If that pathetic title didn’t put you off already, Miriam and I recently took a trip to the lovely RCN Scotland HQ to visit the Archives.
It was an early start and I don’t think Miriam would mind me saying that by the end of our four hour train journey to Edinburgh, tension was high and it was already in doubt whether we would make it through another train journey in each other’s company. Nonetheless, we persevered and after a brief taxi ride, we arrived at RCN Scotland.
It’s a lovely building located in a suburban area of Edinburgh. Fiona came down to collect us and brought us up to their cosy office where we then met up with Sophie too. We started off with a brief tour of the building, learning all the best places to be including the kitchen, the archives and of course…the RCN Learning Hub! We stopped and had a chat with Emma about the Learning Hub whilst we were here. I thought the space had a pleasant ‘vibe’ and had some nice workstation for members to use (wouldn’t mind a few of those monitors here in the London library…). Emma told us they would soon be introducing a small exhibition space by the entrance too, which sounded very exciting!
After this, we went back upstairs where we had a nice casual chat with Sophie about the many many many many projects the Archives are currently working on (as well as talking about dogs a lot). When Fiona was free, she joined us to expand on all of this too.
The day was already over by then so Fiona dropped us off at ‘The Ritz’ of Edinburgh a.k.a. a Best Western…We had Mexican food for dinner. It was wild.
NEXT MORNING, we reconvened at RCN Scotland to do some more exploring! Sophie spent some time with us explaining the intricacies of CALM and its uses. We then took a look at some items from inside the Archives based at HQ which was all very exciting. It’s fascinating to look through photos and paraphernalia that people have donated over the years and I love the authenticity that you get from looking at someone’s personal collection, compared to an item in a display cabinet.
We then had a brief cake & tea break and had a chat about ourselves and how we ended up at the RCN and interested in a career of librarianship etc. Following this, we sat down and did some more chatting about the work that Archives does on a regular basis. I had a tricky enquiry I had been trying to answer back at HQ and unfortunately, no one knew the answer but it’s amazing how much Fiona does know about nursing! I was very impressed by a document Fiona had which was akin to a mini encyclopaedia on the history of nursing, filled with various tidbits covering what felt like every subject. Very interesting indeed.
After all the fun and excitement of our brief visit, we headed back to the station where we had another sanity-destroying four hour journey to really get under each other’s skin. I decided to lighten the mood by impressing Miriam with some great impressions of every member of staff in the library. To answer your questions:
Yes, they were all horrible.
Yes, she hated every minute of it.
No, we are no longer friends.