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Association of County Medical Officers of Health and the County Medical Officers Group of the Society of Medical Officers of Health

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 SA/CMO
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Association of County Medical Officers of Health and the County Medical Officers Group of the Society of Medical Officers of Health
Date(s): 1902-1974
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 59 boxes
Name of creator(s): Association of County Medical Officers of Health
Society of Medical Officers of Health, County Medical Officers Group
County Councils Association
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The initial meeting of County Medical Officers of Health took place in Birmingham on 31st October 1902 at the instigation of Dr. Robert Kaye. Periodic meetings were held for several years after this until 1911, when the Conference of County Medical Officers of Health was placed on a more formal basis with the drawing up of a constitution. By then 40 English and 8 Welsh counties were represented, officers and an executive committee were appointed, an annual subscription introduced and three meetings held per year. Dr Kaye was secretary until 1925 when he became the Association's first President. Subsequent Secretaries were: Dr. Holden, 1925-1934, Dr. Ruddock West, 1934-1954, Dr. G. Ramage, 1954-1972, and Dr. P C Moore, 1972-1974.

In 1945 it was agreed that the Association should also be constituted as the County Medical Officers' Group of the Society of Medical Officers of Health, which it did while retaining its existing identity as an Association, in 1946. Joint General meetings were held until 1956 when separate Group and Association meetings were held and in 1962 separate constitutions for Group and Association were drawn up and approved. There was always a joint Executive Committee.

The Association had representatives and advisors on many other bodies medical and non-medical, including the Society of Medical Officers of Health, the British Medical Association, and the County Councils Association. The Association was wound up in 1974 as a result of local government reorganisation.


Scope and content/abstract:

These records contain material dealing with all aspects of County Medical Officers' work. The broad categories are: minutes, 1902-1907 and 1918-1974; correspondence, 1939-1974; plus a few photographs and miscellaneous items, 1905-1972. Among the papers are several boxes of records generated by Dr Ramage's role as Association of County Medical Officers of Health representative on the Public Health and Housing (subsequently Health and Welfare) Committee of the County Councils Association. These consist of minutes and other circulated papers and subject files of correspondence, etc. As these records are not duplicated in the holdings of the Association of County Councils (formerly the County Councils Association) they have been retained as of considerable interest on local government health matters.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged into sections as follows:
A Minutes, 1902-1974 [incomplete]
B Miscellaneous items, 1905-1972
C Correspondence, 1939-1973
D County Councils Association: Public Health and Housing/Health and Welfare Committee; circulated papers and correspondence, 1959-1972

The existing arrangement of the records has been retained as far as possible, although in some cases it has been necessary to break down files into small units for ease of handling. Notes on certain idiosyncracies of organisation of correspondence appear at the relevant places in the catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records are held at the Wellcome Library on deposit. They were received in two main transactions. Firstly, in 1974 an incomplete set of minutes of the Association (which was about to become defunct) was placed in the Wellcome Institute, as it then was, by Dr P C Moore, its Secretary. In October 1980 these minutes were transferred to the recently-formed department handling twentieth-century archives and given the Accession number 72.

Secondly, in 1979 enquiries were made of Dr G Ramage (former Secretary) concerning the missing volumes of minutes; this led to the transfer of a quantity of minutes, correspondence, etc, of the Association which had been placed in the Staffordshire Record Office among Dr. Ramage's papers as County Medical Officer (Acc no 25). Subsequently to these two main accessions, Dr. Ramage sent a few photographs and other items of historical interest to the Library in September 1981 (Acc no 104).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2008

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