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Lothian Health Services Archive

About Samar

I have always had a keen interest in history and heritage, completing an MSc in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Curating and Criticism and at the University of Edinburgh. My academic studies are relevant to the field of archiving in that they have fuelled my passion for visual and written culture, history, and story-telling, also broadening my understanding of the politics of collection display. However, it wasn’t until I pursued an internship at Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) that I began to truly appreciate the impact that archives have on not only our understanding of the past and present, but on our ability to imagine possible futures.

During the internship at GWL, I quickly learnt that in collecting materials of women’s history, and running events and exhibitions that centred around these materials, I was not only actively redressing the neglect of women’s historical contributions to Scottish society, but I was also enabling women in the present, especially the most vulnerable and excluded women in society, to access the information that they need to develop their skills, knowledge, and self-confidence.

Impassioned by what I had learnt at GWL, I applied for this traineeship at LHSA, where I hope to put my current knowledge to use, and develop new and exciting skills that are relevant to the archive sector. The LHSA collection that I’ve most enjoyed exploring so far is the Women's Health collection, which covers the feminist campaigns that women organised in order to encourage their local heath councils to take a wide-ranging look at factors affecting the mental and physical health of women in Scotland.

I’m thrilled to have been chosen for this opportunity, and I’ve been so excited to come in to the archive every day and work with such a lovely team of people and such an amazing collection of objects.

About Lothian Health Services Archive

Lothian Health Services Archive holds the historically important local records of NHS hospitals and other health-related material. We collect, preserve and catalogue these records and promote them to increase understanding of the history of health and for the benefit of all.

The collection includes a variety of NHS clinical and non-clinical records date from 1770 and 1594 respectively.  Gifted or deposited non-NHS institutional and personal papers have increased the range and depth of holdings, which now occupy c. 3,000 shelf metres.  There is also a photographic collection (c. 40,000 items) as well as older printed books, memorabilia, medical instruments, artworks, silverware and other historically significant objects.

The significance of LHSA's Edinburgh and Lothian HIV/AIDS Collections has been recognised by inscription to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.