Internship at the Trainor/Owen Archives

Today marked the last day of my twenty-day internship at the Trainor/Owen Archives within the Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to intern with another medical collection! This post is basically going to summarize what I did over the past twenty days/ten weeks. To start, I would like to say a huge thank you to my supervisor Eva Stokes-Blake for her support. It has been a very valuable internship for learning archive-specific skills and I hope to apply and develop these further in my new job.

Throughout the internship, my main role was to catalogue all objects in the collection. This included not only objects held in the archives, but also, those scattered around the College. In total, there were just over 400 individual objects. These were all described, measured, photographed, and categorized. On top of this, I also compiled a mini condition report for each object. In the near future, these objects will be uploaded to the online database system, eHive. I am so excited to see the collection digitized and displayed to a wider audience.

Over the last two days of my internship, I curated a small exhibition titled “Tools of the Trade”. On display are a range of radiology kits from the 1900s to the 1960s. My favourite kit is the silver slide and developer kit on the top shelf. This is mainly because its inscriptions were all in German and I was able to translate quite a large chunk of the information booklet. A great way to refine my German skills while at work! I had a lot of fun developing this exhibition, especially selecting the objects and theme.

My Exhibition Case

I started this entry with a photo which is amazing for a couple of reasons. It is not from the collection, but, one I found online. After working with a historic radiology collection, I can now identify a few of the objects. The man standing is looking through a fluoroscope. These machines passed X-ray beams through a body part and transmitted the image to a monitor. It essentially allowed for a live-stream of your bones. The other reason I love the photograph is because it shows how some of the objects were used/stored. It is so interesting to see glass X-ray tubes hanging at the back of the photo. I’ve included a few more historic photos because they wonderfully communicate the history of the profession and the types of objects I was handling.


World War I Radiographer in France
Fluoroscope Operation in World War I
X-ray Treatment of Tuberculosis – 1910

Where to from here?

I have a major essay to complete on an aspect of my internship. I am hoping to focus on a few particular objects in the collection and what light they can shed on the development of the College and of the specialty. I’ve also made the decision to return to the archives as a volunteer. I am going to see my project through to the end which should be really exciting!

Until then, I have a lot of University work and other work to get through. It is going to be an intense couple of weeks. I am ready to get through the work and enjoy a nice holiday at the end!!

Images (in order of appearance):

  • (By William J. Morton – Downloaded 2007-12-23 from William J. Morton and Edwin W. Hammer (1896) The X-ray, or Photography of the Invisible and its value in Surgery, American Technical Book Co., New York, fig. 54 on Google Books, Public Domain)
  • By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Via Wikimedia Commons
  • By J. P. Hoguet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • By Noble M. Eberhardt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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