Friday, 29 November 2013

Exploring The Archive...

 Explore Your Archive Week kicked off at LSHTM Archives with a lunchtime Exchange of Experience featuring our Research Data Manager Gareth Knight and Archivist Victoria Cranna. Archivists and Librarians explored issues around management and preservation of research data.

Hotel Phoenix business card,  Copenhagen
Tuesday saw a very successful Gems of the Collection session on the theme of Explorers & Pioneers, held in South Courtyard.  Almost 100 staff and students browsed rare items from our collections, including details of Sir Ronald Ross's trip to Sweden to accept the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1902. Ross kept everything from his trip, including correspondence with travel agents, boat tickets, menus, hotel bills, and press cuttings. We even have an invoice from  a Swedish outfitters for a top hat, as he forgot to pack one!
We also showed  lists of food deemed essential for a stay in Ghana (Gold Coast) in 1922. The goods were ordered from the Army & Navy Co-Operative Society's Export Department, based in Victoria St, London, and were sent to Dr. JWS Macfie, then Director of the Medical Research Institute in Accra.

List of goods to be shipped to Ghana  for Dr J McFie
This list is part of the Macfie Archive, which was donated to the School by Dr. Macfie's nephew in 1984.

On Wednesday Victoria Cranna, the archivist, gave a lunchtime Tour of the Building, giving staff and students a chance to find out more about the history of LSHTM. The tour includes information on the School's origins (we were originally based in the London docks), architectural features of the current building, wartime damage, and new developments.

We finished the week with a booked-out evening viewing of 'Roads to Africa', the documentary of a 10 month expedition in 1936 to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya led by Major Leeson, then a lecturer at LSHTM. He was accompanied by  assistant JD Gillett, who also acted as cameraman, and who added the film's voiceover shortly before his death in 1995.
The film showed fascinating footage of the team leaving Croyden Airport on their flight to Entebbe (which took 5 days), the assistants they hired, the local people they met throughout their trip, and the resilient Chevrolet car that apparently never broke down! The audience loved the archive footage of Africa in the 1930s and long-gone expedition  techniques.

Air ticket London -Entebbe 1936
Details of this and other expeditions  undertaken by LSHTM staff across the years can be found in the Archives: to find out more just contact us !

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