100 years of nurse training in Leeds

The Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Registers.
The Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Registers (MS 1656)

A new catalogue is now available for our collection of Nurse Training Registers, which record 100 years of training nurse probationers at the Leeds General Infirmary.

The 32 registers contain details of the training each nurse received, and date between 1856 and 1956. Four of the registers are enrolment registers for the Territorial Army Nursing Service (formerly the Territorial Force Nursing Service). The new catalogue has been produced as part of our Medical Collections Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Infirmary began formally training nurses in 1868. Nurses had to spend a year training as a probationer before becoming qualified. This was upped to three years in the 1880s, and four years in 1905.

1919 was a turning point, when the nurse registration process came into action after the passing of The Nurses Registration Act. This led to the formation of the General Nursing Council and nurse examinations. That same year, the Leeds General Infirmary established a Preliminary Training School for nurses. The University of Leeds was the first university in Europe to introduce a University Diploma in Nursing, in 1921.

Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Registers
Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Registers (MS 1656)

Alongside the cataloguing, our Project Assistant Riza Hussaini has been working hard with our volunteers to care for and improve the physical condition of the registers. The registers have undergone repairs, cleaning, and many now have bespoke “book shoes” or polyester covers for added protection. This has been a big job and a fantastic achievement for the team, making sure the registers can be better preserved for the future. For more information on the preservation work Riza has been undertaking, see her recent blog post To Protect and Pre(Serve).

Explore the Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Collection

Repository Fringe, 2017 – Beyond Borders

Posted by Rachel Proudfoot

http://rfringe17.blogs.edina.ac.uk/ – programme

https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/2403 – presentations from the event

Repository Fringe is an annual event in Edinburgh where anyone interested in repositories and research outputs can share experience, expertise and learn about developments in the repository field. 2017 marks the 10th Repo Fringe and this year was, in part, a celebration of how we have shared content ‘beyond borders’ over the last decade. The Research Data Leeds team explored the theme in our ‘Galactic Interfaces’ poster about working with arts and humanities researchers and data. (The poster is currently on display in the Research Hub on Level 13 of the Edward Boyle Library).

The conference offered a mix of keynote talks, short presentations, ‘birds of a feather’ sessions, posters and of course lots of informal networking over tea and biscuits.

Repositories:  problem or solution?

Shortly before the conference, Elsevier announced it had acquired BePress. Concern about the amount of control large commercial publisher have over research dissemination was a recurrent theme in the conference. This is nothing new, but we are seeing large publishers increasingly pushing into the ‘open access’ arena. Keynote Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director of COAR, suggested that, financially, Universities are as much over a barrel now with article processing charges for ‘gold’ open access articles as we were (still are) with journal ‘big deals’ and hikes in journal subscription costs. Shearer challenged the conference: are repositories helping to perpetuate a highly flawed scholarly communications system? Shearer is part of the Next Generation Repositories Working Group which will be publishing a set of recommendations in Sept 2017. She suggested we need to rethink repository design so we have ‘repositories of the web, not just on the web’. This may involve supporting peer review (another speaker pointed out Elsevier’s controversial patent of the online peer review system), improving discovery of research more than we currently do, making sure metadata is machine readable and taking a stronger lead on digital preservation. We should also develop a shared, international vision and common ways of working which reduce the risk of academic research being disproportionately shaped, controlled and charged-for by commercial interests. For Shearer, we need a more coherent alternative – and we’re certainly not there yet.

Active promotion of content

A few presentations suggested ways that repositories can promote content in addition to curating it. Gavin Willshaw from University of Edinburgh gave a great example of promotion as part of a project to digitize 17,000 PhD theses. Edinburgh have highlighted theses from notable alumni, such as Gordon Brown, Arthur Conan Doyle and Helen Pankhurst, have linked PhD theses to author pages in Wikipedia e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Francis_Bashford and have uploaded older theses to Wikisource, Wikimedia’s online library of out of copyright works.

Other discussion looked at what role, if any, a repository can have for impact case studies / research impact more generally. Could the repository promote research and /or capture more usage and impact data? Is there a role for repositories to host lay summaries of research to make research more accessible to a non-specialist audience – be they the ‘general public’ or researchers from other academic disciplines.

