HMS NHS: The Nautical Health Service
Beginning in 1826 on a worn out, leaking wooden warship, seafarers of all nations entering the busy port of London were treated at the Greenwich Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital for over a hundred and fifty years. What does their combined data tell us about the health of the seafaring community, the risks they faced and how medical theory applied at sea?
Royal Museums Greenwich is setting sail on a project to transcribe the hospital admission registers, to provide answers to these questions and many more. When completed, the project will provide statistical data on the health of the maritime world, the prevalence of all kinds of medical complaints and show which posed the greatest risks to health at sea. It will also provide an almost unlimited number of case studies on common injuries, their treatments and recovery times. If you enjoy deciphering old handwriting or have an interest in the history of medicine, this project is for you.
This project is being administered through Zooniverse, the world’s largest platform for volunteer-powered research in science and history. Over one million people have helped professional researchers through Zooniverse, with deciphering transcriptions, counting research specimens, and more. Full instructions and tutorials are provided for each project and you’ll get to interact with fellow volunteers through Zooniverse’s tools.
You can learn more about the project and start transcribing on the Zooniverse website.