Research Resources Grants: projects we've funded

This list includes current and past grantholders.


Denbighshire Archives 

Unlocking the asylum: North Wales Hospital archive 1848-1995 

The project aims to encourage research in the historic archive of the North Wales Hospital. The objectives are to catalogue, list and package the archive, to promote it as an important academic resource and to explain the hospital’s history to the wider public. The hospital was the main institution in North Wales for the care of people with mental illness for almost 150 years. The completion of the project will see: an itemised catalogue of the existing accessions and an itemised catalogue of later accessions of administration records. Patient case files will be listed and repackaged. The collection will be assessed for conservation needs and preventive preservation measures highlighted and put in place. It will also be assessed for potential digitisation projects and digital resources.

We will make the North Wales Hospital collection accessible to the wider community, providing an invaluable resource to academia while making the publicly available material more accessible to the general user.

University of Edinburgh and Fergusson Gallery, Perth  

Body language: movement, dance and physical education in Scotland, 1890-1990 

This is a joint project between Edinburgh University Library (EUL) and the Fergusson Gallery, Perth (FG) to catalogue, preserve and make available three collections relating to movement, dance, gymnastics and physical education in Scotland and beyond. The collections comprise: the archives of Margaret Morris Movement International (MMMI), curated by FG, the records of Dunfermline College of Physical Education (DCPE), and Scottish Gymnastics (SG), both curated by EUL.

The objectives are to: create online catalogues of the collections; ensure their long-term preservation by rehousing in archival-quality enclosures; carry out conservation work on at-risk items; digitise high-priority material for free public and research access; design and create a project website to host the catalogues and provide contextual information for public engagement and research based around the collections. We will also engage the research community and wider public through social media, talks, conferences and other events and seek funding for research and public engagement, scoping and locating further related collections and forging partnerships with other relevant institutions.  

Historic England  

Topical Press Agency medical collection 

The Topical Press Agency medical collection consists of 4,050 black and white photographs taken between 1938 and 1943. The photographs document medicine and healthcare in England, providing an insight into medical and nursing practices in the country during the Second World War and the time immediately before the foundation of the NHS. The collection includes photographs detailing medical procedures and equipment alongside images of improvised wartime hospital wards and evacuated children. The collection also records nurses in training and in practice, including industrial nursing in factories.
We will preserve, catalogue and digitise all the photographs in this recently discovered collection.

The catalogue and digital images will be available on the Historic England Archive website, providing a unique visual resource for academics studying this period in the history of medicine.

Bath Record Office 

Building a healthier city: the development of public health in Bath from the 18th to the 20th centuries 

While Bath’s architecture and the social aspects of its development as a spa and tourist destination have been extensively studied, no research has been carried out into the development of the infrastructure that underpinned this development.

This project will preserve and open up two collections of records relating to the development of public health in the city: the records of the Improvement Commissions (1766-1851) and records relating to Bath City Council’s responsibility for the supply of water and sewerage (1748-1974). Both collections are uncatalogued and are rarely used for academic research, despite their potential. They are also badly packaged, and some are in a poor condition, threatening their long-term preservation. The records will be given any necessary remedial conservation and they will be catalogued to current archival standards and made available online.

The records will be brought to the attention of the research community to actively encourage their use, addressing the gap in research.

Borthwick Institute, University of York 

The Rowntree Archives: poverty, philanthropy and the birth of social science 

We will arrange, describe, publicise and make available the archives of the Rowntree Trusts and the Rowntree family. We will open key 20th century archives on public health in the UK, including research about health problems caused by or related to alcohol, unemployment, housing, old age, and gambling. We will also open up key records documenting the theory and practice of relationships between employers, philanthropy, social justice and public health; providing materials for research into the birth and early development of social science in the UK.

We will establish regular transfers of records from the trusts to the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, thereby ensuring future records can be made available to the public. We will also create fully searchable online files with links to related archives in York and elsewhere.

We hope that the archives will form the basis of research projects and our work will allow the archive to have a sustainable future.


Churchill Archives Centre, University of Cambridge

Cataloguing of the papers of Professor Sir Robert Edwards 


This project aims to conserve, repackage and catalogue the papers of Professor Sir Robert Edwards (1925-2013), pioneer of in vitro fertilisation and Nobel laureate. The collection comprises 120 archive boxes and includes personal papers, correspondence and photographs, some outsize items and more than 2,500 slides. It will be made available for education, research and study at all levels. 

University of Manchester Library

Cataloguing the medical archive and visual collections at the University of Manchester Library 


This project aims to improve the accessibility of the 2,700 neuro-surgery patient case files of Geoffrey Jefferson and the collections of Dorothy Davison, Thomas Radford and Richard Neave. This includes 500 medical illustrations, the John Charnley and William Waugh papers and other collections formerly held by the university’s Museum of Medicine and Health. Accessibility will be improved by producing catalogues which will be made available online via the university library’s archives catalogue ELGAR and the Archives Hub. Conservation will be achieved by cleaning, repairing, deframing and repackaging archival, artistic and photographic materials in boxes and polyester sleeves.

Oxford Brookes University

Inside medical science: conversations with experts 


Oxford Brookes University is the custodian of the Medical Sciences Video Archive, a collection of 287 video recorded interviews with prominent figures in medicine filmed between 1985 and 2002. This collection represents the only recorded interviews with prominent figures from medical science, including a selection of Nobel Prize winners. The aim is to digitise the recordings and make them available online with no restrictions on access, via Oxford Brookes University's Research Archive and Digital Asset Repository (RADAR).

University of Glasgow Library 

William Hunter’s Library: a transcription of the early catalogues


This project aims to create a tool to enable the efficient and in-depth analysis of William Hunter’s library by using a collections management system to provide public digital access to a fully searchable modernised version of a manuscript catalogue. It will be linked to current catalogue records and facsimile images of pages from the original volumes. Ultimately we will create a portfolio of new resources (Digital Hunter) that will break down traditional divisions that have hindered intellectual access to Hunter’s collections as a whole. This project will support future interdisciplinary research in re-evaluating Hunter as an important figure in Enlightenment society.

