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Dr Iain Hutchison

Dr Iain Hutchison

Research Affiliate



PhD awarded by University of Strathclyde in 2004.

Reviews Editor for H-Disability.
Member of the editorial board of the forthcoming Environmental Health book series by Michigan State University Press.
Member of the H-Net Plan-Review Committee.
Member of the Council of the Scottish Records Association.
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Mentor on the Glasgow Universities Medical Humanities Early Career Foundation programme.

Winner of the UK Association for the History of Nursing 2018 Essay Prize

Research and Teaching Interests

History of disability. I follow the social model and primarily work on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My work encompasses all forms of impairment.

Recent work on the history of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, on the Matrons to Microbes project, and on the RNIB Scotland 'Seeing Our History' project on outdoor blind experience in Edwardian Edinburgh, the Borders and the Lothians. Wellcome supported project on the Scottish National Institution. Also on the Scottish Historical Review Trust supported project on emigration from Fair Isle to New Brunswick. Forthcoming is a project, in association with Dr Moyra Hawthorn of the University of Strathclyde, on the history of East Park's 150-year history as a home and school for physically disabled children.


1. Disability and the Victorians: Attitudes, interventions, legacies, edited with Martin Atherton and Jaipreet Virdi (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020).
2. Child Health in Scotland: A History of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children (2016). (Lead author, with contributions from Malcolm Nicolson and Lawrence Weaver.)
3. Feeling Our History: The experience of Blindness and Sight Loss in Edwardian Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders (2015).
4. Hearing Our History: RNIB Scotland research volunteers discuss the expereince of blindness and sight loss in Edwardian Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders (2015))
5. A History of Disability in Nineteenth-Century Scotland (2007).
6. BEAline to the Islands – the story of air services to offshore communities of the British Isles by British European Airways, its predecessors and successors, with Phil Lo Bao (2002)
7. Air Ambulance – Sixty years of the Scottish Air Ambulance Service (1996)
8. The Flight of the Starling – the flying career of Scottish pioneer aviator, Captain Eric Starling FRMetS MRAeS (1992)
9. The Story of Loganair – Scotland’s airline, the first 25 years (1987)

Journal articles and book chapters:
1. ‘Disability in nineteenth-century Scotland – the case of Marion Brown’, University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, 2002, Vol. 5.
2. ‘Early Institutional Provision in Scotland for Disabled Children’ – Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, February/March 2004, 3:1
3. ‘Early Institutional Experience of Children with disabilities – The case of Scotland’ Pediatric Rehabilitation – January-March 2005, 8:1
4. ‘“…and rimmain yoor obeddeend omble zervand”: the invented spelling system of William Baillie of Dunain (1789-1869)’ with Nigel Fabb, Professor of Literary Linguistics, University of Strathclyde – Transactions of the Philological Society – 2005, 103:3.
5. ‘Oralism – a sign of the times? The contest for deaf communication in late nineteenth century Scotland’ - European History Review – 2007, Vol:14:4.
6. ‘The Scottish Air Ambulance Service, 1928-1948’, The Journal of Transport History, 2009, 30:1.
7. ‘Institutionalization of mentally impaired children in Scotland, c. 1855-1914’, History of Psychiatry, 2011, 22:4.
8. ‘Poverty, Philanthropy and Paediatric Care: the founding of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children’, Proceedings of the Scottish Society of the History of Medicine, 2016.
9. ‘The value of a flawed source: The Register of the Missions to Outdoor Blind for Edinburgh, the Borders and the Lothians, c. 1903-10’, Scottish Archives, 2017.
10. ‘Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children: tracing its journey from 1861’, Scottish Archives, 2018.
11. ‘Personalities, Preferences and Practicalities: Educating Nurses in Wound Sepsis in the British Hospital, 1870-1920’ with Claire Jones, Marguerite Dupree, Susan Gardiner and Anne Marie Rafferty, Social History of Medicine (2018) 31:3, pp. 577-604.
12. Invited ‘Foreword’ to Prof Kittichai Wattananikorn, British Teak Wallahs in Northern Thailand, 1876-1956 (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2018), pp. xviii-xxvi, and book editor.
13. ‘Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children: Tracing its Journey from 1861’, Scottish Archives, Vol. 23, pp. 32-47.
14. ‘Discharge, Disposal, and Death: Outcomes for Child Inmates of the Scottish National Institution, Larbert, and Stanley Hall, Wakefield, to 1913’, with Dee Hoole, Journal of Family History, 45:2, (2020), 207-227.
15. ‘The disabled child in an industrial necropolis: Glasgow’s children’s hospital, Scottish convalescent homes ‘in the country’ and East Park Home for Infirm Children’ in Hutchison, Iain, Martin Atherton and Jaipreet Virdi (eds) Disability and the Victorians: Attitudes, interventions, legacies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020).
16. ‘Accepted and Rejected: Late nineteenth-century application for admission to the Scottish National Institution for the Education of Imbecile Children’ in Ellis, Robert, Sarah Kendal and Steven J. Taylor (eds), Voices in the History of Madness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783030695583
17. ‘Coup de soleil – William Baillie (1789-1869) and an eastern (mis)adventure’ accepted for Esme Cleall (ed), Global Histories of Disability: Power, Place and Personhood (Routledge).
18. ‘Blind Horizons: The Worlds of People with Sight Loss during Scotland’s Long Nineteenth Century’ accepted for Tatiana Prorokova-Konrad (ed), Disability and the Environment in the Global Colonial Era (forthcoming).
19. ‘The 1862 Fair Isle Clearance to New Brunswick’, forthcoming - accepted for publication by Scottish Historical Review.

