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Montage of three nurses. All images © Wellcome Library, London. References: L0010490, L0018470, L0010789. Hospital Records Database
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About

The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine

A nurse at an isolation hospital.
                  © Wellcome Library, London. Reference: L0030744

A nurse at an isolation hospital.
© Wellcome Library, London. Reference: L0030744

The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine preserves the record of medicine past and present to foster understanding of medicine, its history and its impact in society. It is one of the world's greatest collections of books, manuscripts, pictures and films around the meaning and history of medicine, from the earliest times to the present day. We are freely open to the public without appointment and provide a wide range of enquiry services: for further information see library.wellcome.ac.uk.

If you've admired the images used in this database, you can find them and many more in Wellcome Images. Wellcome Images is the world's leading source of images on the history of medicine, modern biomedical science and clinical medicine and includes many interesting historical images.

The Hospital Records Database

The information in this database has been obtained mainly from questionnaires completed by local authority record offices, supplemented by further research. A small number of hospitals which maintain their own archives have been included, but coverage of records still held by hospitals is limited.

The information is constantly being updated, but this can be difficult in cases when hospitals close and information on the closure and the fate of records is not supplied.

Some hospital records are subject to closure periods, for example, access is not usually granted to the records of individual patients less than 100 years old, except via a doctor or social worker. It is always advisable to contact the archivist at the relevant repository before you visit.

If you have an enquiry about the records of specific hospitals, you should contact the relevant repository directly. If you require further or more up to date information about the repositories, please see the ARCHON Directory. While some links will be found to online catalogues of hospital records on Access to Archives (A2A), many more catalogues will be found by searching A2A directly.

Voluntary Hospitals Database

Users may like to continue their research by consulting the Voluntary Hospitals Database, maintained by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This website gives access to statistical data on beds, patients, income and expenditure from voluntary hospitals in Britain and Ireland between the 1890s and 1940s.

Contact information

Please contact the Wellcome Library if you require further advice on the content of the Hospital Records Database or if you wish to notify us of any errors in the data.