Spotlight On...

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Consultant Physician, Royal Edinburgh Hospital

The Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of its first patient intake in 2013.  In readiness for this, LHSA staff are busy working on the remaining uncatalogued records it holds relating to this famous hospital.

Amongst these are the correspondence and personal papers of Dr Elizabeth Robertson, who was appointed Assistant Physician in 1947. 

Dr Robertson had a particular interest in Pick’s Disease, a disease with similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s which at the time could only be accurately diagnosed post mortem.  Her papers include a number of case studies of patients with the disease at the REH and drafts of articles she wrote on the subject. 

Her personal correspondence gives more insight into her personality.  She subscribed to the Edinburgh University Tea Club, for example. She also made an appointment at Antoine’s, a hairdressers in London, on the recommendation of a local Conservative Party candidate!

She retired in 1970 and died in 1985, leaving a substantial bequest to the University of Edinburgh. This was to be used for additional library purchases in neurology and psychiatry and was in memory of her late father, Donald Robertson.

For more information, please contact us.

  Letter to Dr Robertson confirming her lectures to student nurses, 1955 First page of Dr Robertson's article on epilepsy, 1955

Above left: a letter to confirm Dr Robertson's lectures on psychiatry to student nurses, 1955.

Above right: a signed article by Dr Robertson that she wrote with Dr Karagulla, 1955. (zoom in to read text: ctrl & +)