Glamorgan Archives

Glamorgan’s blood: dark arteries, old veins – cataloguing and conserving the records of the national coal board


Glamorgan Archives hold the records of the National Coal Board (NCB) which cover all aspects of the coal industry. This includes the impact of mining on the environment, information about individual pits and details of coal miners and their work, their families and their health. Items include accident registers and compensation books, papers relating to industrial disease and the medical examinations of workers. The collection comprises 344 boxes, 575 rolls and 707 volumes dating from 1799 to 1989. NCB records and those of coal companies from before nationalisation in 1947 will be catalogued and conserved at full item level. The collection will also be stabilised and repackaged. 

Barts Health NHS Trust

A study in specialism: cataloguing and conserving records of St Mark’s Hospital 


Barts Health NHS Trust holds a unique collection of uncatalogued records, comprising case notes, registers and photographs from St Mark’s Hospital for Intestinal and Colorectal Disorders. Established in 1835 by Frederick Salmon as The Infirmary for the Relief of the Poor afflicted with Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum, St Mark’s is one of few specialist hospitals set up in the 19th-century to have continued to function and flourish into the 21st century. The project will catalogue the collection, provide online access, conserve material, convert oral-history recordings from cassette tape to digital format, digitise selected images and provide physical access to the collection.

Boots UK Ltd

Transforming the Walgreens Boots Alliance Collection from a predominantly internal service to an international academic resource: phase two


This is the second stage of the project to catalogue and preserve the Boots Archive and it will continue the long-term preservation and accessibility of the material for researchers. This project will ensure all the paper records in the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive are appropriately housed and in a fit state for consultation. A conservator will replace all non-standard packaging, create bespoke covers where needed, and help develop a suite of best practice policies.

The Freud Museum, London

Cataloguing original archival material at the Freud Museum


The Freud Museum has 28 boxes of uncatalogued archival material that has been donated since the museum opened. It includes items from: Josefine Stross, Sigmund Freud’s physician; Dorothy Burlingham, Anna Freud’s lifelong companion; Lux Freud, Lucian and Clement Freud’s mother; and Jula Weiss, Anna Freud’s secretary and assistant. These collections will be catalogued to best practice standards and put online, making the records accessible to researchers worldwide.

National Archives

Shell-shock, syphilis and self-inflicted wounds: injury, disease and discipline in the British Army during the First World War (MH 106)


This project will catalogue entries for the thousands of medical sheets of First World War army personnel held in series MH 106. The initial listing was collated 100 years ago using varying methodologies, and it is data-poor and confusing. There are 276 boxes of the surviving sheets. We will catalogue 135 of these boxes – 50,000 items – using an agreed set of critical data fields including name, regiment, name of hospital removed to, nature of condition, and injury or disease. This data will then be uploaded to our online Discovery catalogue and made available for free to the research community.

Glasgow Caledonian University

Poverty, health, diet and education in Glasgow: from domestic science to the allied health professions, 1875-1993


The aim of this project is to sort, catalogue and preserve three archives whose origins lie in domestic science education. The collections are the records of the Glasgow School of Cookery (1875-1908), the West End School of Cookery (1878-1908), and the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (1908-1975) which became the Queen’s College, Glasgow (1975-1993). The archives document the development of food, nutrition, diet and health education over 118 years.

London Metropolitan Archives

Conserving and opening up access to the Foundling Hospital’s medical records


The Foundling Hospital was the first dedicated children’s charity in the UK. Its rich history, spanning more than 275 years, is recorded in a large archive detailing the lives of 25,000 children. The medical records of the hospital provide a detailed and complete account of the health and medical treatment of the children from the 18th to the 20th century. These records are catalogued online but the physical records are too fragile to be made available to researchers. The aim of this project is to repair the fragile and damaged items, and repackage them using conservation-grade materials. 

University of Manchester Library

Cataloguing the medical print collections at the University of Manchester Library


This 24-month project aims to improve the accessibility of the University of Manchester’s historic medical printed collections with a programme of cataloguing, conservation, and academic and public engagement. It aims to produce high quality catalogue records for some of the printed collections, and to make these records available online via the library’s catalogue Copac and OCLC Worldcat. It will also aim to engage a range of audiences with the collections, including medical humanities researchers and the public, using targeted channels and events.

University of Durham

Cremation archive cataloguing project


The aim of this project is to catalogue archive material of the Cremation Society of Great Britain. This will provide an invaluable resource for academic research into cremation and society’s disposal of the dead. The Cremation Society of Great Britain first gave journals and part of its archive to Durham University in 1998. These were catalogued and made available for research. It then made a further substantial addition to that material in 2015, which has not been catalogued. The material covers all aspects of the society's administration dating back to the late 19th century, the provision of its facilities for members, and the development of the crematoria themselves. 

University of Bradford

Putting flesh on the bones: cataloguing and digitising the Calvin Wells Archive


Calvin Wells is regarded to be the founding father of palaeopathology in the UK. His archive comprises books, offprints, notebooks, correspondence, poems, photographs, negatives, slides, radiographs, microfilms and video cassettes relating to the medical humanities and palaeopathology. The project aims to fully catalogue and conserve the material and digitise images for preservation. The final archive will be deposited with Special Collections at the JB Priestley Library, University of Bradford, allowing researchers to access and interrogate it easily.

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

The Opie archive: exploring play in Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s


This project focuses on the archive of internationally renowned folklorists Iona (b.1923) and Peter Opie (1918-1982). The Opies' landmark publications about a variety of games and forms of play were based on information contributed by some 20,000 children from schools all over Britain, in response to three surveys conducted 1950-80. At present, the Opie collection can only be searched by physically looking through the papers, which are vulnerable to damage through mishandling or misfiling. We will unlock the archive's full potential by creating a catalogue and physically preparing it for future digitisation.

University of Glasgow Library

Enhancing the catalogue of the scientific papers of Professor Alexander Haddow, 1912-1978


This cataloguing and preservation project will open up the research possibilities of the papers of Alexander John Haddow (1912-1978), entomological epidemiologist and key member of the investigative team who originally discovered the Zika virus. It will improve access to the collection by providing an item-level online catalogue. This will include Haddow’s Zika virus research data, and the data relating to many other mosquito-borne viruses, like Chikungunya.

