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Fairfield, (Josephine) Letitia Denny

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 GC/193
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Fairfield, (Josephine) Letitia Denny
Date(s): 1885-1987
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 boxes, 1 o/s folder
Name of creator(s): Fairfield | Josephine Letitia Denny | 1885-1978 | doctor x Fairfield | Letitia
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Letitia Fairfield (eldest sister of the novelist Rebecca West) qualified in medicine in 1907. She had a distinguished career in public health, as Senior Medical Officer to the London County Council, 1911-1948, and as a medical officer during both world wars, in the Queen Mary's Auxiliary Army Corps and the RAF in World War I, and the RAMC in the Second World War, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Obituaries may be found in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet for 1978 and an Appreciation in Women in Medicine: the newsletter of the Medical Women's Federation no. 10, Apr 1978. Obituaries and memoirs of Dr Fairfield may be found in GC/193/A.19


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Dr. Letitia Fairfield, reflecting her interests in social hygiene, in mental health, in medico-legal matters and criminology, mother and child health and welfare, and as a Roman Catholic convert, as well as her broader political and feminist convictions. There is also some biographical material.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is divided into sections as follows: A. Personal and family B. General correspondence C. Causes and campaigns D. Criminology and medico-legal matters E. Writings and broadcasts.

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:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

This collection was received by the Wellcome Library as a gift from Dr Fairfield's niece, Mrs Alison Selford, between March 1996 and March 1997. An additional few files were received in November 1999 from the Imperial War Museum, comprising items amongst the Museum's Fairfield papers that were not relevant to her war work.

Allied Materials

Related material:

In the Wellcome Library: There is some additional material concerning Dr Fairfield among the archives of the Medical Women's Federation (reference: SA/MWF), and some correspondence between her and C P Blacker among Blacker's papers (PP/CPB).

At other repositories: Further papers of Dr Fairfield, predominantly concerning her service in both World Wars and related topics, are held at the Imperial War Museum (reference: JLDF). The list of these papers may be consulted on application to the Archives and Manuscripts department. Some files for 1911-1948 relating to her work as a Medical Officer for the London County Council may be found among the Public Health Department records now in the London Metropolitan Archives (reference LCC/PH/GEN/3/6-28). Her materials relating to sterilisation under the Third Reich can be found in the Wiener Library.

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:
Feb 2009

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