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New developments for Oor Mad History!

There have been exciting new developments for the Oor Mad History project! The group will be collaborating with the University of Edinburgh on a Discovery Session. This is a co-curated exhibition held at the Centre for Research Collections

Oor Mad History is a community history project. The project has created an archive by gathering material from various people involved in Collective Advocacy and activism across Lothian. The archive dates back to the 1980s and includes posters, leaflets, reports, notes and other written materials as well as t-shirts, badges and postcards. It also includes oral history interviews with people involved in Collective Advocacy and activism, as well as allies of the movement. The Lothian Health Services Archive at the University of Edinburgh keeps some of the archive.

Work with the Lothian Health Services Archive

For this latest development, members of the Oor Mad History group will be exploring topics of their interest with the aid of researchers to present to the public. They will choose exhibition items from the Lothian Health Services Archive to be displayed. These sessions are to allow researchers, collection teams, and communities to come together to explore potential partnerships and collaborations. And to meet and break down barriers, thinking about future research they can do together on mental health history and advocacy. The sessions are also designed to give people the opportunity to explore shared histories and interests. They allow people to do something fun, fulfilling and creative.

A photograph of items from the Lothian Health Services Archive in relation to Oor Mad History. A variety of leaflets and post cards, including a photograph of a medical professional looking at a bottle of medicine.

The Oor Mad History group have visited the Lothian Health Services archive various times in the past. They have found it a very valuable resource. Linking our own past and current experiences of the mental health system with accounts and resources from history can be a validating and empowering tool for advocating for change. 

The group is hoping to run the Discovery Sessions from October, and preparation is only just beginning! So, if you would be interested in joining the Oor Mad History group and getting involved with this exciting opportunity, then please get into touch with Azra at

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