Online Exhibitions/Resources

100 Years of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Residents

The residents of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh were medical graduates serving practical apprenticeships as House Officers.  Before 1950, a resident usually served for 6 months, and up until 1948, the position was unsalaried.  The residents lived within the Infirmary building at Lauriston Place in the Residency, each new intake forming a separate 'Mess'.  The residents were bound by two sets of rules: one drawn up by the Board of managers; the other drawn up by themselves, and which governed the running of their Mess.

Each intake of residents were photographed as a group and LHSA holds an almost complete run of residents' group photos from the 1850s to the 1960s.  The photographs are mounted on card and in most cases feature the signatures of each resident.

The photographs shown below span 100 years, starting with the Winter 1865-1866 group.  The collection as a whole is fascinating to look at, not only for finding famous individuals or ancestors; but for charting changing styles of dress and appearance, spotting the appearance of women from the 1940s onwards (although the first female resident was appointed in 1920), men in service uniform during the war years, and the odd residency pet!

Please click on the images below to view.  You can scroll between displayed images by hovering your mouse in the top right or left of each image.