Scope and Contents
Each individual survey consists of a mulitple choice form (either 1 double sided sheet or 4 single sheets). An example of the questionnaire can be found in the survey's administrative files. It records data relating to age, gender, marital status, type of employment, hereditary illness, diagnosis, criminality, public assistance, and home circumstances.
CONTENT WARNING: Each survey is accompanied by a brief summary recording opinions of local professionals - doctors, district nurses, teachers, police officials, labour exchange and public assistance officers. The item descriptions for each entry are redacted versions of these contemporary summaries and therefore contain language and reveal attitudes relating to mental health, physical disabilities, gender, sexual behaviours, and race that are offensive and no longer acceptable by today’s standards. Some of the terms used to describe mental and physical disabilities were accepted medical terms that are now no longer in usage e.g. "imbecile", "idiocy", "defective", and these terms appear frequently. All diagnoses have been tagged with appropriate Medical Subject Headings to assign them the correct and appropriate term by today's standards (see note on subject tagging for more information).
SUBJECT TAGGING: All entries have been tagged with updated terms for the diagnoses ascribed to each individual using the US National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), this is not a validation of the diagnoses, for which there is often very little evidence in the record, very few include medical notes. Additional subject tagging includes: Housing; Occupations; Sexism in language; Racism in language; Family violence; Wages; Sexual behavior; Promiscuity; Tuberculosis; Housing and health; Mothers; Parent and child; Drugs, presribing; Drug addiction; Incest; Prisoners of war; Stress disorders, post-traumatic; Scots language. Please note that entries tagged with “sexual behavior” and “promiscuity” have been so to highlight the content of the record only and are not to be taken as a reflection of modern day attitudes.
All text taken directly from the contemporary record is in quotation marks.
ABBREVIATIONS: The summaries include the following abbreviations which have not been written out in full in the catalogue: PA [public assistance], PAO [Public Assistance Officer], MD [mental defective], PC [Police Constable]; LE [Labour Exchange]; CR/CRI [Crichton Royal], OPC [Outpatient Clinic].
Please note that due to restricted access to this material as a result of COVID-19, areas 1, 8, 9, 23, 29 and 37 are either incomplete or have no descriptions added.
Conditions Governing Access
Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation. Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation means that records conveying personal information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time. Where records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced in the record, on the next 1 January. Records relating to individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded in the record, on the next 1 January.
Please refer to file level entries for restriction dates.