Easier, embedded metadata creation which will make researchers’ lives easier

Well, we can dream! One of the keynote speakers, Andrew Millar, outlined a vision of specialist tools designed to support an academic ‘community of practice’ which make it easier to capture metadata and contextual information as a routine part of research practice. Millar is a systems biologist and suggested Fairdom is a widely used tool which helps to capture metadata in a standard experimental workflow. https://fair-dom.org/

Such domain specific tools could link painlessly to shared repositories if we adopted common standards of data exchange. Tools discussed in the context were:

  • http://www.researchobject.org/– packages documents, code and data into a zip file with manifest. Designed to be flexible across different subject areas.
  • https://combinearchive.org/index/ – a way of packaging documents, models and data together using the Open Modelling EXchange format (OMEX).
  • BagIt – uses a file naming convention for structuring digital content

A presentation by Rory Macneil and Megan Hardeman demonstrated an end to end workflow, capturing information via an electronic lab notebook in the RSpace digital research platform depositing directly into the Figshare repository via an easy to use and embedded tool.

Hopefully repository uptake will increase – and we’ll get more enthusiastic engagement from researchers – if we can get closer to their everyday workflows and provide relatively pain free deposit options.


Anthea Wallace’s absolutely excellent presentation showed examples of how public domain works – either deliberately or unintentionally – have had restrictions imposed on reuse. As Wallace put it, closed licences won’t stop bad people from doing bad stuff with your data but may well stop good people doing good stuff. Wallace promoted the Copyright Cortex https://copyrightcortex.org/ as a helpful resource for researchers in digital humanities. I partly mention this presentation as an excuse to use one of Wallace’s examples: the transcription of music from a human bottom in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly delights which can you can see below. You can also listen to an adaption of the ‘Butt Music’ on YouTube.

Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly delights


More from the Fringe

Incentivising open practices – Digital Curation Centre (Authored by Sarah Jones with corrections from Dr Paul Ayris)

Cooking up a Storm in the Digitisation Studio

Rosie Dyson from our Digitisation Studio gives us an up-date on the team’s activities.

It’s all go for the Digital Content Team as preparation gets under way for the opening of the next changing exhibition in the Treasures Gallery – ‘Cooks And Their Books’.

The Digitisation Assistants have been busy creating images for a variety of exhibition purposes; preservation, marketing, design and information. Images created in the Digitisation Studio will feature on the Digital Library, walls and plinths in the Treasures Gallery and on the exhibition tablets.  The tablets are also known as digital labels and give additional supporting information. The Digital Content Team are already working with the Collections and Engagement Team to organise images for the changing exhibition that follows Cookery.

The last changing exhibition ‘Caught in the Russian Revolution’ was a great success and the Digitisation Assistants enjoyed working with curator Richard Davies to create a visual feast. It was refreshing to see items with an actual size of a 6 x 4 cm photograph blown up to the size of a wall. The team also designed the newspaper cutting collage that featured on one wall and created an accompanying map to mark significant locations.

Special Collections closes to the public from 21–30 August for the annual “Action Week”. During this time it is all hands on deck, as time is given to essential works that are difficult to carry out during open hours. The Digital Content Team plan to reorganise the Studio. This will improve workflow and allow the team to accommodate some exciting new pieces of kit – watch this space for more information! The move is being carefully planned and research has been carried out on other institutions to gain tips for best practice.

One of the next phases of work for the Digital Content Team is the busy Online Course Readings period of eligibility checking, scanning and uploading book and journal extracts to the newly revamped Minerva VLE. Last year alone the Studio alone scanned over 1000 chapters!

Training notebook
Kathleen Raven’s nursing and midwife training notebooks

Recent additions to the Digital Library include Kathleen Raven’s nursing and midwifery training notebooks and complete versions of the BC MS medieval manuscripts.

Medieval manuscript
Floral border in medieval manuscript, folio 61r.
Also known as ‘Textualis Rotunda.’

Bradford’s Bard – Alberta Vickridge

Our rare books cataloguer John Smurthwaite has a question for us. What do the following items have in common?

• A printing press
• A chair
• Two shelves of books
• Six boxes of letters and papers

The answer is that they are all connected with Alberta Vickridge (1890-1963), poet and printer. She was one of the three daughters of Albert Vickridge, a wool merchant, and lived all her life at Beamsley House, the family home in Frizinghall, between Bradford and Shipley. As a lady of leisure, she had no need of a paid job, though she did work as a volunteer nurse in World War I, tending wounded soldiers. She could have lived in conventional idleness, but she chose to devote her life to poetry.

Vickridge started writing poems at an early age. In 1905 her father had a collection of her writings printed with the title “The Luck of the Youngest”, as a present for her fifteenth birthday.

In 1926 Vickridge was crowned as a bard at the Southern Counties Eisteddfod in Torquay for her poem “The Forsaken Princess”, the story of a jilted princess who finds that her fiancé is under a witch’s spell. The princess succeeds in breaking the spell and marries her fiancé. As part of her prize Vickridge was presented with a bardic chair which now sits in the University Librarian’s office.