Buckinghamshire Record Office

Spinal to sport: the pioneering work of Sir Ludwig Guttmann


This project covers all aspects of work at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injuries Unit – from the impact of Sir Ludwig Guttmann's ideas on the rehabilitation of paraplegics, to the development of national and international games for the disabled, including the Paralympic Games. The records offer a detailed insight into the development of treatments for patients with spinal injuries, their care and rehabilitation. Sorting, cataloguing and conservation is essential to enable these rich resorces to be made available to researchers.


Barts Health NHS Trust

Sexually transmitted infections in London during the 20th century: records held in the Royal London Hospital Archives


This project focuses on records held at the Royal London Hospital Archives relating to patients with sexually transmitted infections. The archive includes records of the Whitechapel Clinic – later known as the Ambrose King Centre – and venereal patient records of the London Hospital Skin Department (1900-1940). The grant will: preserve, clean and repackage unique archival records to ensure their stability and long-term survival; digitise patient registers and a series of microfilm case notes; compile a detailed catalogue of all project material; identify and digitally reproduce significant visual materials. Personal details will be redacted and some material will remain restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

University of Oxford

Mabel FitzGerald: the archive of a physiologist


This project is to create access to the archive of physiologist Mabel FitzGerald (1872-1973). She was a remarkable woman who, despite studying at Oxford University and being recognised for her contribution to research during her lifetime, didn’t receive a degree until her 100th birthday. The project will conserve her papers, produce a detailed catalogue of their contents and promote the collection to potential users through blog postings, a video and a seminar. The archive will become fully accessible for the first time since its deposit at the library in 1973.

Natural History Museum

A proposal to digitise and make available the Banksian manuscript Declaração das Aruores, Arbuseos, Plantas, Grapaeiras by Saluadore


The Declaração das Aruores manuscript from Anjengo in Southern India represents an important pharmacopoeia work. Acquired by Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), naturalist and patron of the natural sciences, it forms part of the rich and diverse Banksian collection held at the Natural History Museum. The manuscript's existence is virtually unknown in academic circles and has yet to be the subject of any scientific or academic research. This project is to do the necessary conservation work to stabilise the volume ensuring its future preservation and to digitise the text to provide free access to the manuscript online.

The Children’s Society

Unexplored riches in medical history, part two


This project follows on from a previous award to catalogue the archives of the Children’s Society. It focuses on remedial conservation and rehousing of 684 historical children’s case files deemed ‘unfit for production’ due to their damaged and fragile condition. The records are a rich source of detailed historical information on child and family health for medical humanities scholars. The project means the case files’ valuable information can be released and medical index terms extracted for inclusion in the online archive catalogue. Researchers will be able to to identify medical topics of interest within the files by searching the catalogue. The improved physical state of the conserved case files will also enable the files to be digitised in future.

University of Leeds

Medicine and health in Leeds, 1760-1999


This project follows a scoping survey of medical humanities collections in the library of Leeds University and will support the cataloguing, preservation and digitisation of the following collections:

University of Glasgow

Improving access to the archives of Erskine Hospital Ltd, established 1916 as the Princess Louise Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers


This is a project to catalogue and preserve the records of Erskine Hospital. It opened in 1916 as the Princess Louise Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers. The catalogue will enable new research into the impact of the charity’s work with veterans through the 20th century and beyond. The archive could also enable a new analysis of the practice and impact of military medicine on British society, particularly in relation to prosthetics. The catalogue will be accessible online and the collection will be made available to researchers in the university’s search room.

West Sussex Record Office

Queen Victoria Hospital (East Grinstead) Archive Project


This project will create access to an archive about the development of plastic and reconstructive surgery and patient rehabilitation during the 20th century. It will focus on the pioneering work carried out by surgeon Archie McIndoe at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. West Sussex Record Office is working with the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, East Grinstead Museum and the Guinea Pig Club. The project will create an online catalogue to file level, preserve and conserve the archive to enable digitisation work, and create digital surrogates of the Guinea Pig Club patient case files and a collection of drawings by Mollie Lentaigne depicting surgical procedures.

The Woodthorn Trust

Stannington: from sanatorium to general hospital, opening up three decades of paediatric care


This project follows a previous project in which almost 15,000 radiographs of tuberculous children and early patient case notes (1939-1943) were catalogued, digitised and redacted. In this phase of the project, the redacted versions of digital content created in the first stage will be appended to an online catalogue and the main series of case files (1944-1966) will be digitised. Owing to the collection’s size, only key documents from each file will be redacted and appended to the catalogue. The project will also clean and repackage original material in preservation grade materials.

University of Cambridge

A digital archive of William Bateson


This project is to catalogue and digitise the papers and notebooks of biologist William Bateson (1861–1926). He was a pioneering figure in the early history of genetics, the first director of the John Innes Horticultural Institution and at the forefront of the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel’s work. The database of images, descriptions and background information will be publicly accessible through Cambridge Digital Library. The collection consists of approximately 60,000 catalogued images, including correspondence, field journals, lecture notes and draft publications, plus notebooks recording Bateson’s experiments breeding poultry and sweet peas.

Berkshire Record Office

Preserving the Reading Prison Archive


Berkshire Record Office holds the archives of Reading Prison, the subject of Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol. The project is focusing on conserving fragile and damaged items that are currently unusable. This will make all items in the collection equally accessible and enable researchers to explore health and wellbeing within a custodial environment that is also a landmark in English literature.

University of Edinburgh

Evergreen: Patrick Geddes and the Environment in Equilibrium


This project is to preserve, conserve, catalogue and virtually reunite two collections of the papers of Sir Patrick Geddes at Edinburgh and Strathclyde universities. Sir Patrick (1854-1932) was a Scottish biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and pioneering town planner. He was a pioneer of the environmental movement and developed a highly individualistic theory of societies and cities. The 3,000-item collection in Edinburgh is predominantly large format and photographic materials. The collection in Strathclyde comprises 193 archive boxes containing a variety of formats, including paper, news and magazine cuttings, photographic prints and glass photographic slides, and around 4,000 maps, plans, tracings and prints.

