Hospital Records held at London Metropolitan Archives
London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is the home of over 80 individual hospital collections. These include some of London’s most historic health care providers, like Saint Thomas’s Hospital, Lambeth and Friern Hospital (Colney Hatch). We also hold records of many other hospitals, for example workhouse infirmaries, which can be found in our London Poor Law collections. Many other hospital and health care related records can be found in both the Middlesex and London County Council collections.
A list of all of all of our individual hospital collections can be browsed from the LMA Collections Catalogue.
Research Guides are available to help you navigate our hospital and health-care related collections, including -
In the image above a patient is receiving what is thought to be a form of x-ray treatment. For example, Orthovoltage x-ray treatment was being used to treat cancerous tumours around the time this photograph was taken.
Records in the hospital collections
The range of records in each hospital collection varies considerably, but may include admission and discharge records (including medical case books, death and post-mortem registers), hospital board and committee minutes, annual reports, bye-laws and material concerning hospital buildings. Staffing records are sometimes found, together with Matrons’ report books, financial records, correspondence and evidence of local hospital policy. Other clinical records can include records of operations, special treatments or therapies and pathology reports. Records of the work of chaplains and volunteer visitors appear in some collections. The catalogue for each hospital we hold records for lists holdings in detail, for example, for Bexley Hospital.
Management re-organisations are a feature of the way that hospitals in London have been run over time. Because of this some collections contain records from more than one hospital, having been brought together as a hospital group. We also hold records from a number of 20th century health authorities, including North West Thames Regional Health Authority
A highlight of our health care related records is the King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London (The Kings Fund) which charts the development of health care policy and treatment in the capital throughout the 20th century.