Stillbirth Registration and Perceptions of Infant Death, 1900-60: The Scottish Case in National Context

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Abstract

The history of vital registration has attracted substantial attention from both social historians and historical demographers. While much of that research has touched upon issues of fertility and mortality, the contentious issue of the stillborn child—which falls somewhere between the two—has been largely neglected. Although civil birth and death registration was introduced to Scotland in 1855, stillbirth registration did not begin until 1939. Using a range of legal, medical, and statistical evidence, this article explores the history of stillbirth registration in Scotland from a social history perspective. It outlines the problems associated with lack of stillbirth registration, the processes that eventually led to registration of the stillborn child, and the wider significance of that registration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-654
Number of pages26
JournalThe Economic History Review
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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