British Library

Digitising the archives of health and disease in British India


This project is to digitise around 3,000 archives relating to health and disease in the India Office Records of the British Library, from 1780 to 1910. The digital content will be made freely available on the library’s website through its manuscript viewer. The material covers subjects including medical topography, diseases, hospitals, drugs and cures, medical education, mortality statistics, diet and nutrition, public health and military health. These archives provide insights into the enduring interest of the colonial administration in health and health- related issues, and into the interplay of medical knowledge and public policy during the period.

London Metropolitan Archives

Pathways to research: cataloguing and indexing the Tavistock and Portman clinical and corporate archives


This project is to open up the archive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. It will enable researchers to explore innovative work in mental health and social care by the trust and its predecessors. The trust has two principle collections (181 linear metres in total), mostly clinicians’ records but also corporate records (around 10 linear metres). Both are rich, but neither can be fully understood without the other. London Metropolitan Archives will catalogue the collections and compile a database of the clinical files supported by a thesaurus of appropriate terminology. Repackaging will be done where necessary.

Norfolk Record Office

God's house unlocked: opening the archives of the Great Hospital, Norwich


This project is to create access to the records of the Great Hospital in Norwich, which form a complete archive of a British medieval and early modern hospital. The virtually unbroken series of records provide a unique perspective of the hospital’s transition from spiritual to physical care. The project will catalogue the collection to item level, ensure long-term preservation through packaging and conservation, and widen access by digitising selected resources and publicising the project.

The National Archives

Death, dirt and disease, part two


This project, which follows on from an earlier phase of work on the same collection, is to create around 60,000 detailed catalogue entries for the correspondence contained within 102 volumes of record series MH 13 (General Board of Health and Local Government Act Office correspondence, 1848-1871). The catalogue will provide remote access to detailed information about the impact of public health legislation on the health and wellbeing of people in England and Wales. In particular, it will enable researchers to explore the impact of the first truly national system of sanitary governance at a national, local, bureaucratic and personal level.

Explore York Libraries and Archives

Past caring? City of York Health and Poor Law Archives, 1837-2003


This project is to catalogue and conserve 160 linear metres of archives relating to health and poverty in York between 1837 and 2003. The archives of the Poor Law Union and Workhouse, Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Department of Environmental Health and Housing will be made accessible to researchers for the first time. Essential preservation and conservation work will ensure that 1,479 volumes and 264 boxes of paper records are ready for use. An online catalogue will be indexed using specialist thesauri. Together, these collections will provide a rare comprehensive 'laboratory' for medical humanities research and lay the foundations for digitisation and further collaborations.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Cataloguing and preservation of the Whitehall Study


This project is to facilitate access to data from a longitudinal survey known as the Whitehall Study. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine study - Health Survey of Male Civil Servants aged 40 or over – found differences in life expectancy between civil servants on administrative grades and those in lower positions and established a link between social status and health. The collection comprises raw data and administrative papers from the original study and follow-up papers. These will be catalogued, conserved and repackaged in preservation material. The resulting descriptions will be made available to the medical history community via the Archives Service online catalogue, and publicised via a range of activities.

University of Oxford

Reconstructing Nicholas Crouch: conserving a seventeenth-century medical reader


Nicholas Crouch, a 17th-century physician, was a student, fellow and bursar of Balliol College until his death in 1690. This project is to reunite his library, creating bibliographic records to international standards for its 4,000 early printed titles. The aim is to reveal the wealth of unique manuscript material within the collection through full antiquarian copy-specific notes for Crouch’s printed books and archival records for his 11 manuscripts. The project will create the framework for future digitisation. Text-blocks and bindings will be stabilised to prevent loss of information and to allow the volumes to be accessed for digitisation, exhibition, research, teaching and outreach. Items will be boxed and moved to secure storage.

University of Glasgow

Cataloguing the papers of Victor D E Webb (1915-c2004), co-founder and secretary of the Scottish Allotment Scheme for the Unemployed (1932-2000)


This project is to catalogue and preserve the papers of Victor Douglas Eustace Webb (1915- c2004). He was involved in the Scottish allotment scene for over 50 years, and instrumental in setting up the Scottish Allotments Scheme for the Unemployed (SASU). The records consist of 20 archive boxes. Many have been damaged. Digitisation will follow repackaging, cleaning, labelling and preservation.


Boots Archive and Record Collection

Cataloguing and preservation of the Boots archive


This collection is around 5,000 boxes of material charting the history of the UK’s largest retail pharmacy. Most of it relates to Boots and dates back to the company’s beginnings in the mid-19th century. It covers the company’s move into large-scale manufacturing, product development, research and healthcare, and beauty retailing. The collection includes business papers and formulas for all Boots’ products. Other significant holdings in the collection include Dolland and Aitchison (1750s onwards), Optrex Ltd (1930s-1990s), Timothy Whites and Taylors Ltd (1880s-1980s) and E Moss Ltd (1915-1990s). There are also around 1,000 boxes of mainly modern material that has yet to be examined. This five-year grant is to catalogue and preserve the entire collection.

Ceredigion Archives

Bees, the Bible, and the bread and butter diet: the work of Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health, 1910-1965


This collection is about the work of the Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health. It contains 100 boxes of correspondence, reports, medical records and promotional material covering the years leading up to and following the creation of the NHS. This collection gives an insight into the supposed and actual role of rural areas in relation to public health and welfare in wartime. The project has repackaged, preserved and catalogued the collection to international standards.

Institute of Education

Charting social change: cataloguing and preservation of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies Archive


The Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education, now part of UCL, holds national birth cohort studies. These three studies, National Child Development Study 1958-, Birth Cohort Study 1970-, and the Millennium Cohort Study 2000-, provide data relating to health, education and employment, and family and parenting. This project is to remove, sort and repackage archive material from two stores, sort archive material to reconstruct runs of minutes, planning papers and data records, and catalogue the material.

