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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives

Link to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website.

Research Guides



The following is a selection of material taken from a number of collections in the Archive. It provides an illustration of how Christmas was celebrated in Glasgow hospitals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This list is by no means comprehensive. Other material relating to Christmas time in Glasgow hospitals may be found in various sources including minute books, reports and photographic collections.

Gartloch Hospital  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1)

  • Lantern slides  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9)
  • 1899; Ward Christmas decorations  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/16–19)
  • 1900; First Christmas tree and ward Christmas decorations  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/30–37)
  • 1908; Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/152)
  • 1909; Children’s Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/181)
  • 1913; Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/229)
  • 1914; Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/243)
  • 1919; Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/272)
  • 1920; Children’s Christmas tree  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/278)
  • 1909; Christmas pantomime march and football match  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 1/9/656–662)

Gartnavel Royal Hospital (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 13)

  • 1882; Christmas edition of the ‘Gartnavel Gazette’, a magazine produced by the patients of the asylum  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 13/2/137)

Glasgow Royal Infirmary (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 14)

  • 1838; Superintendent’s report for week ending 28th December 1838 – These reports do not contain anything specifically relating to Christmas but this one includes figures for the use of leeches in the hospital in 1838 (9,550 in total) and the superintendent’s concern at this large figure. The superintendent also suspends a night nurse for being out without permission and returning intoxicated (a case of Christmas spirit?).  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 14/15/1/28)

Western Infirmary (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 36)

  • 1927–1929; Photographs of Santa Claus distributing presents to children at Christmas parties in the hospital  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 6/4/97)