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British Health Care Arts Centre

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 SA/BHC
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: British Health Care Arts Centre
Date(s): 1984-1993
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 6 boxes
Name of creator(s): British Health Care Arts Centre
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Dr Hugh Baron was keen to establish a society for the promotion of arts in hospital, and he and other interested parties proposed to set up a centre for this. A Steering Committee was established. Originally, negotiations were with Manchester Polytechnic funded by the Carnegie Trust (but they pulled out when staff were being appointed, as it was counter to their remit). However, the Committee found itself unable to agree on a Director, and plans to set up the centre in Manchester were scrapped. This led to some of the Committee members (notably Peter Senior, who applied for the post of Director) breaking away. Eventually, Senior established a rival institution in Manchester (Arts for Health. See D.1) and the British Health Care Arts Centre based itself in Dundee at the Duncan of Jordanstane Art College, under the Directorship of Malcom Miles. It was financed through donations from charitable trusts and foundations.

In 1993, through financial instability, the Centre was wound up. However, the English venture merged with the arts project at the United Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (at Leeds General Infirmary), whilst the Scottish arm remained in Dundee. The two institutions were separate in terms of finance and management but still retained collaborative links.

The aims of the BHCAC were: (a) to improve the environment in all health care buildings, by encouraging the development of the arts in these buildings through the provision of an advice and consultancy service, both to the health authorities and to arts organisations and projects working with the Health Service, and (b) to initiate studies and arts in health care. Every year, the BHCAC awarded the Astra Award funded by Astra Pharmaceuticals.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence between Dr J.H. Baron and others involved in the British Health Care Arts Centre, and other related papers, 1984-1993.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

No attempt has been made by the archivist to reorganise the papers; although files and minutes within files have been rearranged in chronological order. The collection is divided into sections as follows:
A Hospital Arts [Society] Linda Moss
B Health Care Arts
C British Health Care Arts Centre
D Committees
E Correspondence
F Donors
G Astra Arts Awards
H Booklets

Conditions governing access:

Access restricted: Peter Senior is not to be allowed to consult this collection. For all other readers 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:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers were given to the Wellcome Library by Dr Hugh Baron in July 1996. They formed part of a larger group of papers that has been divided into four separate collections: GC/199 (Dr J H Baron), GC/241 (Balsalazide), SA/PRO (The Prout Club) and SA/BHC (British Health Care Arts Centre).

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 2009

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