Wellcome uses cookies. Read our policy.

This guide highlights primary source material about South London from the Archives and Manuscripts Collection.

It includes materials spanning from the 19th century to the 21st century for boroughs and locations  in South London.  The Archives and Manuscripts catalogue holds further details of these items.

Hospitals and institutions

Belgrave Hospital for Children, Clapham Road
Letter from a royal functionary, explaining that Queen Adelaide is unable to become a patron of the Royal Belgrave Lying-In Hospital, 1833.
Reference: MS.7326/2

Letter thanking Clinton Thomas Dent for service as Surgeon, 1904.
Reference: MS.7288/2

British Hospital for Mothers and Babies
Correspondence with National Birthday Trust Fund about donations, 1928-50.
Reference: SA/NBT/F.6/1

Bermondsey Medical Mission
File in Medical Women’s Federation archive.
Reference: SA/MWF/C.29

Brown [Animal Sanatory] Institution, Wandsworth
Some material in the papers of F W Twort, Superintendent 1909-44.
Reference: GC/176

Research materials, 1972-86, no date, for Sir Graham Wilson’s article about it, Journal of Hygiene, 1979.
Reference: PP/GSW/D.99-105

Camberwell House Asylum
Casebooks, 1847-c.1887.
Reference: MSS.6220-1

Letter to Dr Frederick Palmer from Edward Paley of the Asylum, 1849.
Reference: MS.7364/60

Letter by F M Deighton describing asylum, 1950.
Reference: ALS: Deighton

Camberwell Workhouse
Anonymous notebook containing, inter alia, details of midwifery cases at Camberwell Workhouse, 1854.
Reference: MS.6027

Charlton House
Letter from Sir F W Dyson, Astronomer Royal, concerning closure of the hospital at Charlton House, presumably a temporary war establishment, 1919.
Reference: MS.7285/2

Clapham Maternity Hospital
File in Medical Women’s Federation archive.
Reference: SA/MWF/C.30

Correspondence with National Birthday Trust Fund about donations, 1931-7.
Reference: SA/NBT/F.6/1

Edith Cavell Home of Rest for Nurses, The Hollies, West Norwood
Records of the Edith Cavell Homes, 1917-84.
Reference: SA/NFN/C

Family Planning Association (formerly National Birth Control Association)
Records of its dealings with its own regional federations, area organisation, local branches and clinics, correspondence with local authorities, 1930-74. Records of its regional administration, 1965-1991. Includes archives of the Walworth Women’s Welfare Centre, 1922-59, and records of the following branches: Sutton and Cheam, 1954-69, Beckenham and Penge, 1966-9.
Reference: SA/FPA

Greenwich Hospital
Letter from an Admiralty official mentioning the hospital, 1837.
Reference: MS.7326/3

Scrapbook kept by George Marsh, Director of Greenwich Hospital, including statement of the revenue and expense of Greenwich Hospital in 1769 (p17), c.1769-c.1798.
Reference: MS.7628

Good conduct certificates, 1817.
Reference: MS.5315

Institute of Psychiatry
See Maudsley Hospital.

King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill
Photographs of gymnasium with patients and staff, c.1900. Exterior of Normanby College nurse training school, 1975.
Reference: SA/CSP/Q.1

Lambeth Infirmary
Papers of Norah Blanche Woodman, nurse, contain account of her training there, 1906-11, and additional material on this institution, of which she eventually became Matron, 1919-45.
Reference: GC/56

Magdalen Hospital, Streatham
Testimonials advanced in favour of Thomas Sunderland Harrison as Physician, 1843.
Reference: MS.6887

Maudsley Hospital
Papers of C P Blacker relating to his work at Maudsley Hospital, 1920s-60s.
Reference: PP/CPB

Doris Odlum, chapter on 'The Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Joint Hospitals and Institute of Psychiatry' in ‘The Expanding Field of Mental Health in England and Wales, 50 years of progress, 1918-1968’.
Reference: MS.7913/37

Papers of Henry McIlwaine relating to his years at the Institute of Psychiatry, 1948-80.
Reference: PP/MCI

Files of William Walters Sargant relating to the Medical Committee, 1948-9.
Reference: PP/WWS/B.1

Papers of S H Foulkes as Consultant Physician, 1950-65.
Reference: PP/SHF/C.5, D.3

