Unbidden Tongues #4: Oral Informants draws on the work of Australian social historian Janet McCalman who, in 1998, published a comprehensive history of the Melbourne Women’s Hospital. Written through the medical records of the women who were at one time or another the hospital’s temporary residents, McCalman’s account draws on a vast archive of 14,000 gynaecology records and over 70,000 midwifery records to build the hospital’s history through the administrative documents that litter its archive. Composed of an article written by McCalman in 1999 as well as a case file of original nursing notes, Oral Informants presents the ethics and process of penning a (medical) history lesson uniquely based in the oral testimony of women.
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