The Archives and Manuscripts Collection contains unpublished material on battle surgery and military medicine from the late Middle Ages to the 21st century. The majority of the archival holdings were created during the 19th and 20th century, and relate to specific campaigns including:
- the Napoleonic Wars
- the Crimean War
- Imperial conflicts
- the Boer War
- World War I
- World War II.
Read more about featured collections
Archivist Lesley Hall writes about Sir Ludwig Guttmann: a 1930s refugee from Nazi Germany and a pioneer in the treatment of spinal injuries.
Florence Nightingale letters
Rada Vlatkovic from our Digitisation Team describes some of Florence Nightingale’s letters, including correspondence about reforms to military medicine after her expedition to Crimea.
(Re)Discovering the Great War
Dr Simon Chaplin kicks off a series of blog posts about World War I material in our collections, particularly the digitised Royal Army Medical Corps collection, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the War in 2014.
The Royal Army Medical Corps Muniment Collection
The collection comprises journals, correspondence, manuscripts and memorabilia collected by the RAMC museum. There are several items from the 18th and early 19th centuries, but coverage is mainly from the Crimean War (1854-1856) , Boer War and the two World Wars. In this article from the journal 'Medical History', Shirley Dixon explores the collection in detail.
Archives sources guides
Our archivists have compiled extensive lists of material relating to war and medicine. These in-depth sources guides provide access to the detailed information held in the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. From here you may also request material from closed stores for viewing in the Library.
Refugee scientists and medical practitioners
Papers of individuals, primarily emigrants from Nazi Germany but including some from other parts of Europe, and individuals and organisations in the UK who provided support for them.
War, medicine and health
Material on battle surgery and military medicine and hygiene generally, from the late Middle Ages onward. Specific campaigns including the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimea, various Imperial conflicts, the Boer War, the Spanish Civil War, Northern Ireland, the Gulf War and former Yugoslavia are covered, as well as peacetime research on military medical matters.
World War I
Archives and manuscripts of men and women serving in various capacities during the Great War, including its aftermath, and material relating to research for war purposes.
World War II
Materials relating to active service and the home front, policy, research and observations, evacuation, prisoners of war, concentration camps, air raid precautions and civil defence, public education and propaganda.
Substantial portions of the important Royal Army Medical Corps Muniment Collection have been digitised and are available online.
How to order material
All of the items in the Library's Archives and Manuscripts Collection must be requested from the closed stores for viewing in the Rare Materials Room. Find out more about request and delivery services.
To contact the Collections team, email email@example.com or phone +44 (0)20 7611 8899 during Library opening hours.