Mental Aftercare Association
Material (including some photographs) on residential homes and hostels for former mental patients in Croydon and Sutton, 1950s-80s.
Reference: SA/MAC

Metropolitan District Asylum, Caterham
Diaries of James Adam, Medical Superintendent, 1872-9.
Reference: MSS.5510-6

Pioneer Health Centre Peckham
Papers relating to this experimental local community Health Centre based in Peckham, South London, 1926-50, and later initiatives in Bermondsey, 1970s-80s.
Reference: SA/PHC

See also Cancer Research Campaign
Reference: SA/CRC/R.1/3

Eugenics Society
Reference: SA/EUG/D.158-9

Family Planning Association
Reference: SA/FPA/SR14/30A-B, 31

Medical Women's Federation
Reference: SA/MWF/N.14/5

Society of Medical Officers of Health
Reference: SA/SMO/R.3

Papers of Robina Addis
Reference: PP/ADD/F/3/1

C P Blacker
Reference: PP/CPB/B.12

The Priory, Roehampton
Logbook of male and female patients admitted to this private mental hospital, 1905-09.
Reference: MS.8455

Putney Hospital
Materials relating to Campaign Against Closure, 1979-2004.
Reference: MS.8173

Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton
Photographs of physiotherapists working with amputees, 1972.
Reference: SA/CSP/Q.1

Royal Belgrave Lying-In Hospital
See Belgrave Hospital for Children.

Royal Herbert Hospital Woolwich
Souvenirs and some reports during First World War, also report of epidemic at Woolwich 1901
St Christopher’s Hospice. File in Medical Women’s Association archive.
Reference: SA/MWF/C.49

BACUP (British Association of Cancer United Patients and their Family and Friends) correspondence with, 1985.
Reference: SA/BAC/E.2/25

Saint Francis Hospital, Dulwich
Photographs of physiotherapy and remedial gymnastics, c.1940.
Reference: SA/CSP/Q.1

Seamen’s Hospital
Sir Patrick Manson’s files and scrapbook, 1890s-1930.
Reference: WTI/RST/F

See also Personal Papers: Robert Ranyard West.

Sisters of Mercy Convent, Bermondsey
Copies of material on Florence Nightingale's relations with the convent, 1856-1965.
Reference: MS.9103

South London Hospital for Women and Children
File in Medical Women’s Federation archive.
Reference: SA/MWF/C.50-1

Walworth Women’s Centre
File relating to, 1938-9
Reference: SA/EUG/D.38

See also Family Planning Association.

Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories
Brockwell Hall, Herne Hill, South London, 1899-1924.
Reference: WA/PRL

Wimbledon Cheshire Homes
Files of R K Freudenberg concerning, 1976-9.
Reference: PP/RKF/D.1

General practitioners

Reginald Douglas Howatt (1892-1964)
Herne Hill, cash book of fees, 1929-46.
Reference: GP/3

Lakeside Health Centre SE2
Slides of Centre interior, 1970s.
Reference: GP/11

Oral History of General Practice, 1935-52
Tapes and transcripts of interviews with Alec Bookless, Croydon; Shirin Kutar, Bexleyheath; David Kerr, Tooting.
Reference: GP/29

Ernest George Pringle (1878-c.1974)
Sydenham/Anerley, miscellaneous papers 1900-13.
Reference: GP/34

Patrick Quinn (alive around 1918-1933)
New Cross. Cash books, ledgers and day books, 1918-33.
Reference: GP/30

Business records

Armitage Dispensing Chemist, Blackheath
Prescription registers, 1899-1943.
Reference: GC/100

British Society of Immunology
File relating to proposed purchase of Parkwest House, Furmage Street, SW18, 1988-9.
Reference: SA/BSI/E.2

Central Fund for the Industrial Welfare of Tuberculous Persons
Ran Spero Firewood Factory at Rotherhithe for the commercial employment of tuberculous ex-servicemen, minutes, 1935-53.
Reference: SA/NPT/E

John Roalfe Cox, vet, Mayfair & Streatham
Bill, 1869.
Reference: MS.7562/35

HP Horsenail Company, Wandsworth Road
Bill, 1879.
Reference: MS.7563/16

Thomas Brigstocke Humphreys (alive around 1859)
Chemist, originally from North Wales but apparently based later in Blackheath. Recipe and account book, used to accommodate newspaper cuttings and ephemera, 1859-1907 and no date.
Reference: MSS.7702-3