Book Reviews:
1. Reflections: The Life and Writings of a young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France. By Thérèse-Adèle Husson, translated and with commentary and biography by Catherine J Kudlick and Zina Weygand, (New York, 2001) - French History 17(4) December 2003, 462-465.
2. A History of Childhood. By Colin Heywood, (Cambridge, 2001) - French History 18 (4) December 2004, 493-497.
3. North-East Identities and Scottish Schooling. By David Northcott (ed.), (Aberdeen, 2005) - History Scotland, September-October 2006.
4. Death by Design: The True Story of the Glasgow Necropolis. By Ronnie Scott. History Scotland, November-December 2006.
5. Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. By Elizabeth L Ewen, Sue Innes, Siân Reynolds and Rose Pipes (eds.), (Edinburgh, 2006) – Eighteenth-century Scotland, Spring 2007.
6. The Kirk, Satan and Salem: A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire. By Hugh V McLachlan (ed.), (Glasgow, 2006) - History Scotland, July-August 2007.
7. John Stuart Blackie: Scottish Scholar and Patriot. By Stuart Wallace, (Edinburgh, 2006) – History Scotland, July-August 2007.
8. Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius. By C. Michael Mellor (Boston, 2006) - French History, 21(3), September 2007, 362-365.
9. Ireland, Radicalism and the Scottish Highlands, c.1870-1912. By Andrew G Newby, (Edinburgh, 2007) – The Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 28:1, 2008, 76-77.
10. The Making of Am Fasgadh: An Account of the Origins of the Highland Folk Museum. By Isabel Frances Grant (Edinburgh, 2007) – History Scotland, November-December 2008.
11. The Early Education of the Blind in Britain c.1790-1900: Institutional Expereince in England and Scotland. By John Oliphant (Lampeter, 2007) – The Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 29:1, 2009, 81-83.
12. Tartan Air Force: Scotland and a Century of Military Aviation. By Deborah Lake (Edinburgh, 2007) – History Scotland, July-August 2009.
13. Ireland and Scotland in the Nineteenth Century. By Frank Ferguson and James McConnel (eds) (Dublin, 2009) – History Scotland, November-December 2009.
14. ‘The Cruel Madness of Love’: Sex, Syphilis and Psychairty in Scotland, 1880-1930. By Gayle Davis (Amsterdam, 2008) - The Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 29:2, 2009, 145-147.
15. Vicarious Vagrants: Incognito Social Explorers and the Homeless in England, 1860-1910. By Mark Freeman and Gillian Nelson (Lamberville, 2008) – Cultural and Social History, 7:2, 2010, 273-274.
16. Disability and Social Policy in Britain since 1750: A History of Exclusion. By Anne Borsay (New York, 2005) – H-Net Reviews, 2010.
17. SNP: The Turbulent Years, 1960-1990. By Gordon Wilson (Stirling, 2009) – Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 30:2, 2010, 203-205.
18. The Anatomy of Robert Knox: Murder, Mad Science and Medical Regulation in Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh. By A W Bates (Eastbourne, 2010) - History Scotland, Jan-Feb 2011.
19. Art in Madness: Dr W A F Browne’s Collection of Patient Art at Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries. By Maureen Park (Dumfries, 2010) – Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 31:1, 2011, 139-141.
20. Northern Lights: The Age of Lighthouses. By A D Morrison-Low (Edinburgh, 2010) – Scottish Historical Review, 90:2, 2011, 353-354.
21. Letters from the Crimea: Writing Home, A Dundee Doctor, by Douglas Hill (Dundee, 2010), and World War One Aircraft Carrier Pioneer; The Story & Diaries of Jack McCleery RNAS RAF, by Guy Warner (Barnsley, 2011) – History Scotland, March-April 2012.
22. Simpson: The Turbulent Life of a Medical Pioneer. By Morrice McCrae (Edinburgh, 2011) – History Scotland, May-June 2012.
23. Christie of Zanzibar: Medical Pathfinder. By Edna Robertson (Glendaruel, 2010) – History Scotland, September-October 2012
24. Dynasty of Engineers: The Stevensons and the Bell Rock. By Roland Paxton (Edinburgh, 2011) – Scottish Historical Review, 91, 2012, 375-376.
25. The Silent Weaver: The Extraordinary Life and Work of Angus MacPhee. By Roger Hutchinson (Edinburgh, 2011) – History Scotland, January-February 2013.
26. Disabled Children: Contested Caring, 1850-1979. Edited by Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale (London, 2012) – History of Psychiatry, 24:3, 2013, 371-372.
27. Counting Stories, Moving Ethnicities: Studies from Aotearoa New Zealand. Edited by Rosalind McLean, Brad Patterson and David Swain (Hamilton, NZ, 2012) – Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 33:2, 2013, 307-309.
28. Aberlour Narratives of Success. By David Divine (Durham, 2013) – History Scotland, January-February 2014.
29. Queen Victoria’s Skull: George Combe and the Mid-Victorian Mind By David Stack (London, 2008) - ISIS – Journal of the History of Science Society, 105:3 (2014).
30. A Doctor’s Line: Poetry and Prescriptions in Health and Healing By Kenneth C Calman (Dingwall, 2014) - History Scotland, Sep/Oct 2016.
31. Barriers and Belonging: Personal Narratives of Disability Edited by Michelle Jarman, Leila Monaghan and Alison Quaggan Harkin (Philadelphia, 2017) - Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 44:2, June 2017.
32. Alexander Charles Baillie, Call of Empire: From the Highlands to Hindostan (Montréal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2017), Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 39:2 (2019), pp. 198-9.


