Garry’s half century of gathering medical photographic history in Doncaster

Garry Swann celebrates 50 years working at DRI
Garry Swann celebrates 50 years working at DRI

Fifty years ago Garry Swann was tasked with setting up the first Department of Medical Photography in Doncaster.

Now the Trust’s archivist, Mr Swann began the service at Doncaster Royal Infirmary to initially concentrate on photography and lecture slides.

The department has extended over half a century to include graphic design and typography services and has won numerous awards for its work.

Mr Swann’s interest in the history of DRI has deepened over the years. In 1973 his book, The Doncaster Royal Infirmary 1792–1972, was published. His collections of photographs, documents and other memorabilia have grown steadily and have been used in many exhibitions, gracing permanent displays on the hospital walls.

On his retirement as Head of Medical Photography and Graphic Design in May 2006, Mr Swann was invited by the then Trust Chairman, Margaret Cox, and Chief Executive, Nigel Clifton, to take on the role of honorary archivist.

He now collates and catalogues hundreds of items and deals with enquiries on historical matters relating to the Trust, while always looking out for items to add to his collections.

Mr Swann said: “I loved my work as a medical photographer and I have been fortunate to be able to continue my interest in the history of local hospitals since I retired.

“Over the years I have seen many changes in personnel, in hospital practice, and on the hospitals sites themselves. The best interests of our patients, however, have always come first.”

Garry writes a regular column for the Trust’s newsletter, Foundations for Health, and frequently gives talks to local groups.