway.

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More DataVault presentations

It’s been a busy summer for the DataVault, with further presentations taking place.

First up was a short trip to Dublin to the Open Repositories 2016 conference in June. The presentation was scheduled to be part of the 24×7 session: 24 slides to be presented in 7 minutes – that’s a mere 17.5 seconds per slide (rather than the usual rule-of-thumb of a minute or two!) and with the slides auto-advancing for a bit of added fun!. Thomas Higgins and Stuart Lewis presented, and gave an overview of the project, the platform, and gave a demonstration.

A copy of the slides is available for download.

Then in August, Mary McDerby and Stuart Lewis attended the Repository Fringe in Edinburgh, where Stuart presented the DataVault in a session led by the DCC’s Angus Whyte, alongside Rory Macneil from ResearchSpace, looking at the subject of research data workflows, and what this means for systems such as the DataVault which sit within those workflows.

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Wartime service honours of Dr William Aldren Turner (1864-1945)… Devised a management strategy for shell shock… Honoured by Belgium and Britain

EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL STUDENT… SERVED WITH ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL  CORPS (RAMC)… BECAME ADVISOR ON ‘WAR NEUROSIS’ AND SHELL SHOCK TO THE BRITISH WAR OFFICE…

9. Band

William Aldren Turner was born in Edinburgh, 5 May 1864. He was the son of the Principal of Edinburgh University, Sir William Turner, and his wife Agnes. The younger Turner was educated at Fettes College, and then he studied at Edinburgh University as a medical student. He graduated as M.B., C.M., with first-class honours, in 1887, and then completed a term as house physician at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Detail from the certificate presented to Turner by the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Detail from the citation for the award of the King Albert Medal presented to Turner by the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Quatercentenary Collection, Box 16)

He also studied as a postgraduate in Berlin and at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He was awarded his M.D. in 1892.

Detail from the citation awarding the King Albert Medal to Turner, 1921

Detail from the citation awarding the King Albert Medal to Turner, 1921 (Quatercentenary Collection, Box 16)

In 1892 Turner was appointed as an assistant to David Ferrier (1843-1928), and as a demonstrator and then lecturer in neuropathology, at King’s College, London. In 1896 be was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London), and in 1899 he was elected assistant physician to King’s College Hospital. Nine years later he became physician in charge of neurological cases and lecturer on neurology.

3. Belgium

For six years he was also on the staff of the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic. He published Epilepsy, a Study of the Idiopathic Disease (1907), and with Grainger Stewart, a Textbook of Nervous Diseases (1910). He married Helen Mary Mackenzie in 1909.

Citation - King Albert Medal

Citation – King Albert Medal (Quatercentenary Collection, Box 16)

As a Territorial officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), Turner had been rushed to France in December 1914 as a temporary Lieutenant-Colonel (Special Duty) when it became clear that ‘nervous and mental shock’ casualties were multiplying. He was one of the few doctors at the National Hospital with first-hand experience of casualties in France.

Award to Turner from the British Red Cross and the Order of St. John

Award to Turner from the British Red Cross and the Order of St. John (Quatercentenary Collection, Box 16)

As a consultant both at King’s College Hospital and the National Hospital, he was responsible for devising a management strategy for shell shock and in January 1915 (through to 1919) he was appointed consultant neurologist to the War Office. He was created C.B. in 1917, the same year he was elevated to Colonel.

2. Red Cross

Turner acted as neurologist to the War Office Medical Board from 1919 to 1943 – the principal advisor to the government in these matters – and from 1930 to 1943 as consultant adviser to the Ministry of Pensions.

6. GV

Part of the citation from the award of OBE, 1919 (Quatercentenary Collection, Box 16)

In 1921 he was awarded the King Albert Medal (Koning Albert Medaille / Médaille du Roi Albert) by Belgium. This was a medal established by Belgian royal decree on 7 April 1919 and it was awarded to both Belgians and foreigners who were exceptionally meritorious in promoting, organising or administering humanitarian and charitable work that assisted Belgians in need during the First World War.

7. GV

In recognition of valuable services rendered during the War, he was also presented with an award by the British Red Cross and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England, and in 1919 he was given an OBE.