King’s College London

‘You matter to the last moment of your life’: cataloguing the papers of modern hospice pioneer Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005)


This project is to preserve and facilitate scholarly access to the personal collection of Dame Cicely Saunders. Throughout her career as a nurse, clinician and practical care-giver, she helped to shape modern perceptions of palliative treatment - the expectation that people who are chronically ill should be relieved of pain and their dignity preserved in the face of death. The collection will be useful to anyone interested in Saunders’ holistic approach to care, the history of drug therapies, particularly in relation to pain relief, and specific terminal conditions including cancer.

London Metropolitan Archives

London’s Hospital Fund


The King’s Fund, established in 1897, has been a pioneering force in healthcare provision and medical services in the UK. Its archives contain material of great importance to the medical history of this country. The archives comprise 132 linear metres, and consist predominantly of printed and manuscript paper files and volumes. There is also a small amount of rolled architectural plans, photographs, slides and compact discs, and two reels of film. This project is to repackage, preserve and conserve the material, and to create a catalogue to international standards.

London Metropolitan Archive

Protecting and conserving the Royal Free Hospital archive


The archives of the Royal Free Hospital and London School of Medicine for Women were transferred to London Metropolitan Archives in 2013, following the closure of the Royal Free Hospital Archive Service. The hospital is notable as the first free hospital in London and first in Britain to accept women as students. It was the first to appoint an almoner (forerunner of the social worker), and pioneered treatments for kidney and liver diseases, haemophilia and cancer. The archives span 150 linear metres and contain some of the earliest surviving patient case notes, including those by the first women surgeons and physicians. This project is to enable physical access to the archive after conservation and preservation, and to repair damaged items.

National Library of Scotland

The child in context: the papers and books of psychoanalyst WRD Fairbairn


This is a joint project by Edinburgh University Library (EUL) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS) to preserve, conserve and catalogue the papers and books of pioneering psychoanalyst WRD Fairbairn. He is recognised as a key figure in the development of psychoanalysis in relation to childhood and development. This collaborative project is to enable access through a user-friendly portal to online descriptions of all the Fairbairn material held in both EUL and NLS.

Newcastle University

Celebrating the collector: cataloguing and curating the papers of Professor Frederick Charles Pybus


This project is to make the papers of Professor Frederick Charles Pybus (1883-1975) more accessible and discoverable. Prof Pybus was a distinguished clinician and researcher who expounded radical theories. He’s more often recognised as a book collector than a clinician, but in the 1950s he concluded that carcinogens present in atmospheric pollution were a leading cause of cancer. Following preservation and conservation, the project is to produce a web- based catalogue of the archive to be hosted locally and on the Archives Hub. These resources will be enhanced by digitising items from the archive with appropriate metadata for remote access.

Pembroke College, Oxford

Digitisation of medical manuscripts


The medical collection at Pembroke College consists of seven bound volumes of manuscripts, dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries, each containing a mixture of texts. It is thought they may have been in the possession of Thomas Clayton (1575-1647), Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. The texts represent the typical medical canon of medieval medicine, including older copies of well-known texts. These are of particular interest when compared to similar copies from around the world. The project is to ensure preservation of these manuscripts by conservation work, including cleaning and minor repairs. As part of the award, the manuscripts have been digitised and are available on a public website.

Royal Holloway, University of London

Nursing at Bedford College for Women


Bedford College was founded in 1849 to give women access to the same level of education as men. It offered courses in the arts and sciences, including courses for female sanitary inspectors, nurse administrators, and a course in public health. The Bedford College Nursing Papers contain material relating to these courses including correspondence, course syllabuses, prospectuses, committee minutes, reports of former students and details of wartime arrangements. This project was to catalogue, repackage and make the collection available online.

Bristol University Library

Opening up the children of the nineties: making the administrative archive of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children population study, 1990-2005, available to researchers and the wider public


The ALSPAC is an internationally recognised pre-birth cohort study. Its archive contains the administrative records of the study from its inception in the late 1980s until 2005. The archive is of importance to everyone interested in the development of DNA banking, common disease/trait genetics, ethics and life-course epidemiological studies. Although it is focused on parents and children, the resource has wider significance for historians of genetics and of health and environment because it shows the emergence of new scientific practices. This project is to ensure long-term preservation of the physical and digital ALSPAC archive, and to create a catalogue.

The Children’s Society

Cataloguing and preservation of the Children's Society archive: unexplored riches in medical history


The Children’s Society Records and Archive Centre contains detailed records of the charity’s work dating back to 1881. It has thousands of paper case files, governance, administrative and children’s homes records, glass negatives and photographs, and over 7.5 million microfilmed images. A previous award covered the first half of the project. The second half involves cataloguing the remaining 18,000 children’s case files (1906-1926), 41 children’s homes governance and administration records, and preservation of 4,400 multi-folded paper children’s case files.

Find out more about the Children's Society archive in our short film.

University of Cambridge

Medicine in medieval Egypt: creating online access to the medical corpus of the Cairo Genizah


The Cairo Genizah (‘religious storeroom’) Collection at Cambridge University Library is the single largest and most important collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts in the world. Made up of about 200,000 leaves, its discovery 100 years ago revolutionised the study of medieval Judaism and our understanding of the broader economic, social and intellectual history of the Mediterranean world. There are also secular texts and a unique medical corpus of around 2,000 manuscripts, as well as numerous prescriptions, druggists’ notes and lists of materia medica. This project is to create detailed descriptive records of each medical item, eg author, date, geographical provenance and parallels in Arabic or other sources. It will be available through the university’s digital library.

University of Cambridge

Medical history of a WWII internment camp: creating online access to the voices of civilians interned by the Japanese on Singapore, 1942-1945


Cambridge University Library plans to conserve, digitise and share freely with researchers worldwide the archives of two Second World War civilian internment camps on Singapore, Changi and Sime Road. Few survivors of Japanese internment spoke of their traumatic experience, but these archives hold detailed descriptions of the POWs’ captivity – their accommodation, work, recreation, diet and health. The archive holds the records of 3,500 POW (men, women and children) from 25 nationalities. These will be of huge interest to people researching the effects of malnutrition and tropical disease. The project is to repair, clean and digitize these records after they are repackaged to allow access for families of internees and researchers.