1. ‘The Scottish Air Ambulance Service, 1933-1948’ at Belfast to the Ulster Aviation Society, February 2001
2. ‘Oralism in Deaf Education in Scotland in the late nineteenth century’ to the University of Dundee History Postgraduate Conference, May 2001
3. ‘Representations of People with Disabilities in nineteenth century Scotland’ to Centre for the History of Medicine Workshop Series, University of Glasgow, February 2002
4. ‘Disability in nineteenth century Scotland – the case of Marion Brown’ to the University of Sussex History Postgraduate Conference, Brighton on "Perspectives on Inclusion and Exclusion", April 2002
5. ‘Musselburgh Madhouses – private asylums in nineteenth-century Scotland’, at Bonnyrigg to the Lothian Family History Society, 12 November 2003
6. ‘Suffer the Little Children – Institutionalisation and training of children with disabilities in nineteenth-century Scotland’ to the Economic & Social History Society of Scotland Conference on Scottish Childhoods, Glasgow Caledonian University, 14 November 2003
7. ‘Putting People with Disabilities Centre Stage in Disability History’, University of Glasgow/University of Strathclyde Social History MPhil Research Seminar series – 3 December 2003
8. ‘Crazy folks need lovin’ too – a case of alleged rape on the Isle of Tiree, University of Strathclyde ‘Diverse Histories’ PG Conference, 17 January 2004.
9. ‘Literary Representation of People with Disabilities in nineteenth-century Scotland’, University of Stirling PG English Studies ‘Outsiders’ Conference, 27/28 March 2004.
10. ‘Disability and the Poor Law in Scotland’, Enabling the Past: New Perspectives of the History of Disability, University of Manchester 17/19 June 2005.
11. ‘Disability and the Poor Law in Scotland’, Health from the Cradle to the Grave workshop series, Glasgow Caledonian University, 13 Dec 2005.
12. ‘Education Falling on Deaf Ears: The battle between articulation and signing in Scotland in the aftermath of the 1880 Milan Congress’, Society for the Social History of Medicine, ‘Cradle to Grave’ Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, 11/12 January 2006.
13. ‘Peripheral experiences of disability: cases from Scottish islands’, Welfare in the Peripheries in the Modern Period Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, 8/9 June 2006.
14. ‘East Park Cottage Home – an accident of education’, Revisiting the Institution: Fresh Perspectives on the History of Physical Disability conference, University of Leeds, 26 June 2006.
15. ‘Information, Identity and Ethics: Accessing health archives – problems and inconsistencies’, Reassessing Disability: New Approaches to Disability History conference, Peninsula Medical School - Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, Truro, 29/30 June 2007.
16. ‘The institutional response to Scotland’s mentally infirm children, 1855-c.1914’ Children, Disability and Community Care from 1850 to the Present Day multi-disciplinary conference sponsored by the Society for the Social History of Medicine, University of Wales, Swansea, 24-25 October 2007. The Strathmartine Trust provided a grant towards this research.
17. ‘The letters of Marion Brown (1843-1915) – a Scottish perspective’, Disability History: Theory and Practice, San Francisco State University, 31 July – 3 August 2008. The British Academy provided a grant to assist this presentation.
18. ‘Blind children in nineteenth-century Scotland’, Society for the Social History of Medicine Annual Conference, Glasgow, 3-5 September 2008.
19. ‘Taking to the Air: the development of air transport in Scotland to 1947’ – Economic & Social History Society of Scotland ‘Moving Times’ symposium, 28 October 2009.
20. ‘Child health in Glasgow’s slums c.1890-c.1910: Oakbank Street – a Case Study’ - British Society for the History of Paediatrics and Child Health, Liverpool, 10/11 September 2010.
21. ‘Child health in Glasgow, c.1890-c.1910: Tenements by the Canal’ - Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow, 26 October 2010.
