Wellcome uses cookies. Read our policy.

This guide highlights primary source material relating to local history in the Archives and Manuscripts Collection.

Prior Philip de Thame
Transcript of manuscript at Malta, compiled by order of Prior Philip, giving the extent of the Knights Hospitallers' estates in England, 1338 (transcribed 1839).
Reference: MSS.3881-82

Royal Army Medical Corps Muniment Collection
Records from 17th century to late 20th century include much material relating to specific UK localities, in particular Home Front operations during the two World Wars.
Reference: RAMC

William Stukeley
Physician and antiquary. Notes on British antiquities and the Druids, 1725- 62.
Reference: MS.4720

Thomas Robinson
Notes on mineral waters at various places in England 1734-42.
Reference: MS.4229

Hodgkin family
Extensive papers and correspondence of members of the Hodgkin, Rickman and Howard families, 1737-1980. Areas with which family members have particular connections and other relevant local links are listed under specific headings below.
References: MSS.5680-6 and PP/HO

Norman Comben collection of veterinary miscellanea
Bills, correspondence and other material relating to veterinary surgeons, farriers, blacksmiths and chemists. The items originate from a wide variety of places in the United Kingdom, 1796-1933. A detailed list of practitioners and customers is available (Handlist 29).
Reference: MSS.7562-9

Nicholas Carlisle, antiquary
Notes and correspondence for an unpublished second edition of his 'A concise description of the endowed grammar schools in England and Wales' (London, 1818), covering numerous English counties, and Wales, 1818-24 and no date.
Reference: MSS.5373-4

Florence Nightingale
Copious copy correspondence includes material relating to her relatives the Verney family of Claydon, Buckinghamshire, and public health initiatives in this and other areas, 1827-1905.
Reference: MSS.8991-9109

Cholera
Letters concerning the cholera epidemic of 1832, largely from local physicians to the Central Board of Health, 1831-2.
Reference: MS.6793

Edmund Waterton, antiquary
Compilation of material relating to British and Irish Knights Hospitallers, 1859-81.
Reference: MS.4976

William Job Collins, campaigner against smallpox vaccination
Scrapbook, originally a case ledger, used to hold newspaper cuttings on vaccination and on hunting. Numerous specific localities under each topic, c.1863-78.
Reference: MS.7626

B W Lara & Co, agents for the sale of medical practices and partnerships
Letterbook, 1881.
Reference: MS.3170

Sir Thomas Barlow (1845-1945), physician
The extensive papers of Sir Thomas Barlow contain many items of local relevance. Particularly noteworthy items listed under relevant localities. The dates span Barlow's entire career.
Reference: PP/BAR

Society of Medical Officers of Health (founded 1856)
Records of branches and regions, 1870s-1980s.
Reference: SA/SMO

A very substantial collection of reports by local authority Medical Officers of Health, 1850s-1970s, is held in the Library and can be accessed via the main Library catalogue.

Queen's Nursing Institute (founded 1889 as Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute for Nurses)
Records relating to local district nursing associations, 1890s-1960s.
Reference: SA/QNI

Wellcome Historical Medical Museum
Correspondence with many institutions, societies, museums, businesses, and individuals throughout the UK, 1900s-80s.
Reference: WA/HMM

Louisa Martindale, surgeon
Diaries of motor tours, from London to Sussex and Hampshire, 1912, and from London via Oxford and Stratford to the Lake District, Glasgow and Edinburgh, returning via Berwick, Durham, Harrogate and Cambridge, 1920.
Reference: MS.3471, 3474

British Medical Association
'Groups' files include reports on public health services provided by individual local authorities, material on local Sick Funds and Health Clubs, also on spas and clinics, 1900s-60s.
Reference: SA/BMA

Sir Bernard Spilsbury
Notes on autopsies performed by him 1905-33 include a number from various parts of the UK outside London.
Reference: PP/SPI

James Randal Hutchinson (c.1880-1955) and William Henry Bradley (1898-1975), of the Ministry of Health
Files on infectious and epidemic, food- and water-borne diseases, include material on localised outbreaks.
Reference: PP/JRH

Family Planning Association (founded 1930 as National Birth Control Association)
Records of local branches and clinics, correspondence with local authorities and reports on their activities in relation to birth control provision, 1920s-70s.
Reference: SA/FPA

Eugenics Society
Reports by paid lecturers on lectures, meetings, Health Weeks and Exhibitions, conferences, throughout UK, 1925-40
Reference: SA/EUG/G

Permission from Galton Institute required.

Please note: This collection is being digitised and parts of it will be unavailable during the process. Check the schedule for further information.

National Birthday Trust Fund
Maps, surveys, etc of comparative regional data relating to maternal mortality, 1930s, illegal abortion, 1930s, perinatal mortality, 1958, and British Births Survey of 1970.
Reference: SA/NBT

Robert Rutson James FRCS (1881-1959), medical historian
Correspondence with other medical historians including a transcript from apprentice books at Barbers' Hall and lists of doctors found in wills covering the period 1671-1801, 1934-8 and no date. 
Reference: MS.7493

Sir Graham Selby Wilson (1895-1987)
Material relating to the development of Public Health Laboratory services throughout the UK, 1930s-70s.
Reference: PP/GSW/C

Alec William James Haggis (1889-1946), Wellcome Historical Medical Museum
Papers relating to medical licensing in England and Wales prior to the Act of 1858, including lists of licences by diocese, c.1937-46.
Reference: MSS.5328-55

Lilian Gertrude Ping, Wellcome Historical Medical Museum
Research notes on the lives and miracles of various medieval figures: Henry VI, including material on his tomb at Windsor; St. William of York and St. Cuthbert, including accounts of the window illustrations of their lives in York Minster; and St. Thomas of Canterbury, including an account of the window illustrations of his life in Canterbury Cathedral, 1938.
Reference: MSS.8272-8275

Sir Robert Macintosh, Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetics
Diaries of visits to anaesthetics departments in UK hospitals, 1930s-60s.
Reference: PP/RRM

Hugo Rast
Files relating to his tours of prisoner of war camps in various parts of the UK, under the auspices of the Mixed Medical Commission, 1941-5.
Reference: PP/RAS

Professor Donald Hunter
Notebooks of visits to factories in connection with occupational health, 1947-70.
Reference: PP/HUN

Multiple Sclerosis Society (founded 1953)
Records of local branches, 1950s-80s.
Reference: SA/MSS

Sir Zachary Cope
Materials for a history of dispensaries in Great Britain, 1957-65.
Reference: MSS.1863-70

Biochemical Society
Files relating to local meetings, conferences, etc, throughout the UK.
Reference: SA/BIO

Professor Sir George Pickering
Material on British university medical schools and other institutions, in connection with Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust Survey, 1970s.
Reference: PP/GWP

Contact us

To contact the Collections team, email collections@wellcome.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)20 7611 8899 during Library opening hours.