20 June 2014

Cork Archives - Preliminary Visit

Hello all! I'm here at the Cork Archives - ah, you're wondering why the white gloves ...! I'm wearing these because here in the Archives you could be dealing with old documents that are 100 or even 150 years old. SO if you handle them roughly, you could damage them. So you need to wear the gloves to gently turn over the pages. Plus, the human hand secretes tiny amounts of oil that can spread into the paper and damage it over time. So the gloves are worn for safety. It's going great here far, it's been very interesting. I came down to check out the Cork Lunatic Asylum (mental hospital) Case Books, which are records kept of each patient beginning on arrival. Patients were monitored and logs kept over time. There are many volumes of case books and I'll be working my way through them bit by bit, but for these two days I'm really just seeing the lay of the land in regards to the kinds of info the records contain. I'll go more in depth with it later on, but I did come across a record of one Deaf woman. Six pages of a report that covered her life in the asylum, from her arrival in 1899 to her death there in 1922. Notes were made every 6 months or so on her progress. I've been transcribing these reports, but there are no photos of the woman in this one. Hopefully I'll locate more as I go on. So it's been really interesting so far, but with some chilling moments of shock, contemplating the lives of these people, stuck in the institution all day, doing nothing, and how that affected their behaviour - and eventually, their state of mind. More ISL updates to come in the future.

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