On the second day of Christmas...

...my true love sent to me...two centuries of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Throughout 2012 we’ve been taking part in the preparations for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s bicentenary celebrations. Most of the events are organised for next year, the 200-year anniversary of the first patient admitted to this important hospital, but the eight-part lecture series that we helped put together started in autumn of this year. We’ve had two great lectures so far, one providing context to the building of hospitals like the Royal Edinburgh and the other about sporting activities in the Hospital (and the third, which will look at patient letters, is next Wednesday). The lectures have attracted some media attention and we were able to supplement the articles with anecdotes from the Archive. The series is free and a good opportunity to find out more about the Hospital's fascinating history. For more information please see: http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/home/REHBicentenaryLectureSeries.htm.

We also helped Artlink, a charity which aims to provide access to the arts for all members of the community, secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in late 2012 by contributing to the application process. In 2013 Artlink will lead an exciting bicentenary project called ‘Ever Present Past’, which will also be funded by Creative Scotland. A series of workshops for patients and staff will be held to explore the Hospital’s story – the people and the buildings – which will culminate with an exhibition in the Talbot Rice Gallery to showcase the artistic outputs of those workshops. We’re delighted to be involved, and looking forward to seeing how the Archive collection will be used in new and creative ways through the workshop programme.

As well as collaborating with other groups for the bicentenary, we’ve also set up an archive appeal as our own way of celebrating this important anniversary. We’re hoping to add lots of historically important items related to the hospital to the Archive. We need your help, so please have a look at our website to find out more!

Our involvement with the Royal Edinburgh Hospital this year hasn’t stopped with the bicentenary. We’ve had visits from staff to find out more about LHSA and to transfer material to the collection, and in August we took part in the fete held at the Hospital. We set up a stall and talked to staff and patients about the history of the Hospital and the services we provide.

The LHSA stall at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital fete

We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the patients and staff of this hospital, and others in the Lothian region, throughout 2013!