St George’s Archive Explored

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Last week  (19-27 November 2016) we participated in and celebrated Explore Your Archive week, a campaign organised by the UK National Archives and the Archives and Records Association, which encourages everyone to explore archives. Using the twitter hashtag #ExploreArchives the library has tweeted about some of the fascinating items held here in the St George’s Archives as part of this UK and Ireland-wide campaign to explore and celebrate archives.

For Explore Archives week, ‘handling sessions’ were organised in which St George’s students and staff were invited to come and get hands-on with original items from the historic collections – a first for St George’s! In the lunchtime sessions, attendees were walked through the history of St George’s by Elisabeth, the University’s first archivist.

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Elisabeth selected a variety of items from the collections to demonstrate the wealth of history and stories that the archives contain – including items on John Hunter’s pupil and vaccination pioneer, Edward Jenner. A first edition copy of Jenner’s ground-breaking essay on his experiments with cowpox was displayed. We explored its handwritten inscription from Jenner to a lesser well-known figure in the history of St George’s, Sir Everard Home. Home is best remembered for burning Hunter’s unpublished manuscripts in an attempt to hide his plagiarism of Hunter’s work. However during his career he also served King George III as his sergeant-surgeon and following Hunter’s death became surgeon to St George’s Hospital.

Other items showcased during the sessions included a Post Mortem Case Book charting an outbreak of cholera in 1854, a photograph of two of the first female medical students admitted to St George’s during the First World War, and a photograph album showing nursing students in the mid-20th century following the introduction of the National Health Service.

Another favourite item was a set of Victorian surgical instruments awarded to student Edward Walker for the ‘best dissection’. See below for some photos from the event.

We asked attendees what they enjoyed the most from the sessions and received a lot of positive feedback:

“Hearing about other aspects of our history”

“Everything! Particularly the stories and the chance to touch the items”

“Being able to touch and turn pages of very old books and objects”

“Hearing the stories behind the artefacts”

During Explore Archives week we also posted many photos from the archives using the hashtag #stgeorgesarchives. If you would like to see more, we have put together a Storify of the tweets.

 

 

Sounds from St George’s Archives

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While exploring the archives we discovered Nine Medical Songs, a song book written and composed by staff and students at St George’s Hospital and published in 1895.

A digitised version can be seen online via the Wellcome Library. Our Library staff member Dan Jeffcote has recorded a snippet of the melody for one of the songs, ‘A Song for St George’s’, played on the guitar, bringing a sound from St George’s past to life!

Exploring our archives further, we were able to find out more about the individuals who produced the song book.

Joseph Blomfield (previously Blumfield) was a junior Anaesthetist to St George’s Hospital, and was also an assistant teacher of anaesthetics. He contributed to and later edited the St George’s Hospital Gazette, the Hospital’s staff magazine. His forte was the recital of humourous poems, usually of his own composition, performing them at students’ and nurses’ concerts. Many of his poems survive today, printed in the Gazette.

Charles Nugent Chadborn and Gilbert Holland Ransome both joined the Medical School as students in 1891. Ransome also edited the Gazette, and both Ransome and Blomfield played for the School’s rugby team (with Blomfield scoring his first try at the age of 50). Chadborn followed Blomfield to become an anaesthetist, whilst Ransome became a surgeon.

If you are interested in finding out more about St George’s archive, sign up for our handling sessions open to all St George’s staff and students (including Trust staff).

  • Monday 21st November from 12.30pm-1.30pm  H2.6 Boardroom
  • Thursday 24 November 12.30 – 1.30pm  JB 3+5

Booking is required and places are limited, so please contact archives@sgul.ac.uk to reserve your place. We will have exclusive postcards featuring some of our archive treasures for attendees to take home.


During Explore Archives week we will be sharing more stories from the archives on Twitter. Follow @SGULlibrary and the hashtag #stgeorgesarchives.

The NHS Healthcare Databases Advanced Search (HDAS) has changed!

A new version of the HDAS interface for searching databases like Medline and CINAHL, available via OpenAthens, has been launched.  Many of the search functions will remain unchanged, but there are some new features and processes (including how to edit, limit and save your search).

