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Deaconess Hospital

Identifier: LHB12

Scope and Contents

Management 1910-1948; administration 1894-1964; finance 1903-1948; Publications and photographs 1894-1948; staff 1926-1948; nursing 1894-1967; patients (bound and unbound records) 1894-1967


  • Creation: 1894-1963

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the latest version of the Scottish Government Records Management: Health and Social Care Code of Practice (Scotland). Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation and guidelines mean that records conveying sensitive information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time.

Where health records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced, on the next 1 January. Case records of individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded, on the next 1 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found here:

LHSA encourages the use of these records for legitimate clinical, historical and genealogical research purposes, and records that are designated as closed can be consulted by legitimate researchers if certain conditions are met. Please contact the LHSA Archivist for more details regarding procedures on how you can apply for permission to view closed records. Telephone us on: 0131 650 3392 or email us at

Biographical / Historical

Founded by the Church of Scotland in 1894 to train Deaconesses for missionary work at home and abroad, the hospital also provided a much needed medical service to the local community living in the Pleasance and Cowgate area. Deaconesses spent a year there as part of their training, or a further two if they wished to become fully qualified nurses. Extensions to the original building in 1897 and 1912 increased the number of beds available and an out-patient department was also added. Further extension occurred in the 1930s, and the Deaconess also began a home visiting or district service. In 1948 it became part of the Edinburgh Southern Hospitals within the South Eastern Regional Hospital Board. In 1974 it became part of the South Lothian District of Lothian Health Board. After 1984 it joined the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Associated Hospitals Unit. The Deaconess closed in 1990, and now renamed as Deaconess House it houses the headquarters of Lothian Health.


10.5 shelf metres: bound volumes, papers, photographic material


Chronological within record class

Other Finding Aids

Manual item-level descriptive list available

Custodial History

Records held within the National Health Service prior to transfer

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Church of Scotland via Hazel Horne, Scottish Record Office, January 1983


No further accessions are expected

Related Materials

Edinburgh Southern Hospitals Board of Management (LHB9)Edinburgh Southern Hospitals Board of Management (LHB9)Pathology Department, University of Edinburgh (GD20)Pathology Department, University of Edinburgh (GD20)Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (LHB1)Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (LHB1)Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Samaritan Society (GD2)Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Samaritan Society (GD2)South Lothian District, Lothian Health Board (LHB28).

Deaconess Hospital
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Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44 (0)131 650 3392