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Friday Update Number Twenty One

Posted on 27 August 2020

With only two weeks to go until we reopen we’ve been continuing work on our hospital catalogues and finalising the necessary changes to our usual service.

As we mentioned last week the Borthwick will be reopening to the public for four days a week from the 14th September.  Visits must be pre-booked and you will be able to book a slot from Monday 7th September by email ( or telephone (01904 321166).  

The Clifton Hospital patient indexes are growing apace, with 960 new patient records added in the past week.  You can now search patient details for the female case books from 1857-1909 as well as details from female admission forms from 1847-1853.   The addition of these indexes allows for interesting comparisons across collections.  For example thanks to the indexes we now know that Katie Olivia Attridge, the 36 year old wife of Reverend J. S. Attridge of Spennithorne Rectory, Leyburn, was admitted to The Retreat on 18 March 1901 before being transferred to Clifton, then the North Riding Lunatic Asylum, in the July of that same year, a transferral from a private fee paying asylum to a public one.  As The Retreat archive has been largely digitised by the Wellcome Library you can even see Mrs Attridge’s original case notes from her time at that hospital (see image below).  You can trace the Attridge family and their six children in the 1901 and 1911 census, allowing researchers to begin to piece together the family’s story from across a range of sources.


Perhaps in time researchers might be able to add correspondence about Mrs Attridge from The Retreat Letters Project as detailed descriptions of letters continue to be added to Borthcat.  In addition to the descriptions of incoming patient correspondence from 1796-1800, this week descriptions have also been added for correspondence from 1801 and 1802.  Remember that you can also look at digitised images of the correspondence for yourself by following the link to the Wellcome Library catalogue in the series level descriptions. 

And if these indexes or descriptions prove useful to your research, we’d love to hear about it!