University of Edinburgh

Science on a plate: the natural sciences through glass slides, 1870-1930


Edinburgh University Library has a collection of almost 3,500 glass positive slides from the 19th and 20th centuries covering a vast array of subjects. The collection has been conserved and catalogued as part of the Wellcome-funded Towards Dolly project. Currently, it is only possible to access the slides in person, which limits their accessibility and use. This project is to digitally photograph the collection and unite it with the existing catalogue metadata, enabling free online access and cross-searching.

University of Strathclyde

Killer dust: cataloguing and preserving the asbestos collections at the University of Strathclyde


This project is to preserve and catalogue four archive collections at the University of Strathclyde. They relate to the struggle to raise awareness of the dangers associated with asbestos exposure. The collections are: the records of the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association; the papers of journalist Laurie Flynn; the papers of environmental campaigner Alan Dalton; and the Scottish Oral History Centre Archive of oral history recordings. Together, the collections form a unique and rich body of material. Following repackaging, the oral history recordings and accompanying transcripts will be catalogued and made available online.

Wigan Council

Counting the cost: cataloguing the archives of the Lancashire & Cheshire Miners' Permanent Relief Society


The Lancashire & Cheshire Miners’ Permanent Relief Society (LCMPRS) collection records its activities and history, and its role in providing financial relief for injured or ill miners and their families. The collection, which spans more than 100 years, consists of about 22 linear metres of paper records, including industrial disease valuation cards, medical records and depositions, claim files for miners and their families, and actuarial reports. The collection helps us understand how mining communities sought to provide for those with occupational injuries or diseases before government-led health and social support. Cataloguing these records will enable comparative analysis of similar records, most notably in the North East of England and in Wales.

Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service

Worcestershire mental health records


This project will make 19th and 20th century records from Powick and Barnsley Hall Hospitals, Worcestershire, available for anonymised and pseudonymised research. Powick opened in 1852 and closed in 1989. To relieve the pressure on Powick, Barnsley Hall opened in 1899. It closed in 1996. The project will catalogue, conserve and create an online catalogue to international standards and bring together partially listed material, uncatalogued backlogs and other records in the Hospital Records Database. There are over 1,500 files from both hospitals, including administrative and financial records, patient admission, discharge and death records, and staff files. This is an exciting collection for any historian interested in 19th and 20th century mental health services.


Barts Health NHS Trust


Pulmonary tuberculosis, also known as consumption or TB, played an important role in the social and cultural life in the 19th and 20th centuries, yet the progress of the fight against the disease is not as well known or understood as it could be. This project was to catalogue, preserve and make available records relating to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB to encourage their use by researchers, and to increase awareness and understanding of TB’s impact through digital information and illustrations.

British Library

Creating and enhancing online records of archival material in the India Office Records relating to infectious diseases in pre-independence India, 1780-1860


This project was to create 1,370 electronic catalogue records for manuscript archives relating to infectious disease from the India Office Records of the British Library, covering 1780 to 1860. The archive covers medical topography, diseases, hospitals, drugs and cures, medical education, mortality statistics, diet and nutrition, public health and military health. The project aimed to make the archive more accessible and facilitate future digitisation.

Glasgow Life

The Scottish Women's Hospital Archives, 1911-1922: delivering medical care on the Western front


The Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service (SWH) represented the largest medical endeavour entirely directed by British women doctors. Despite the War Office rejecting all-female medical units, by the end of 1919 the SWH had organized 13 fully equipped hospitals in France, Serbia, Russia, Romania and Macedonia, all staffed by women. This project was to sort, clean, repackage and catalogue the archive to support World War I studies around the centenary. The SWH’s contribution – and that of other medical women during WWI – was a major step in changing the perception of women’s roles in UK medical history.

London Metropolitan Archives

Mapping and imaging smallpox in London, 1870-1910


This project was to conserve, catalogue and digitise records of the Metropolitan Asylums Board (MAB) and the work of TF Ricketts, medical superintendent of the MAB Smallpox Hospital. The project focused on making five very large maps relating smallpox cases to hospitals of treatment, 1873-85, available for the first time. It created digital copies of 360 glass plate negatives of smallpox patients, made for Ricketts in the early 1900s, for use as surrogate copies to preserve the originals. The project enhanced the online catalogue records and produced an index of all the photographic images made for Ricketts. Digitisation has allowed fragile maps and glass plate negatives to be stored safely after conservation, while access is assured to researchers. The enhanced catalogue records can be seen on the LMA website.

Glasgow Life

Finding disease and poor health in Glasgow in the 19th and 20th centuries


Overcrowding and a highly mobile population in 19th century Glasgow made people vulnerable to epidemics of infectious diseases, such as measles, meningitis, scarlet fever, typhus, typhoid fever and venereal disease. By the early 1900s, Glasgow was leading the nationwide movement aimed at better health and social reform. Much of this was due to the city’s pioneering Medical Officers of Health and its Sanitary Officers, which is the subject of this archive. It includes daily reports on the cholera epidemic of 1832, which killed 3,000 people. This project was to catalogue the archives, house them appropriately and publicise their contents.

London Metropolitan Archives

Making fit: conserving unfit patient registers held at London Metropolitan Archives


This project was to preserve and conserve 31 unfit patient registers, from 1725 to1948, at the London Metropolitan Archives. The registers are a mixture of admission and discharge registers, inpatient registers, creed registers and registers of deaths. All the registers contain names of patients and the dates they were admitted and discharged or died. Most contain additional information, such as age, address, marital status and creed. Twenty also include information about the conditions for which the patients were admitted, and in one case, their diet. The project ensured previously inaccessible sources were made available to researchers.

National Archives of Ireland

Survey of hospital archives in Ireland


This project was to assess the preservation needs of all hospital and public health archives in Ireland. The vulnerability of archives that contain irreplaceable social, political and medical material has been highlighted in recent decades by the closure of psychiatric hospitals. Hospitals in Ireland have no obligation to transfer records to archival institutions. As a result, many hospital archives are vulnerable to loss or damage. There are also no defined rules about research access.

