The Salisbury District Hospital ArtCare team has launched a new history website that gives a fascinating insight into the development of health services in and around Salisbury over the last 250 years.
The online digital archive has a number of historical collections held at the hospital, including interactive maps, themed collections, highlights of key objects and downloadable resources for schools.
In December 2015, the ArtCare team was successful in obtaining a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to sort, record and exhibit the hospital’s historical archives and collections. These range from the 1760s to the present day and include photographs and memories from the Salisbury General Infirmary, Odstock Hospital - which is now Salisbury District Hospital - and many other sites around Salisbury.
Lesley Meaker, project lead for ArtCare said: “Before the HLF project started in January 2016 our collections were stored in a number of locations, which didn’t allow for easy access and website searching. Since then we have trained volunteers to record, handle and catalogue items using guidelines that follow museum standards so that we could digitise the collection. Since then they have given up over 1000 hours of their time to the project and recorded more than 11,000 photographs, objects and papers. Highlights from this work have been added to the online website and this will continue to grow as the collection is documented.”
Ms Meaker added: “ Themed collections include nursing, innovation, local memories, celebrations and medicine from the war and the team has already had interest from families looking to trace back relatives stationed here during World War 2, when the current Salisbury District Hospital was a US army field hospital making preparations to receive casualties from the D-Day landings. The website is a good starting point for anyone interested in local history, family ancestry or curiosity about our medical collections.”
As well as the website, people can find permanent displays in the main corridors and lifts at Salisbury District Hospital. Temporary exhibition panels are available for loan to local venues and the ArtCare team will continue to work with schools and community groups to deliver talks and workshop activities. Find out more at www.salisburyhealthcarehistory.uk .