UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An archival investigation of hospital records Keirstead, Robin Glen


The importance of the hospital in Canadian society is undisputed. Despite this, the hospital has traditionally received relatively little attention from the archival community. It is only now becoming apparent to both hospital administrators and archivists that this situation must change if the valuable records contained in hospitals are to be preserved. This thesis examines the archival preservation of hospital records, concluding that their retention is of great benefit to those operating the institution as well as the rest of society and that this preservation can be effectively carried out if certain basic considerations are borne in mind. Before archival operations are established in a hospital, it is necessary to investigate various aspects of the institution and its record keeping practices. It is only when the nature and uses of these records are understood that effective programmes can be implemented. A hospital archives will not achieve its full potential unless it is established on a sound foundation with adequate policy and resources. Similarly, the records contained therein must be properly appraised to ensure all the valuable material is retained and protected from improper access. Through an investigation of these and related issues, the viability of hospital archives will be confirmed.

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