22. ‘Plenary – James Young Simpson’, Simpson Bicentenary – Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 3-4 Jun 2011
23. ‘A Help or a Hindrance? The Old and New Statistrical Accounts of Scotland and the Decennial Censuses as sources on the experience of disability in nineteenth-century Scotland’ - European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow 11-14 April 2012.
24. ‘Paediatric Nursing at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children in the 1920s’ - British Society for the History of Paediatrics and Child Health, Edinburgh, 9/10 September 2011.
25. ‘Child disability in late nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children’ – Disability and the Victorians: Confronting Legacies, Leeds Trinity University, 30 July-1 August 2012.
26. ‘The Road to recovery: Convalescing in the countryside, 1883-1948’ - British Society for the History of Paediatrics and Child Health, Winchester, 7/8 September 2012.
27. ‘The Historical Normalcy of Disability: South-west Scotland as a Victorian-era case study’ – 4th International Conference on Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane, Sheffield Hallam University, 3-4 September 2013.
28. ‘The Scottish Air Ambulance Service c. 1928-1948’ - Prestwick World Festival of Flight, Prestwick Airport, 30 August-8 September 2013
29. ‘Disability in the Victorian south-west’ - ESHSS ‘Economy and Society in Rural Scotland’ conference, Inverness, 20-21 September 2013.
30. ‘Poverty, Philanthropy and Paediatric Care: the founding of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children’, Scottish Society of the History of Medicine, Glasgow. 8 March 2014.
31. ‘“The most efficacious means to diminishing [infantile] mortality” Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 1861-1914’, Royal Hospital for Sick Children Adult Learners’ Week, 20 May 2014.
32. ‘Defining Disability, Danger Underground’, Disability in the Coalfields, Museum of Mining, Newtongrange, 14 June 2014.
33. ‘Scotland and the Rise of the Asylum’, National Mental Health Day, Greenock, 9 October 2014
34. ‘Seeing our History: Living with Sight Loss in Edwardian Edinburgh and the Borders’, STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee - Disability History Month, Glasgow, 11 Dec 2014. With Catriona Burness.
35. ‘Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the rise of professional nursing – and the role of a Strong woman’, Workers Education Association, Kilmarnock, 25 Feb 2015, and Renfrew, 26 Feb 2015.
36. ‘Nurses interviewing nurses: problems and possibilities when a profession records its own history’, Scottish Oral History Centre, University of Strathclyde, 2 March 2015.
37. ‘Creativity versus Respectability: A contest between blind aspirations and the values of philanthropic interventionists in Victorian and Edwardian Scotland’, Blind Creations International Colloquium on Blindness and the Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London, 28-30 June 2015.
38. ‘The Cost of Infection Control in British Hospitals, c. 1870-1970’, with Dr Claire Jones and Prof Marguerite Dupree, European Association for the History of Medicine and Health ‘Cash and Care: Economics and Values in the History of Medicine and Health, Uniklinik Köln, University of Cologne, 3-5 September 2015.
39. ‘The Journey to the District Asylum: Royal Asylums, Private Madhouses, and Stirling District Asylum’, University of Stirling – paper delivered as part of ‘Staring at the ceiling, looking at the stars’ exhibition programme, 11 Feb 2016.
40. ‘Life journeys of people with sight loss in Edwardian Edinburgh and the Borders’, public lecture Edinburgh City Libraries and RNIB Scotland, Edinburgh, 18 Mar 2016.
41. ‘White coats, starched aprons, shawlie wimmin and snivelly bairns: The rise and rise of Glasgow’s children’s hospital’, Medical Humanities Research Network Scotland, University of Glasgow, 19 Mar 2016.
