Work had begun to identify and digitise the records that would tell our story. We wanted to produce authentic copies to get as close as you can to exploring archives without the need for supervision. It had become obvious that our box should be a medicine chest, so we set out to find a portable (and cheap) storage solution.
The five drawers gave us the structure to develop key themes around John Haygarth’s work, Chester Infirmary, vaccination and fever, with a drawer left over to add leaflets and badges. We also needed a variety of formats and items so that there would be something for everyone, wherever the box might be. As the plans, photographs, pamphlets, patient register pages, hospital management minutes came together the joy of unpacking a ‘Jackdaw’ file came back to me – it might have been 40 years ago but I could remember the hands-on documents experience of primary school history. A potential 'just me then'. What would our audiences make of it?