The Researcher’s View

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  • The history of genetics research in Edinburgh


    As the archivist on the University of Edinburgh’s Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Towards Dolly’ project, I catalogued a variety of genetics collections but rarely got the chance to delve into them from a research perspective. Over four years on the project I… Continue reading

  • Midwinter warmers


    As the nights draw in, what better way to banish winter chills than with a warming drink. In the last of her Christmas blog posts, Mary-Anne Boermanns offers something from our historical recipe manuscripts that will see you through the… Continue reading

  • Last minute plum pudding


    Looking to bring something a little out of the ordinary to the Christmas table this year? Mary-Anne Boermans sought inspiration from our historical recipe manuscripts. Here’s her adaptation of a traditional plum pudding recipe: When we think of sweet, festive… Continue reading

  • Savoury mince pies


    Looking to bring something a little out of the ordinary to the Christmas table this year? Mary-Anne Boermans sought inspiration from some traditional recipes in our historical recipe manuscripts. Here’s her take on the original mince pies: Mince Pies have… Continue reading

  • Where is the survivor archive?


    Patients, ‘service users’, survivors? How do people living with mental illness see themselves? In the last of our series the Asylum and Beyond, Sarah Chaney looks for their voices in the historical record. In the March 1894 issue of the… Continue reading

  • Using creativity to bridge the mental health divide


    For the seventh in our series on the Asylum and Beyond, Victoria Tischler considers creativity as a way to share experiences of mental illness. I’ve been thinking about the line between those living with mental health problems and without. As… Continue reading

  • William Sargant’s world of psychosurgery, brainwashing and exorcism


    Mike Jay delves into the personal papers of one of the first ‘media psychiatrists’ of the 20th century, in the fourth in our blog series about the Asylum and Beyond. William Walters Sargant  (1907-88) was one of the most colourful… Continue reading

  • An hysterical diagnosis


    What did it mean for a woman to be diagnosed with hysteria? In the second of our blog series on the ‘asylum and beyond‘, Charlotte Whittingham examines patient records from the asylum to find out. A 1916 casebook from St… Continue reading

  • Making and marketing condoms


    The 1960s was a good time to own Britain’s biggest condom factory, but the London Rubber Company (LRC) was not without its problems. Despite record sales and increased condom use, there was a distinctly oestrogenic blot on the horizon. The… Continue reading

  • Murder and the making of English CSI


    Several years ago my colleague Neil Pemberton asked me when police started using tape to mark out and protect crime scenes. Though I had written extensively on the history of forensics I had no ready answer. As we talked it… Continue reading