8. GV

Dr. William Aldren Turner had been one of the leading epileptologists of his time and he had an abiding interest in prognosis and treatment and the value of institutional care. He died on 29 July 1945.
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Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives and Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections
5c. Belgium
Utilised in the construction of this blog post were: ‘Lives of the Fellows’, Munk’s Roll, Vol.IV., Royal College of Physicians; ‘Shell shock Revisited: An Examination of the Case Records of the National Hospital in London’, in Medical History 2014 Oct; 58(4): 519–545, by Stefanie Caroline Linden, and Edgar Jones; and, last but not least, collection items from the Quatercentenary Collection (Box 16), CRC.
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‘Efforts are Successes’: Dunfermline College of Physical Education and the 1928 Olympic Games

Our collections celebrate and often reflect people’s excellence, endeavour and achievement  and being in the throws of Olympic achievements we’ve looked at the Dunfermline College of Physical Education archives to see what we could find.

The Old Students Association for the College, which is still going strong, can boast of members that competed at the Olympics and many who became so expert in their sport, that they were asked to coach or umpire. We thought however we’d try and find an example of being a spectator at the Olympics, as many of us are doing that, watching it on television at home.  While this is not the same as attending, many of you may have actually attended events at the Olympics in London in 2012 or the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Maybe you’ll recognise the experience C.D. Abercromby had in 1928, when attending the Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland.

Excerpt from Dunfermline College of Hygiene and Physical Education, 'Old Students' Association Reports 1912-1936'

Excerpt from Dunfermline College of Hygiene and Physical Education, ‘Old Students Association Reports 1912-1936’

Some interesting Olympics 1928 facts:

  • It was the first time the Olympic flame was lit during the Olympics
  • For the first time the parade was led by Greece, the home of the Olympics
  • The first appearance of Coca-Cola as a sponsor
  • It was the first games to be called ‘Summer Olympic Games’
  • There were 14 sports, 20 disciplines and 109 events with a total of 46 competing countries

Rachel Hosker, Archives Manager

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Breaking Boundaries – videos now online

A few months ago we hosted the ‘Breaking Boundaries‘ event, examining the subject of research data through the eyes of the archives, records management, and research data management communities. If you weren’t able to make the event, or if you want to hear the talks again, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the videos from the event are now online:

For full details of the event programme and write-up, please see the following blog post:

rdmrma1

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Students PC’s Deep Clean

Please note PC’s and Key Boards within the Ground, 1st and 2nd Floors will undergo a deep clean from Monday 15th August. The contractors  will start from the 2nd floor and then continue to the ground floor, the work is likely to last approximately 3 days.  PC’s will be temporarily unavailable whilst the deep clean  is undertaken which includes keyboard and monitor sanitising. PC’s will then quickly become available on each floor as the cleaning contractors progress to all areas of the floor.

Thank you for your patience.

Blog post

 

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Main Library Summer Improvements 2016 – Update 9th August

 Work is continuing in the Main Library on a programme of works to bring significant improvements for library users through increasing the number of study spaces by 350 and providing additional power and data facilities at study desks.

Work underway this week (8th-15th August)

3rd floor – Construction work to remove empty shelves and carry out electrical works is underway on the south side of the 3rd floor. The collections PC-Q are currently cordoned off and access to these items is through consultation with Helpdesk staff located on the 3rd floor or Ground Floor 9.15-4.45 Monday to Friday, or through emailing collections-management@ed.ac.uk at other times.

 Apologies for the continuing noise and disruption – thank you for your patience while work is underway.

Blog 2           blog 1

Electrical work underway on the 3rd floor              Shelving being removed  on the                                                                                                        3rd floor

 

 

 

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Collections

Collection: CRC Gallimaufry; Persons: N/A; Event: N/A; Place: Leith; Edinburgh; Category: History; Scotland; Description: Leith: 6 Queen Street. Shop called Waugh's Store Around the World in 90 years- the Story of Historic Leith Improvement Scheme Photographs When Fraser Parkinson first contacted us about the collection of historic photographs of Leith that...
0024679e Getting Reacquainted with Robert Burns Through the Laing Collection The most important manuscript collection at the University of Edinburgh has long been acknowledged to...

Projects

Collection: CRC Gallimaufry; Persons: N/A; Event: N/A; Place: Leith; Edinburgh; Category: History; Scotland; Description: Leith: 6 Queen Street. Shop called Waugh's Store Around the World in 90 years- the Story of Historic Leith Improvement Scheme Photographs When Fraser Parkinson first contacted us about the collection of historic photographs of Leith that...
gunnblogpost Compressing collections to create more study spaces – update 21 July 2016 This week we have finished compressing Main Library collections on the 2nd floor and have...

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