At this time Vickridge had become part of the coterie of poets associated with the Swan Press, a private press in Leeds run by Sydney Matthewman. She soon set up her own publishing operation using a small Albion printing press housed in the attic of Beamsley House. This press can be seen in the Brotherton Library entrance hall.

From 1927 Vickridge produced a quarterly poetry magazine “The Jongleur” which she edited, printed and published. The magazine ran for nearly thirty years. Producing “The Jongleur” on the little Albion press was a very laborious task, and in 1930 she acquired a new Peerless treadle-operated press. In addition to the magazine, Vickridge produced pamphlets of poetry by various writers. Printing and publishing must have been a full-time job for her. It was certainly a labour of love – the modest cover price of one shilling would hardly have been sufficient recompense for her time.

Alberta Vickridge’s tastes in poetry were conservative. She began her writing and publishing in the heyday of literary modernism, but the world of T.S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein passed her by. For thirty years Vickridge and her contributors resolutely continued to produce old-fashioned poems which rhymed and scanned. The final issue of “The Jongleur” appeared in 1956.

The Library has a full set of Vickridge’s own books, a complete run of “The Jongleur”, and many of the poetry pamphlets which she printed at Beamsley House for other writers. We also have a number of her poems in manuscript, and a large collection of letters to her. The collection came to us from Geoffrey Woledge, a former member of Library staff, who had married Vickridge’s sister Hilda.

The future’s bright for FUAM Prize artists


On Tuesday 8 August, 120 visitors braved the relentless rain to attend the opening reception of the FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2017.

After enjoying free refreshments in Parkinson Court, the hordes crowded into the exhibition space to marvel at the skill and innovation of Zoe Carlon, Olivia Loker, Miranda Jones and Lucy Davidson, the four finalists selected from the School of Design and School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies to display their work from this year’s Graduate Shows.

In contrast to previous years where the Art Gallery team has had to build video rooms, install projectors, source headphones and attach TV monitors, the four finalists of 2017 have used media such as oil paint, digital photography and steel in their practice. The resulting exhibition is a mainly wall and plinth-based explosion of bold colour, geometric shapes, clever composition and intriguing ideas.

The finalists were selected in June 2017 by a panel of expert judges – Nathalie Levi, former curator of The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, David Salinger, the chair of FUAM (Leeds), and Jane Winfrey, the Picture Specialist for Bonhams.

The judges will return on Wednesday 27 September to announce the official winner in a prize-giving event, however, we’re encouraging all visitors to vote for their favourite artist in the People’s Choice Award. Simply pop into the Art Gallery, pick the artwork you like best and then fill out a ballot slip at the desk. Have your say!

The FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition runs until 4 November 2017.

So you’ve got an ORCiD…what next?

Knock knock

Who’s there?


Doctor Who?

OK, so it’s a lousy joke if you’re more than 8 years old but, with 6 previous Doctor Who actors (and an Italian Peter Capaldi) apparently listed in the ORCiD database, nicely illustrates the most commonly cited benefit of name disambiguation:

Tom Baker – http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5486-4689
Peter Davison – http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3684-9877
Colin Baker – http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6909-9235
Christopher Eccleston – http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0698-1543
David Tennant – http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3206-786X
Matt Smith – http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8173-3115
Pietro Capaldi – http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9117-8992

The value of which is a moot point for your average Time Lord.

(On the other hand, Equity do emphasise the importance of a unique professional name but academics are perhaps less inclined to change theirs than their grease-painted fellows.)

Disambiguation is only part of the story however – visit these profiles and only the Ninth Doctor, now a Professor at the University of Bath, has any information listed. All of the others simply show No public information available, which means either they are set to private or, more likely, they have been registered but never used.

Academics are increasingly badgered by their institution to register an ORCiD, and by funding bodies and journal editors, but it might not always be clear quite what it’s for or how it can streamline your workflows and the No public information available issue is far from limited to the namesakes of Dr Who actors.

At Leeds the University publications policy encourages researchers to register for an ORCID and to link from their Symplectic profile – for Leeds staff that haven’t already done so, click the button below which will take you to ORCiD via your Symplectic account (log-in required):

ORCiD via your Symplectic account - log-in requiredThis will provide an additional method for the system to reliably identify your published work and add it to your Symplectic profile, your ORCiD will also be passed over to the White Rose Research Repository (WRRO) when you deposit a manuscript:

Repository record displaying linked ORCiD profiles
Repository record displaying linked ORCiD profiles

Propagating your ORCiD in this way means that you and your work become easier to find by interested colleagues and potential collaborators, and by search engines, but only if you engage with your account so that it is accurate and up to date.

