NHS Grampian Archive – news

Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital ward c.1889

Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital ward c.1889

The NHS Grampian Archives which hold the historic records of more than 100 hospitals and health organisations from across the Grampian region, have been located within Special Collections for over a year now.

Archivist Fiona Watson has retired and the new archivist is Fiona Musk, former archivist with Aberdeen City Council Archives.

Please note also that there are new opening hours. The NHS Grampian Archive is now open from Wednesday to Friday.
(Monday & Tuesday by prior appointment only)

For more information see our website:

Fiona Musk
Phone: 01224 274912

Andrew MacGregor
Deputy Archivist

The adventures of George Hamilton-Gordon, 6th Earl of Aberdeen

Family seat at Haddo House, Aberdeeshire

Gordon’s family seat at Haddo House,     Aberdeeshire

A big thank you to James Youle, Senior Information Assistant in the Library, who has gifted an item to Special Collections. The item is an account of the adventures of George Hamilton-Gordon, 6th Earl of Aberdeen (1841-1870). The account originally appeared in the Banffshire Journal in 1871, and was re-printed as a pamphlet in 1934 for circulation amongst members of the family. It is based on the report of the Commissioner who visited America for the purpose of collecting evidence of Lord Aberdeen’s death without issue to enable his younger brother John to succeed him as 7th Earl.

Gordon had succeeded to the title on the death of his father, the 5th Earl, in 1864, but in January 1866 sailed to the United States, assumed the name of George H. Osborne, and for the next four years followed a sea-faring life. His travels from his base in America took him all around the world, either as a member of the crew on board different vessels or as a traveller, including the Canary Islands, the Bahamas, Mexico, Spain and Barbados. After an initial posting as an ordinary seaman on board the R. Wylie to the Canary Islands, he studied navigation at the British Nautical College in Boston for four months in his efforts to gain a post as First Officer in the merchant navy, and was registered as an Approved Shipmaster by the Shipmasters’ Association in 1868. He later was appointed Captain of the schooner Walton from December 1868-October 1869 transporting goods to different ports across America but drowned in January 1870 while serving as first mate on the schooner Hera of Boston, six days into a voyage to Australia and China.

Andrew MacGregor
Deputy Archivist


Special Collections – over 40 new factsheets now available

Gateway from series of plans, drawings and sketches of Cairness House by James Playfair  (see factsheet, 'Architectural resources in  Special Collections')

Gateway from series of plans, drawings and sketches of Cairness House by James Playfair (see ‘Architectural resources in Special Collections’ factsheet)

A major expansion in resource discovery has been rolled out by Special Collections, with the completion of over 40 new collection factsheets. The new factsheets are organised into sections: Introductory, Media, Subject and by Geographical Area.

Examples include:

By Media type – Map and plan resources
By Subject – Ecclesiastical, Literary, Slave Trade, Transport and WW II resources
By Geographical Area – Old Aberdeen, Highlands & Islands and resources relating to the Circumpolar regions

All factsheets act as brief introductions to subject areas and cover the main relevant collections accessible via Special Collections, both from archives and rare books. They are also embedded with archive catalogue hyperlinks as well as providing additional information on related printed reference works and external web resources.

Check them out here – http://bit.ly/sccfactsheets. They are also available via the main ‘Library Guides’ section of the Library website.

Andrew MacGregor
Deputy Archivist

Library Survey 2012

An invitation to complete the Library Survery 2012The Library is participating in an internationally organised survey in order to compare its services, resources and study facilities with other universities in the UK and beyond. Your views are crucial in this process and so we invite you to complete the LibQual online survey.

To access the survey, click on the link below. 

The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete. The closing date for submission is 28 February 2012.

Thanks for your help.

Judging a book by its cover: what bindings can tell us about books

Friends of Aberdeen University Library

The Friends’ Annual General Meeting, to be held from 7 to 7:30pm in the Old Senate Room on King‘s Campus, on May 26th, will be followed by a chance to listen to a talk by expert Jane Pirie, Information Officer and Rare Books Cataloguer from Special Libraries and Archives, about the ancient art of bookbinding. Come along and learn about the materials and techniques used, and see some of the beautifully crafted examples from our collections.

Thursday 26th May 2011

in the Old Senate Room, King’s College

At approximately 7.30 p.m.

(following the Friends AGM, at 7.00 p.m.)

All welcome

Light refreshments will be served after the meeting


 Sheona Farquhar, s.c.farquhar@abdn.ac.uk

New digital details on 1800s photo collection

The new station at Inverurie from the George Washington Wilson Photographic Collection

The University’s Special Libraries and Archives has made available online over 35,000 high resolution digital versions of images originally taken during the latter half of the nineteenth century by the Aberdeen photographic firm George Washington Wilson & Co.  Find out more here.

Thanks to digitised images from the George Washington Wilson Collection staff at Special Libraries & Archives have been able to track down some answers to a transatlantic money mystery. Read more here.

Browse this and other collections from Special Libraries & Archives here.

Elaine Shallcross

A new issue of HeadLines now online!

New library "topping out"

University Librarian Chris Banks at the new library "topping out" ceremony


A message from Chris Banks …

“This time last year we’d just celebrated the ground breaking for the new library and this issue goes to press just a few days after the topping out ceremony. Last year I sported a hard hat; this time it’s a shovel! And this time next year we’ll be up and running in the new building. This bumper issue of HeadLines has something for everyone…”


Issue 6 of our ezine HeadLines is available at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/ezine/issue6/headlines6.php

We hope you enjoy the read.

Documentation Team
Library & Historic Collections

Springer e-books trial includes the Protocols Series

From now until October 2010 the SpringerProtocols are available on a trial basis from two websites:

  1. www.springerprotocols.com – this is a portal site which offers only the Protocol content with additional Web 2.0 features and search capabilities.  The supplier recommends this way to access the Protocol material to make best use of the content.  When searching here you’re only looking at the Protocols.
  2. www.springerlink.com – this is where the full e-books trial is held and Protocols can be searched for along with other e-book content.

Further information can be obtained from Principal Information Consultant, Susan McCourt (s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk).

Use our services? Your opinion matters

There is still time to complete the Library & Historic Collections annual survey. Whether you visit the library building to study or only use our online resources from a distance, we welcome your views on what we do to support your studies.

Please link to the survey from the email sent by Library & Historic Collections on Tuesday 27 April. The survey closes at midnight on Saturday 8th May. Many thanks.