42. ‘Feeling Our History – case studies of deaf-blind experience in Victorian and Edwardian Scotland’, Deaf History Scotland conference, Hamilton, 7 May 2016.
43. ‘Case studies of deaf-blind experience in Victorian and Edwardian Edinburgh’, Deaf History Scotland Spring Symposium, Hamilton, 7 May 2016.
44. ‘“Antagonistic ... or fulfilling a desperate need?” – the founding of a children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Conversations Group, 25 May 2016.
45. ‘One Last Push: The Final Battle of World War One’, with Disability History Scotland, Disability Research Edinburgh Launch, Edinburgh College of Art, 15 June 2016.
46. ‘Accepted and Rejected: Nineteenth-century elected inmate applications to the Scottish National Institution for the education of Imbecile Children’, University of Huddersfield – Voices of Madness, 15/16 Sep 2016.
47. ‘The Battle for a Children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, University of the Third Age, East Renfrewshire, 21 Sep 2016.
48. ‘Birth-Day’, De Partu Symposium - The Use of Research Resources in Midwifery History, Edinburgh, 14 Oct 2016.
49. ‘Peaks and Troughs: The Records of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow’, Scottish Records Association Conference – Public Healthcare in Scotland before the NHS, Perth, 4 Nov 2016.
50. ‘Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 1918-1948’, ‘European Healthcare before Welfare States’ Workshop, University of Huddersfield, 17 Feb 2017.
51. ‘More than just illness: the Records of Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children’, Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society, 20 Feb 2017.
52. ‘Philanthropy, Patriotism and Paediatric Nursing: Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children through five objects’, Glasgow History of Medicine Group, 21 Mar 2017.
53. ‘Emigration of Clearance? The Fair Isle Evacuation to New Brunswick of 1862’, To the Fair Isle community, Fair Isle Bird Observatory, 6 May 2017.
54. ‘Writing Scotland’s air transport history,’ Orkney Aviation Festival, The Orcadian Bookshop, Kirkwall, 14 Sep 2017.
55. ‘Flying the country lanes of the sky: 55 years of Loganair, a Scottish survivor,’ The Annual Loganair Lecture – Orkney Aviation Festival keynote speaker, Kirkwall, 16 Sep 2017.
56. ‘The Battle for a Children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, University of the Third Age, Bearsden, 19 Sep 2017.
57. ‘The Battle for a Children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, University of the Third Age, Hamilton, 16 Nov 2017.
58. ‘Coup de soleil – William Baillie and an eastern (mis)adventure’, ‘Histories of Disability: Local, Global and Colonial Stories’, University of Sheffield, 7/8 June 2018.
59. ‘The Battle for a Children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, Paisley Philosophical Institute, 27 Sep 2018
60. ‘The Battle for a Children’s Hospital for Glasgow’, Bothwell Historical Society, 4 Feb 2020.
61. ‘Disability History from the bottom up: Narratives of disabled people in the 19th and 20th centuries’, Edinburgh University History Society, 13 Feb 2020.
62. ‘The Hidden Histories of people with sight loss in Edwardian Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders’, Hidden in Heritage Festival, 1 Aug 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1tAdZz7ye0&feature=youtu.be
63. ‘55 years of the Britten-Norman Islander’, Orkney Aviation Festival, with William Hynett, John Firth and Andy Alsop, 10 Sep 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olA4KwmO-3c’
64. The de Havilland Rapide in Scottish air service – before, during and after’ Orkney Aviation Festival, 10 Sep 2021.
65. ‘“Have a cuppa tea”: Life journeys of people with sight loss in and around Edwardian Edinburgh, The Old Edinburgh Club, Forthcoming – 20 April 2022
66. ‘Evacuation or Clearance: The 1862 Fair Isle emigration to New Brunswick’ Eric Richards Memorial Conference, Inverness, 10/11 June 2022



Teaching Materials:



  • Centre for the History of Medicine