So how do you do that without keying everything in manually?

Link your Scopus profile

Scopus is an abstract and citation database and a major data source for Symplectic. Your peer reviewed work will be indexed in the database and you will have an author details page (just search via the ‘Author’ tab’). On the right hand side there is the option to ‘Add to ORCiD’. You can also achieve the same result from ORCiD itself, see here for more information – https://service.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11240/supporthub/scopus/

Trusted Organizations

Either of the methods above will have added Scopus as a ‘Trusted Organization’ – visible under the ‘ACCOUNT SETTINGS’ tab on your ORCiD profile:

Scopus connection information

Search & link wizard (Trusted Organizations)

Access the search & link wizard from ‘My ORCID RECORD’ -> ‘Works’ to access a list of databases:

Search & link wizard
Search & link wizard

These include a number of more or less specialised databases:

  • CrossRef, for example, is the organisation that mints DOIs for journal articles and maintains authoritative, publisher-supplied metadata
  • DataCite provides DOIs for research data and is managed by the British Library. DOIs for datasets in the Research Data Leeds repository are allocated, minted and maintained by Datacite

For more information including an instructional video see https://support.orcid.org/knowledgebase/articles/188278-link-works-to-your-orcid-record-from-another-syste

Import from Symplectic

Symplectic cannot automatically push your records to your ORCiD account – there are good reasons for this that I won’t dwell on here – but you can import via a BibTex file for any records that might not be available from another database – conference papers or reports, for example, that lack a DOI.

My publications -> Export -> Export to BibTex

Exporting a bibtex file from Symplectic
Exporting a bibtex file from Symplectic

The resulting .bib file can easily be imported to your ORCiD profile:

Importing a bibtex file to ORCiD

For more information see https://support.orcid.org/knowledgebase/articles/390530#2import

Privacy settings

ORCiD privacy settings

The final step, other than adding your biography, education etc (unfortunately you will have to do this manually) is to ensure that visitors to your profile can actually see the information.

Persistent unique identifier

To paraphrase Kathleen Shearer, you are now a node in a global knowledge commons that, along with the DOIs for your publications, will persist long into the future.

Unlike Doctor Who, though, you’ll have to wait for the years to roll by one day at a time…

Edward Clodd – a man with a talent for learning and friendship

This month we focus our attention on a new accrual of photographs.  The photographs feature the anthropologist, writer and banker Edward Clodd (1840-1930).  A talented writer Clodd was also renowned for his ability to forge lifelong, close friendships with many preeminent scientific and literary authors.

As a young man Clodd joined the London Joint Stock Bank.  After a day at work he would read and study.  Clodd was a prolific user of free libraries.  Interested in philosophic and religious debate, he attended church to listen to the arguments of leading churchmen of different denominations.  This stimulated his interest in science and in 1869 Clodd joined the Royal Astronomical Society.

Clodd’s first book ‘The Childhood of the World’ was published in 1873. This was an introduction to evolutionary anthropology for children, describing recent discoveries about prehistoric man.  Clodd went on to write further books on academic subjects for children and many publications on philosophy, science and folklore.

Photo of Clodd and Meredith
Edward Clodd with George Meredith, taken by Clement Shorter. Image credit Leeds University Library

Clodd had numerous literary and scientific friends including Sir Ray Lankester, George Meredith, Clement Shorter and Thomas Hardy.  Some of them belonged to the Rationalist Group associated with Thomas Huxley and Samuel Lang.  Clodd regularly invited friends to his home Strafford House in Aldeburgh for house parties and our photographs were taken during these events.

Special Collections holds a considerable number of letters written to Clodd by his friends and associates.  Correspondents include Thomas Hardy, George Meredith and Louis Compton Miall.  The letters show Clodd having lively discussions with his friends about reading and publishing material on philosophy, science and literature.  His opinions were evidently highly valued.  In 1910 Miall asked Clodd to read the proof of his history of biology before its publication.

Clodd’s ability to develop close friendships is indicated by the author George Meredith’s comments in a letter of 8 December 1886 ‘Your visit to the chalet marks a happy day with me … When us two touch earth I see that we are brothers’.  By 1908 Meredith addressed Clodd as ‘Dear friend’ and shared the latter’s grief at the death of his son Arnold.  James Milne the literary editor of the Daily Chronicle wrote on 10 May 1914 ‘I’d be quite content to spend the remainder of my abode in this life at Aldeburgh’.  Clodd obviously knew how to make his guests feel welcome!