To increase our knowledge of the archive resources available in the Lothian area, of sites related to our collection, and to make links with others working in the sector, LHSA staff visited Midlothian Council Archives on 16 May. This followed on from visits to West Lothian Council Archives on 25 January and Craig House (formerly part of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital) on 19 April. A visit to East Lothian Council Archives is planned for later in the year.
Ken Bogle, Local Studies Officer and Zarya Rathe, Records Officer, showed us around the Loanhead local studies search room and archive storages areas behind it. The collections include council records, parochial board records, school registers, burial records, agricultural society records and electoral rolls covering locations within the Midlothian Burgh and County Council boundaries. Ken explained that volunteer groups have produced invaluable indexes of burial records and gravestone inscriptions.
|Laura, Stephen and Ken with some of the Midlothian Council Archives collection|
We were also shown some of the fascinating special items such as the Black collection of scrapbooks of local events from the early 20th century, an Offence and Punishment book from the mid-19th century and the Dalkeith Incorporation of Hamersmiths’ volume from the 18th century. These local records are of relevance to our enquirers researching records of their ancestors who were treated in hospitals in the Lothian area, but left records of their lives in many different places. Patients from former asylums, such as Rosslynlee for which LHSA holds records, were often buried in local cemeteries, so there is considerable crossover between the records of Midlothian Council Archives and LHSA.
A number of Midlothian Council Archives’ catalogues have been digitised and can be found online at: Midlothian Council Archives catalogue