Imperial Pharmacy, Croydon
Prescription registers, 1907-42.
Reference: GC/101

John Rennie FRS (1761-1821)
Civil engineer. Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, concerning a dam and weir at Kidbrook, 1802.
Reference: MS.7478/1

Spratt's Patent Limited
Animal feed merchants. Bills, with letterhead showing their Bermondsey factory and detailed product descriptions on rear, 1887-1892.
Reference: MS.7564/12 and 15

Joseph Thorley Limited
Animal feed merchants. Bill, with letterhead showing mills at Kings Cross and Wandsworth, 1918.
Reference: MS.7564/22

Wellcome Foundation
Site of its first factory was at Bell Lane Wharf, Wandsworth. Records 1880s-1980s.
Reference: WF

Central government

HM Victualling Yard, Deptford
Lists, receipts and issues of stores compiled by James Marr Brydone, surgeon to the Yard, 1833-4.
Reference: MS.6960

Local government

Camberwell Board of Health
Minutes of parochial committee set up to prepare measures against cholera, 1831-2.
Reference: MS.7104

London Borough of Sutton
R K Freudenberg’s review of Health and Welfare Services, 1965.
Reference: PP/RKF/D.12

Emily Virginia Saunders-Jacobs (1900-92)
Small group of papers as Medical Officer of Health in South London, 1920s-60s.
Reference: GC/158

South West Metropolitan Psychiatric Advisory Board
Minutes of Working Party and Subcommittee on Neurosis, 1948.
Reference: PP/WWS/B.3/2

Norah Blanche Woodman, nurse (born 1885)
Papers include financial statements of the Parish of St Mary, Lambeth Board of Guardians, 1910-29.
Reference: GC/56

West Lambeth Community Health Council
R K Freudenberg’s file relating to mental health services, 1982.
Reference: PP/RKF/D.10

See also Personal Papers: Herbert Davies Chalke.

Societies and associations

Abortion Law Reform Association
South-east London Group, 1965-6.
Reference: SA/ALR/A.9/6

BACUP (British Association of Cancer United Patients and their Family and Friends)
Papers relating to launch in the South Thames area, 1985-6; and files relating to South-east and South-west Thames Regional Cancer Organisations, 1985-7.
Reference: SA/BAC/E.3/15-16, H.22-23

Camberwell Council on Alcoholism (founded 1962)
Pioneering community organisation working on alcoholism (no longer active), 1960s-80s.
Reference: PP/CCA

Multiple Sclerosis Society
Files on Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich,  Lambeth,  Lewisham, London SW, Norwood, Southwark, Sutton Branches, 1950s-70s.
Reference: SA/MSS/C

National Birthday Trust Fund
Joint Council of Midwifery Nutrition Survey, correspondence about Yeast Vimal distribution in Deptford, 1938-40.
Reference: SA/NBT/T.10/2/4

Quinn Square Social Centre Society, Southwark
Minutes and correspondence, among the papers of Helen Alice Dorothy Barlow (1887-1975), c.1935-1969.
Reference: PP/BAR/Z/26-32

Research Defence Society
Records of Bromley and Croydon branches, c.1908-19.
Reference: SA/RDS/D.1

Society of Medical Officers of Health/ Society of Community Health/ Society of Public Health (1856-1997)
HIV prevention and care in Camberwell, 1988. Brochures of Peckham Pioneer Health Centre, 1930s.
Reference: SA/SMO

Southwark Boys' Aid Association
Records among the papers of Helen Alice Dorothy Barlow (1887-1975). Letters, 1932-1936.
Reference: PP/BAR/Z/8/112-138

Casebook, reports and miscellaneous papers, 1914-1936 and no date.
Reference: PP/BAR/Z/18-21

Hanwell Residential Schools (for whose pupils the Association was set up): see West London.


Barbara Evans
File relating to Helena Wright’s education at the Froebel Institute, Roehampton, 1895.
Reference: PP/PRE/J.1/3

Morley College
Files relating to Extension Lecture courses on psychology given by John Bowlby, 1932-[1939].
Reference: PP/BOW/E.1

See also Personal Papers: Stanley George Browne.

