Manuscripts and Special Collections

Health Resources introduction

Illustration of a skeleton with caption 'I am fearfully and wonderfully made!', from the Briggs Collection

The University of Nottingham holds many materials which are relevant to aspects of the history of health and medical treatment. These range from private papers containing accounts of illness and early remedies, to archives of local hospitals, and published works about the body, disease and health provision.

The University of Nottingham Medical School was established in 1970. Nottingham General Hospital was one of the local hospitals which acquired teaching status.

In 1975, Nottingham University Library's Manuscripts Department gave advice on the preservation of the early records of Nottingham General Hospital. From these informal beginnings, the Department became involved with the records management of all the hospitals within the Nottinghamshire Area Health Authority (Teaching) South Nottingham District.

The functions of most of these hospitals were eventually taken over by the new University Teaching Hospital (Queen's Medical Centre), which opened to in-patients in 1978. The relationship was formalised in 1979 when the Lord Chancellor made the Department a place of deposit for local hospital records, under the provisions of the Public Records Act 1958 s.4.


When Nottingham General Hospital closed in 1992, appeals were made for individuals who had worked at the hospital to donate material relating to their working lives. These small collections complement the major hospitals collections. Papers collected by medical professionals working elsewhere have been acquired by the Department at various times, and provide researchers with resources for studying health-related issues in a wider context. 

Many of the doctors working in Nottingham hospitals were members of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society. Substantial parts of the society's library of historical books were bought by The University of Nottingham in 1971 and 1973. Manuscript material from the Society was acquired from 1996 onwards. The Medico-Chirurgical Society library volumes are complemented by the University's special collection of Medical Rare Books.

These webpages (listed in the left-hand menu) provide an introduction to the collections held by the Manuscripts and Special Collections section, and a general overview of the history of healthcare in Nottingham from the late eighteenth century onwards.


Next page: Collections at Nottingham


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651