One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an archivist is opening up mysterious packages to discover historical items. As highlighted in a tweet last week, we recently received such an accession; two parcels packaged in newspaper, and covered in bubble wrap, about which we knew very little except that they contained photos from the Scottish Dental Estimates Board (SDEB).
Closer inspection reveals that there are 10, framed, black and white photographs from the SDEB (now known as the Scottish Dental Practice Board) covering the period c.1949-1981. They are all formal shots, some showing the full Board, and others of individual members. As well as providing the identities of the SDEB members, photographs are always interesting because they provide a glimpse of earlier times and what may at first glance appear dull or of little value, can actually provide a wealth of historical information, ranging from fashions and technology, to hierarchy and gender relations. For example, of the six group shots from 1949 to 1970, none includes a female dentist and over that 21 year period, the standard dress code appears to have remained the same: a suit with waistcoat, and pocket handkerchief!
|SDEB 1949 (Acc 12/026)|
This accession will fit well with our existing dentistry collections (for a full list, see our dentistry webpage), and also with related collections including the Public Health Department and the Blood Transfusion Service.