Personal papers

J Hugh Baron (born 1931)
The Brown Dog of University College (London) memorial to dog used for experimentation in 1903 in Battersea Park, funded by the Anti-vivisection League; his file about, 1955-86.
Reference: GC/199

Stanley George Browne
Material relating to his early life in South London, including schooling, 1917-28, attendance at evening classes run by various institutions, 1922-7, religious activities mostly in connection with Drummond Road Baptist Church Bermondsey, 1918-66.
Reference: WTI/SGB/A

Herbert Davies Chalke (1897-1979)
Medical Officer of Health for Camberwell, 1930s, papers on various public health issues.
Reference: GC/200

Hugh Cuolahan MD (1818-1884)
Medical Officer of Health, Bermondsey. Memoir of his early life by his daughter, plus notes on the family c.1890-c.1910.
Reference: MS.4719

John Dixon
Medical Officer of Health, Bermondsey. Apprenticeship papers, certificates, etc, 1848-1861.
Reference: MS.5191

Diaries, with notes of patients seen, 1864, 1875.
Reference: MSS.5950 and 6794

List of factories in Bermondsey, 1883.
Reference: MS.2162

S Forsyth, Walworth practitioner
Annotated and revised copy of his Mother's Medical Pocket Book, c.1833.
Reference:  MS.5942

Dr William Aurelius Harland (1822-1858)
Letters written while studying in London, including description of the Polytechnic Institution, Regent Street, 1842.
Reference: MS.7682/5-8

Letter to his sister describing a visit to London and in particular to the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, 1857.
Reference: MS.7682/67

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, sculptor
Letters to Henry Lee including descriptions of works on dinosaur sculptures, Crystal Palace Park, 1868-1879.
Reference: MS.5383

Hodgkin family
Papers including correspondence concerning a school at Croydon and describing travels in South London and the Surrey hinterland in 1823.
See General section.

For a paper on sick children at the Croydon school, and correspondence with Peter Bedford as indicated in the catalogue index.
Reference: PP/HO/D/D52

Frederick Everard Hunt
Personal papers include indenture of apprenticeship to Stockwell apothecary Loraine Weaver, 1856.
Reference: MS.7129/1

Letter from James Palfrey on Hunt's move to Sydenham.
Reference: MS.7129/7

J R Hutchinson (c.1880-1955) and W H Bradley (1898-1975)of the Ministry of Health
File on vaccination accident in Woolwich, 1927.
Reference: PP/JRH

Alfred King MD (alive around 1813-1875)
General practitioner based for part of his career in Balham. Certificates, 1840-1875.
Reference: MS.7519

John Parkinson
Medical student or practitioner of Wandsworth. Medical recipes and notes, c.1747.
Reference: MS.6148

James Patterson
Visit to Crystal Palace, Christmas/New Year, 1858/59.
See General section

John Percy, metallurgist
Letter describing the Dulwich Picture Gallery and its exposure to fire danger, 1860.
Reference: MS.7400/78

Sir Lyon Playfair, chemist
Fragment apparently taken from the minutes of the trustees of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, commissioning a report on the Gallery's state, 1858.
Reference: MS.7431/33

Dr Prior Purvis
Letter to the architect George Godwin FRS concerning lectures on brick and stone to be given by Godwin to the Greenwich Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1844.
Reference: MS.7433/50

Dr Henry Richardson, Clapham
Correspondence, 1899-1923.
Reference: MS.7359

Thomas Hookham Silvester
Founder of Clapham General Dispensary. Notebook containing diary, notes and memoranda on financial and family affairs, and case notes, 1844-1876.
Reference: MS.5869

Charles Spurgeon, preacher
Letter describing healthy climate of Upper Norwood, 1888.
Reference: MS.7566/176

Temple family (including 1st and 2nd Viscount Palmerston), East Sheen
Book of medical recipes and notes of consultations, 1723-1862.
Reference: MS.4764

John Thomson (alive around 1783-1795)
Surgeon, attached to Deptford Naval Yard and Kent Dispensary. Manuscript on pregnancy. Late 18th century.
Reference: MS.4779

Robert George Ranyard West (1900-1986)
Records of his connection with the Seamen’s Hospital Society, Dreadnaught Hospital, Greenwich, 1930s.
Reference: PP/RRW/C

Readers are also referred to the Wellcome/National Archives Hospital Records Database for information on the records of numerous London Hospitals and to the survey of Medical Archives and Manuscripts, 1600-1945, in repositories in Greater London.

Boroughs and locations in South London

Lambeth (south of Lambeth Road)
Southwark (south and east of a line through Elephant & Castle, Bricklayer's Arms and Tower Bridge)

Contact us

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