National Archives of Ireland

Archives of the Dublin city hospitals


This project was to preserve and make available the archives of ten Dublin hospitals and a public nursing organisation. These organisations were at the forefront of the fight against infectious diseases from the 1820s and played a critical role in developing institutional medical care. The project involved processing, cataloguing, preserving and conserving the archives.

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Dublin's fever hospitals: cataloguing the archives of the Cork Street, Clonskeagh and Cherry Orchard Hospitals


This project focused on the records of three of Dublin’s Fever Hospitals – the Cork Street Fever Hospital, the Clonskeagh Fever Hospital and Cherry Orchard Hospital. During the 19th century, Cork Street Fever Hospital treated victims of the various epidemics which hit Dublin, including typhus, smallpox, scarlatina and diphtheria. Annual reports, patient registers, administrative and financial records, and collections of photographs are just some of the records which have now been made available for research through conservation, cataloguing and digitisation.

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

The Surgeons' Hall Archives Project: cataloguing and conserving the institutional archive collections of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


This project involved cataloguing, cleaning, repackaging and digitising the institutional archives of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, the Society of Barbers, Lothian Surgical Audit, the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society and the School of Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Edinburgh. The archives included more than 70 linear metres of boxes, bound volumes and loose files of typescripts, photographs, diplomas and records.

The Children’s Society

Cataloguing and preservation of the Children's Society archive: unexplored riches in medical history


The Children’s Society Records and Archive Centre contains detailed records of the charity’s work dating back to 1881. The archive has thousands of paper case files, governance, administrative and children’s homes records, glass negatives and photographs, and over 7.5 million microfilmed images. This project built on a previous project and involved cataloguing the remaining 18,000 children’s case files (1906-1926), 41 children’s homes governance and administration records, and preservation of 4,400 multi-folded paper children’s case files.

Find out more about the Children's Society archive in our short film.

The Woodhorn Charitable Trust

Stannington sanatorium: preserving and cataloguing the records of the first British sanatorium for tuberculous children


This project was to catalogue the records of Stannington Sanatorium. It opened in 1907 and is significant in being the first sanatorium in the UK to treat tuberculosis children. The collection includes detailed case notes of approximately 4,000 pre-antibiotic era patients. The project ensured 16,000 radiographs and case notes are linked and catalogued together to make them more accessible. It used a combination of digitisation and traditional preservation techniques.

University of Edinburgh

Cataloguing Norman Dott's neurosurgical case notes (1920-1960)


This project was to catalogue 26,650 patient case notes of 20th-century neurosurgeon Professor Norman Dott. It built on two previous awards from the Wellcome Trust that conserved the Dott case note collections, and laid the foundations for a third project to fully digitise the collections as part of the Wellcome Digital Library Project.

University of Edinburgh

Policies, postcards and prophylactics: a project to catalogue and conserve LHSA's UNESCO-awarded HIV/AIDS collections (1983-2010)


The project collections document and illustrate the medical and social fight against HIV/AIDS in Edinburgh and Lothian from 1983 to 2010. Files include responses to the Edinburgh epidemic by the Lothian Health Board, charities and other organisations. This project completed the cataloguing and comprehensive conservation of the HIV/AIDS collections inscribed to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in 2011, and a supplementary HIV/AIDS collection. They are fully searchable on the Lothian Health Services Archive website, which has facilitated access for the global medical community.

University of Edinburgh

RVH v TB: a project to catalogue LHSA's Royal Victoria Hospital Tuberculosis and Diseases of the Chest Case Notes and Registers (c1920-2000)


This project was to catalogue the Royal Victoria Hospital’s tuberculosis (TB) and diseases of the chest (DOC) patient case notes. The records cover the first TB dispensary in the world (1887) and document the nucleus of Edinburgh’s fight against TB and other DOC from 1920 until 1958. Together, these records hold detailed diagnostic and treatment information for more than half a century of tackling infectious disease and offer an unparalleled opportunity for research.

University of Glasgow

A catalogue of rare syphilis books


The quantity of medical literature on syphilis is second only to that on the plague. This collection has some 250 pre-1831 printed books on the subject. Many of the books are from the library of the anatomist William Hunter and around 40 per cent date from before 1700. This project catalogued these rare material books and created a web resource for researchers.

University of Leicester

The King's DNA: the whole genome sequencing of Richard III


This project incorporated the whole genome sequencing of Richard III followed by a programme of public engagement, bringing the science involved to the general public and children at Key Stages 3 and 4. The genome sequencing of the king has allowed insights into his genetic make-up, his ancestry and genetic predisposition to disease, as well as providing information about pathogens that may have affected his health.

University of Stirling

Continuity of care: the conservation and cataloguing of the Royal Scottish National Institution Archive


Established in 1862, the Royal Scottish National Institution became the country’s foremost institution providing custodial care for children who were mentally impaired. The collection contains over 3,000 applications for admission to the institution, containing detailed information about the child’s condition, usually accompanied by family correspondence, medical evaluations and letters of recommendation. It has been designated a collection of national importance by UNESCO. This project made the collection available through a programme of preservation, conservation, cataloguing, research and promotion.


Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust

Conserving the records of specialist psychiatric treatment at Bethlem and the Maudsley hospitals, 1964-1987


Bethlem Hospital has been devoted to the care of people with mental illnesses since at least the start of the 14th century. Its sister hospital, the Maudsley, has been at the forefront of psychiatric research in Britain since the 1920s. Previous projects have rescued series of patients’ psychiatric discharge summaries from damp conditions. This project concerned records dated between 1968 and 1987. They were inaccessible to researchers and at risk of degrading over time. Conservation has ensured the long-term availability of a rounded picture of treatment options in the late 20th century.

Churchill College, University of Cambridge

Cataloguing of the papers of Professor Sir Aaron Klug OM FRS


This project was to appraise, sort, repackage and catalogue the personal papers of Professor Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize-winning chemist and biophysicist, former Director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology and President of the Royal Society. The papers were in about 300 archival boxes taken from his home and from his office in Cambridge. The project was to produce a full archival catalogue, posted online on the Janus webserver, and to obtain physical and intellectual control of the collection to open it for research in the reading rooms of the Churchill Archives Centre.

