Explore our holdings

St George's Archives & Special Collections hold material relating to the history and heritage of St George's, University of London and the closely intertwined history of St George's Hospital.

Explore our wide-ranging collections here:

Governance and administration

This collection includes minute books of the various medical school boards, committees and councils from 1862, as well as various charters, deeds and building plans relating to both the original site of St George's at Hyde Park Corner and its current site in Tooting. They show how the school and medical education in general developed and provide evidence of important or contentious issues, such as the admission of women into the medical school.

Student records

Student admission registers, records cards, photographs, certificates, tickets and registers of prizes record the alumni of St George's since 1752. Although the medical school was not formally established until 1835, the surgeons and physicians of St George's Hospital were permitted to have pupils since the establishment of the hospital in 1733.

The records provide evidence of the first female students enrolled at St George's during the First World War in 1915 and following the Second World War in 1945. Some of our alumni include John Hunter (1728-1793), Edward Jenner (1749-1823), who pioneered the smallpox vaccine, Henry Gray (1827-1861) of Gray's Anatomy, Assaad Y. Kayat (1811-?), Patrick Manson (1844-1922), the founder of the field of tropical medicine, and Kathryn Hamill Cohen (1905-1960).

Post mortem records

St George's archives hold the longest continuous run of post mortem records in the UK. These records, dating from 1841-1946, have recently been conserved and digitised, and are currently being catalogued as part of a Wellcome-funded project, 'Opening up the Body'. This collection is a rich source of information regarding diseases and causes of death in the 19th and early 20th century London, charting outbreaks of diseases such as the deadly cholera epidemic in Soho in 1854 or the influenza epidemics in 1890 and 1918, and recording instances of rarer conditions such as leprosy and hysteria. This is also a valuable resource for those interested in social history and genealogy, as the case notes record, sometimes in considerable detail, the lives of the patients. The casebooks also reveal issues around consent and the changing attitudes towards death, and provide a source for those studying medical education and institutional practices.

Records of the Pathological Museum

The archives hold the historical catalogues of St George's Pathology Museum. The museum holds pathological specimens, many obtained from post mortem examinations, which frequently make reference to specimens. As part of the post mortem project, we are attempting to identify historical specimens mentioned in the volumes and still held at the museum.

Research

Records relating to research institutes and teaching at St George's, including Population Health Research Institute.

Clubs and societies

Records relating to various clubs and societies, including St George's Medical and Surgical Society (1832-1895), St George's Hospital Hunterian Society, St George's Hospital Boat Club, Rugby Club and Corner Whist Club.

Publications

Publications by St George's, including annual reports (1866-1879), St George's Hospital and Medical School Gazettes (1892-1996), prospectuses, yearbooks and newsletters. They provide an alternative, often less official and less formal window to life at St George's, and include invaluable history not available elsewhere.

Rare books

There are a number of books which came from the original medical school library at Hyde Park Corner in central London, including Edward Jenner's 'Causes and Effects of Variolae Vaccinae' (1798), John Hunter's 'Anatomical Description of the Human Gravid Uterus' (1794) and Erasmus Darwin's 'Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life' (1801).

Artefacts

The archives are home to a number of artefacts collected by the hospital and medical school over the years. This collection includes surgical instruments, scientific equipment, medals, trophies, and other objects.

Artworks and photographs

St George's Archives and Special Collections hold a large collection of photographic material depicting events and ceremonies, buildings, students, medical staff, nurses and other individuals. Many of the photographs relate to related or associated hospitals, such as Atkinson Morley Hospital or Victoria Hospital for Women and Children. Some of the busts and paintings at St George's are featured at Art UK.

Personal papers

Personal papers held in the archives include papers of Professor Hamid Ghodse and Professor Harold Lambert.

Audio-visual material

Audio-visual material held in the archives include oral histories conducted in 1989-1990, including interviews of Wylie McKissock, Harold Lambert and Norah Schuster.

Digital material

Archives are increasingly digital in format, and St George's archives is working towards being able to preserve digital archives alongside archives in other formats. This includes a collaborative project to preserve material created by St George's relating to COVID-19 pandemic.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Some collections relating to the history of St George's and its alumni are held elsewhere.

The majority of the collections relating to St George's Hospital and associated hospitals were transferred to the London Metropolitan Archives. This material includes minutes of the Board of Governors of St George's Hospital (1733-1948) and patient case books (1827-1840, 1916-1917):

* London Metropolitan Archives. Saint George's Hospital, 1733-1998. H68/SG.

The Archives of the Royal College of Surgeons holds various archives relating to the medical school or people associated with St George's; the collection 'Archives of St George's Hospital Medical School' was transferred to the Royal Society of Surgeons from St George's. These include lecture notes, medical casebooks and correspondence by John Hunter, Benjamin Brodie, Timothy Holmes, Walter Fedde Fedden, Charles Slater and Henry Vandyke Carter:

* Royal College of Surgeons, London. Archives of St George's Hospital Medical School, 1700-1933. MS0470
* Royal College of Surgeons, London. Lectures and case books of Timothy Holmes, 1850-1854. MS0384
* Royal College of Surgeons, London. Carter, Henry Vandyke (1831-1897),1853-1855. MS0134

The Archives of the Royal Society of Physicians holds material relating to people associated with St George's, including case notes by Matthew Baillie, a St George's Hospital Pharmacopoeia, pathological drawings by Frederick George Dawtrey Drewitt as well as correspondence by various physicians:

* Royal College of Physicians of London. Drewitt, Frederick George Dawtrey (1848-1942). Pathological drawings of cases admitted to St. George's Hospital, 1876-1878 and n.d. MS697/88-101
* Royal College of Physicians of London. Correspondence, death certificates etc. re obtaining bodies for the teaching of anatomy, 1875-1881. MS2003/35/77-99

Wellcome Collection hold material relating to St George's Hospital and to people associated with St George's, including journal and letters of Henry Vandyke Carter:

* Wellcome Collection. Carter, Henry Vandyke (1831-1897), Deputy Surgeon-General, Indian Medical Service. MSS.5809-5826
* Wellcome Collection. Two receipts recording payments towards the support of the hospital, 1760-1844. MS.7903/3-4
* Wellcome Collection. Printed and illustrated ticket entering Thomas Mitchell as a student at St George's Hospital, London, signed by various medical figures including the anatomist John Hunter (1728-1793), 1786. MS.7847/15
* Wellcome Collection. Casebook for which Heywood Smith was awarded the prize for Clinical Surgery, 1863. MS.4635
* Wellcome Collection. Correspondence between hospital’s Hunterian Society and Eugenics Society, 1935. SA/EUG/D.102