On the afternoon of 21 October, we held an event exploring the theme ‘Beyond Shell shock: Mental Health and the First World War’. Would people engage with such a topic on a Friday afternoon, we wondered?
The format of the event was simple:
- two speakers
- a document display
- two more speakers
- panel discussion/chance to ask questions
Speakers covered a variety of topics, from women and shell shock in the First World War to post-traumatic stress disorder nowadays.
First up was William Spencer, Principal Military Specialist here at The National Archives. He gave insight into the records held in our collection related to mental health and the First World War. PIN 26 and MH 106 are both worthwhile collections to look into, if you have an interest in this area. William also highlighted the importance of having a thesaurus of different terms which can be used when conducting a document search in this area. Searching the catalogue is not always as simple as you would like it to be, and you have to be mindful of terms that might have been used at the time in question. Continue reading »