The Archives and Manuscripts Collection covers all aspects of disease: research, treatment, prevention, and campaigns to raise public awareness. It spans the 16th century to the 21st century, with most materials relating to individuals and organisations in the 20th century.
Archivists have compiled sources guides for cancer, malaria, neurology and the neurosciences and tuberculosis. You can also search the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue to find more archival material on a particular disease or illness.
Read more about featured collections
Cancer Research Campaign archive
The large archive of the charity and its predecessor, the British Empire Cancer Campaign, covers all aspects of its work for the period 1923-1981. Full catalogue description of the archive, including a brief history of the charity.
A collector of rare diseases
Archivist Lesley Hall describes the work of Dr Frederick Parkes Weber, a major figure in the history of unusual diseases and syndromes. From the Wellcome Library blog.
Fighting the cold war: David Tyrrell and the common cold
Project Archivist Elena Carter explores the work of the Common Cold Unit in the papers of it David Tyrrell, who ran the Unit from 1962. The Unit's volunteer trials appear to have had something of a holiday camp atmosphere. From the Wellcome Library blog.
Snail water against a consumption
A recipe for treating consumption, which requires "three quarters of a peck [6 quarts] of snails". In the digitised 16th century recipe book by Anne Brumwich (and others).
Archives sources guides
These in-depth sources guides provide access to the detailed information held in the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue, where you may also search for other illnesses or conditions.
Neurology and the neurosciences
Items can be requested from the catalogue in advance, for viewing in the Library.
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.