About our staff
Dr Alison Nuttall
BA (Hons), MSc, PhD, RGN, SCM
I read Modern History at the University of York in the mid-70s. One of the graduate unemployed of that era, alas, I trained as a nurse and midwife in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and was a Sister at the Simpson Maternity Memorial Pavilion. Four children of my own later, I returned to study through the CCE Scottish History Certificate, winning the Martha Hamilton Essay Prize in 1996. In 1997 I was awarded an MSc by Research, with Distinction. In 2003 I completed my PhD at Edinburgh, ‘The Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital and the Medicalisation of Childbirth in Edinburgh 1844-1914: a Casebook-Centred Perspective’. A year later, I started a Wellcome-funded research project entitled ‘The Development of Maternity Care and the Continuing Medicalisation of Childbirth in Edinburgh in the Inter-War Period: a Casenote-Centred perspective.’ Between 2007 and 2008 I had a ‘no cost extension’ to this grant. From 2008 until 2011 I have been on Simpson’s case – a project which has received grants towards publication from the Royal Society and Strathmartine Trust, and is just coming to fruition.
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Britain & Ireland
- Medicine, Science & Technology
- Nineteenth Century
- Twentieth Century & After
My current interests are in maternity care in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and in the evidence obtainable through analysis of personal health records, typically hospital or dispensary case-books.
Current research activities
I have recently completed editing a biography of James Young Simpson, to be launched at the conference to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth in June 2011 (James Young Simpson: Lad o Pairts, Alison Nuttall and Rosemary Mander (eds), Scottish History Press, 2011). Now that’s done I intend to return to writing up my work on the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital 1844-1939.
Last year I contributed a chapter, ‘Like Uncle, Like Nephew? A Comparison of the Lecture Content and Teaching Methods of James Young Simpson and Alexander Russell Simpson,’ to James Young Simpson: Lad o Pairts, Alison Nuttall and Rosemary Mander (eds), Scottish History Press, 2011.
This year (2011) I have so far contributed chapters to two forthcoming books: ‘Midwifery, 1800-1920,’ in Nursing and Midwifery in Britain Since 1700, Anne Borsay and Billie Hunter (eds), Palgrave Macmillan;
‘Taking ‘advantage of the facilities and comforts ... offered’: Women’s choice of hospital delivery in interwar Edinburgh,’ in Growing Expectations: Western Childbirth and Medicine since the Nineteenth Century, Janet Greenlees and Linda Bryder (eds), Studies in the Social History of Medicine, Pickering and Chatto.
Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital Indoor Casebook, 1870 (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh)