Illustrations and photographs
The hospital holds a significant holdings of illustrative, photographic and audio-visual material dating back to Victorian period to the present day. The archives contains material in a broad range of mediums from painted lantern slides, Edwardian picture postcards, colour and black and white photographs of staff and residents, 1911-, and cine-film and videos of special events and broadcast appeals from the 1970s onwards.
Preservation of these items were of paramount importance due to the increased fragility and rate of deterioration compared to paper documents and volumes in the collection. Preservation of the photographic and audio-visual material therefore become a key part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund project. From January to March 2020, volunteers were recruited to help re-house and clean selected items in the RHN archives. Prior to first national lockdown, they rehoused and listed around 2000 photographs. This work greatly benefited the Archive Service by making these items more accessible and facilitated the selection of some of these photographs to be digitised. Other items which could not be digitised in-house, were sent to professional digitisers. The majority of these were audio-visual films and video tapes which required digital preservation to prevent them from being unwatchable due to deterioration of the nitrile films.