Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The New Melbourne Hospital Index

Today I was invited to the launch of the new Patients in Melbourne Hospital 1856-1905 index by the Governor of Victoria, Prof David de Kretser at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Two thousand ward books were discovered by the hospital archivist sixteen years ago, and about eight years later the Genealogical Society of Victoria started to index them. Each doctor at the hospital compiled his or her own book of patient details. Before the publication of the index finding a particular patient was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Although less than a quarter of the books have been indexed, I have so far found six of my family and have then checked the original ward books at the Public Record Office of Victoria. I referred to how the index helped me with one family in a previous post (The Sad Story of Emma Noad).

Congratulations to the indexers on the great job they have done!

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