National Archives

Death, dirt and disease


This project was to catalogue to item level a selected body of record series MH 13: General Board of Health and Home Office, Local Government Act Office: Correspondence, 1848-1871. MH 13 is made up of large, bound volumes of memos, letters and reports from local boards of health, which were set up following the Public Health Act 1848, and from local institutions and individuals concerning sanitation and contagious disease. This project was to catalogue 170 volumes chosen to best open up the research material necessary for cross-location investigations. Researchers can now search by disease, environmental condition, proposed medical and sanitary reform, and explanations of contagion and transmission.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Cataloguing and preservation of the HIV/AIDS collections at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


AIDS was one of the key public health challenges of the late 20th century. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Archives hold six significant collections relating to HIV/AIDS education and policy over the critical two decades after AIDS was first reported. These include Professor Peter Piot’s papers (on both HIV and the 1976 Ebola discovery), Project SIGMA, and the Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health Research Collection. The archives also include Professor Kaye Welling’s papers, Professor Virginia Berridge’s papers and the AIDS Social History Programme. This project catalogued and repackaged these collections, and made the resulting descriptions from this work available to the history of medicine community.

Find out more about the HIV/AIDS collections at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in our short film.

National Archives of Ireland

St Brendan's Mental Hospital Grangegorman: preservation and access project, year 2


This was the second half of a two-year project on the archives of St Brendan’s Mental Hospital, Dublin. The first year’s work was initial archival preservation and conservation of over 37,000 forms. The second year was the detailed work necessary to make the archive accessible for research. These volumes are the largest and most comprehensive mental hospital records to survive in Ireland, making them an unrivalled source for research into the history of the treatment of mental illness in the country. Examples of records include the papers of Conolly Norman, Ireland’s most renowned psychiatrist, and sources relating to the treatment of World War I servicemen with war neurosis.

Nottinghamshire Archives

Understanding the brain: therapeutic care within a secure setting


This project catalogued and preserved the historic records of Rampton Hospital, one of the country’s three high-security hospitals along with Broadmoor in Berkshire and Ashworth in Liverpool. Rampton’s surviving records were 555 boxes of material from 1907 to 2011 and include former patients’ files, and registers of admissions, deaths, discharges and escapes. This archive has enabled researchers to explore the history and understanding of treatment of people with mental illnesses within a secure setting. The project has also repackaged and reformatted obsolete electronic files and films to digital formats. Supervised access will be granted to researchers in negotiation with the staff of Nottinghamshire Archives and with the permission of Rampton Hospital NHS Trust.

Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

Cataloguing the Kinnier Wilson and Ninian Bruce Neurology Collections


This project catalogued two personal collections, consisting of 18 box files, which cover a particularly interesting era in neurology. The collection of S A Kinnier Wilson, who gave his name to Wilson’s disease, was much more extensive than previously thought. The collection of Alexander Ninian Bruce, Wilson’s brother-in-law, comprised more than 500 neurology books, as well as works on psychiatry and Murrell’s photographic study of locomotion.

Royal College of Surgeons England

Preserving the drawings of London Lock Hospital Patients, 1849-1851 and 1905-1926


This project catalogued and digitised a collection of around 400 drawings and paintings of patients at London Lock Hospital from the 19th and early 20th centuries. They illustrate the symptoms of venereal diseases and the individuals with the diseases. The drawings were catalogued to item level, with each record featuring a clinical diagnosis and a description in lay terms, with reference to the 1930s textbook for which they were produced. A digital image was made of each drawing, with the exception of those too recent for open access.

University of Edinburgh

Documenting the understanding of human intelligence: preserving and cataloguing the papers of Professor Sir Godfrey Thomson (1881-1955)


The papers of Professor Sir Godfrey Thomson are immensely important to the study of human intelligence. His research papers and teaching materials reflect his influences and initiatives, and how his career developed from training as a physicist in Strasbourg to holding the Bell Chair of Education at Edinburgh (1925 to 1951) and being chair of the Scottish Mental Survey 1947. His later work investigated the existence of potential links between intelligence and fertility, working with the Population Investigation Committee and the Eugenics Society. His papers were left to Edinburgh University Library so that the records could be fully documented, placed in context, properly preserved, publicised and made available to the research community. The papers, including a substantial amount of typescript material, have been digitised and there is an online catalogue.

St Hugh’s College Oxford

Cataloguing the records of the Military Hospital for Head Injuries, St Hugh's College


This project repackaged and catalogued the archive of the Military Hospital for Head Injuries at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. It consists of the case notes of patients treated at the hospital during World War II, together with follow-up research done by neuroscientists Ritchie Russell and Freda Newcombe, and some associated paperwork. The files include over 4,000 X-rays and photographs, punch cards and video tapes, and provide a lifetime picture of individuals, combining their initial treatment during wartime and their post-war rehabilitation and neurological progress.

University of Edinburgh

The making of Dolly: science, politics and ethics


Building on a previous project, Edinburgh University has unlocked a wealth of material narrating the story surrounding the cloning of Dolly the Sheep in 1996. Edinburgh’s crucial role in the development of genetics is reflected in a rich array of previously inaccessible primary and printed sources based around the records of the Roslin Institute and the Institute of Animal Genetics. Many of these records also cover the ethical and political implications of the science used to create Dolly, including high-profile government reports, and press and medical responses. This project ensured these records are fully searchable in an electronic catalogue. Many of the files were damaged, in a fragile condition or in need of minor conservation work. The project did conservation work to ensure research access.

Find out more about the 'Towards Dolly' project in our short film.

University of Oxford

Making the Oxfam archive more accessible


This five year project was to catalogue and preserve Oxfam’s 10,000-box archive at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The archive contains 34,000 project files, dating from 1955 to 2005, which include records of the Field Committees managing Oxfam’s global programme; papers of the advisory Medical Panel; Overseas/International Divisions Directorate correspondence; country reports and evaluations; and records of the Policy Department and its predecessors. Other records cover the control and treatment of infectious diseases including leprosy, malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS, through interventions including vaccination programmes, health education and provision of community and primary health care and hygiene promotion. Before this funded project, half of the material had never been seen by an archivist.


Grants awarded 2000-2012 [PDF 5.2MB]

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