Celebrating Archives: Lothian Health Services Archive

22 Nov, 2018

Celebrating Archives: Lothian Health Services Archive

Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA) holds the historically important local records of NHS hospitals, their predecessors, and other health-related material from Edinburgh and the wider Lothian region. The archive collects, preserves and catalogues these records and promotes them to increase understanding of the history of health and for the benefit of all. LHSA is one of the largest health archives in the UK, and collections span from 1594 to the present day and include clinical and non-clinical records.

LHSA offers potential resources for genealogists wishing to trace individuals involved with medical institutions in the Lothian region. If your ancestor was a patient, nurse, doctor, or other hospital employee, LHSA has a wide variety of records which may help you to find out more about your family. The archive holds administrative records (minute books and annual records), patient records (case books, admissions and death registers), staff records (wage books and training records), objects and images such as photographs, x-rays, film and artwork.

Survival rates of records vary across hospitals and different institutions and as such there is no guarantee that your ancestor’s records will have survived. However, staff offer a free enquiry service and would be happy to answer any questions and to help you access records either in person or remotely.

Catalogues are available online http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/collections/index.html and enquiries can be sent by e-mail: lhsa@ed.ac.uk and telephone: +44 (0)131 650 3392.

LHSA also holds more recent health records, which may be closed to public access. More information on access restrictions can be found online: http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/services/restrictions.htm

LHSA can make applications to NHS Lothian for individual access to otherwise closed records on behalf of genealogists, however.

Clare O'Grady