Hospital Magazines and Patient Writings
- Part of
- Records of Crichton Royal Hospital
- Archives and manuscripts
About this work
Bound volumes and loose editions of New Moon, 1844-1937; The Crichtonian, 1951-1963; Crichton News, 1963-1993; The Crichton Scoop, 1945; Hospital Magazine Illustrations, n.d.; and one volume of verse written by a patient at Crichton Royal Institution who also contributed to the New Moon, 1854.
Crichton Royal Institution was one of the first psychiatric hospitals in Scotland to have a hospital magazine contributed to and produced by patients. The New Moon was first printed in December 1844 and the first edition was priced at sixpence. Dr W. A. F. Browne encouraged patients to undertake occupations and amusements as an important part of their treatment, including writing, and in his Annual Report for 1844 he said of the new publication, 'it is the unaided work of five patients, who are or have recently been residents in the Institution; it will serve as a vehicle for free undisguised feelings and views of the writers, whether erroneous or not; it will be a compound of the grotesque and the beautiful, of the sensible and the extravagant, it will be a collection of the impressions of healthy and the new creations of disordered imaginations, of mental portraits, and of all that relates to the present condition and prospects of its contributors, and of the class to which they belong.' The New Moon, or The Crichton Royal Literary Register, was produced monthly and included poetry, articles, adverts for and reviews of theatricals and concerts staged at the hospital, notifications of amusements, letters to the editor, reports of trips, lists of donations to the hospital library and museum, sports fixtures and results, updates about goings on at the hospital, puzzles, cartoons, meteorological reports and updates on staff changes. In 1937 the New Moon was renamed The Crichtonian and was produced quarterly by staff for a number of years until production was stopped in 1949. Under Physician Superintendent Dr P. K. McCowan efforts were made to re-establish a hospital magazine produced by and for the patients, and The Crichtonian reappeared in 1951 with a new Editorial Committee steering it. The magazine's name was changed again in August 1963 to the Crichton News and it continued in this guise into the 1990s, being published monthly initially and then less frequently. Early copies of the New Moon were printed at the Herald Office in Dumfries until a printing press was purchased by the hospital in 1846 and the magazine was printed by a patient who was a printer to trade. A professional printer was employed in 1863. Copies of The Crichtonian in the early 1950s were printed by Dumfriesshire Newspapers and carried advertisements for local businesses. In 1954 it was decided that The Crichtonian would be stencilled rather than printed and later copies were printed in the Occupational Therapy Department at the hospital. A further patient produced magazine, The Crichton Scoop, was produced by the Officer Patients who were resident in Grierson House at Crichton Royal Hospital during the Second World War when the building had been taken over by the War Office.
C. R. I. Scrapbook, DGH1/6/17/1; Recreation and Printing Scrapbook, DGH1/6/17/2
Enquiries for reproduction for commercial purposes should be directed to the Archivist, Dumfries and Galloway Archives and Local Studies
The papers are available at Dumfries and Galloway Archives subject to conditions of UK Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and NHS Records Management Code of Practice 2012. Subject to these restrictions, this material is being digitised by the University of Glasgow as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project. Material that is digitised will be accessed freely online through the Wellcome Library catalogue.