We are in the process of updating our library webpages with videos and guides on how to use the new interface, but in the meantime you might find it useful to look at the series of help videos created by NICE.

Please note that you can still choose to use the old version for the moment, but this is due to be switched off by the end of the year.  We will let you know when a date has been finalised.

As always, if you require any help with using the databases or want to brush up your literature searching skills, please book on to one of our training sessions or email liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a 1:1 session with one of your librarians at a time that suits you.

Second Explore Archives handling session added: Thur 24 Nov 12.30 – 1.30pm JB.3+5

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The response to our first ever Explore Archives handling session has been great, and we’ve almost fully booked! Due to this, we will be running a second session on Thursday. The two dates for the events are:

  • Monday 21st November from 12.30pm-1.30pm  H2.6 Boardroom
  • Thursday 24 November 12.30 – 1.30pm  JB 3+5

Staff and students are invited to attend to see what is held in our archives and hear what stories they can tell us about the history of St George’s.

Booking is required and places are limited, so please contact archives@sgul.ac.uk to reserve your place. We’ll excited to  have exclusive postcards featuring some of our archive treasures for attendees to take home.

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During Explore Archives week we will be tweeting throughout with interesting facts and items from our historical collections. Follow @SGULlibrary and the hashtags #stgeorgesarchives and #explorearchives

Find out more about Explore Archives (http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/)

View a timeline of the history of St George’s, University of London

Review: Brilliant Writing Tips for Students

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Learning Advocates Rashmi Saincher and Ele Clancey have written positive reviews of Brilliant Writing Tips for Students by Julia Copus, a new book in the library collection.

Review by Rashmi Saincher

The first thing that attracts me to this book is its size: it’s small and light which fits perfectly into any bag and even a large coat pocket, making it easy to carry around. Each section is based on different aspects of grammar, such as semicolons and paragraph structure. Each section includes a clear explanation regarding the grammar rule, and a short example. The book also contains tables and cartoons which help with the content organisation.

My favourite part of this book are the examples of phrases that can be used in essays (found at the end of the book), as they can help you express yourself more intellectually when writing formal work. I highly recommend this book to students who are writing their SSCs, reports, any formal writing pieces, or students who would like a quick revision on basic English grammar.It is an easy read, and relatively quick to get through. Brilliant Writing Tips for Students is available at the library, and you can take it out for three weeks, which is another bonus.

Review by Ele Clancey

This is a great book if you, like me, have ever struggled with making sense in writing. I found essay writing very difficult during my undergraduate degree, and I would always get feedback from lecturers about my grammar and style. As a result, I spent time trawling through websites to learn a lot of the content covered in this neat pocket guide.

This book covers common areas of grammar and punctuation that people struggle with, including semicolons, sentence structure and paragraphs. What is good about this guide is that it is very clearly written and each concept is explained succinctly. The guide also covers handy techniques to help writers proof read their writing and spot mistakes.

Unlike other books on writing for students, this one doesn’t offer advice about essay writing specifically. This guide is more about getting the basics of writing correct. It is also heavily grammar and style focused, so you would need to read something else for tips on academic writing, planning and how to start writing. Overall, I think this book is most useful for people who struggle to be clear and concise in writing, and to provide helpful grammar tips.


Brilliant Writing Tips for Students by Julia Copus is available in the library collection.
Call number: PE1408 COP

Help with writing and structuring is available from Rosie MacLachlan in Academic Skills Centre or Marcy Kahan, Royal Literary Fund Fellow. More information on Study+ in Moodle (SGUL login required).

Be outstanding! Donate your library fines to Children in Need on Friday 18th November

 

 

728x90_supporterbrandingv1St George’s Library is supporting the annual BBC Children in Need telethon fundraiser this November. If you pay your library fines on Friday 18th November, we will donate every penny to Children in Need*. The library staff are also taking part in a staff sweep-stake to top up the money that you raise.

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The BBC Children in Need website explains how the money raised helps children in London and the rest of the UK.

*excludes invoice payments for lost or damaged stock