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Archives in London and the M25 area

Letter Books, Correspondence and Subject Files

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GOS/8
Held at: Great Ormond Street Hospital Archives
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Full title: Letter Books, Correspondence and Subject Files
Date(s): 1852-2010
Level of description: Sub Fonds
Extent: Approximately 48 metres
Name of creator(s): Great Ormond Street Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

Great Ormond Street Hospital was founded in 1852 by Charles West on its current site in Bloomsbury as the Hospital for Sick Children. It was the first children's hospital in Britain. It became part of the NHS in 1948 and took over the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Sick Children in 1968. It went through several changes of name during this period and adopted its current name in 1994.


Scope and content/abstract:

Great Ormond Street letter books comprising GOS/8/1-97, Letter Books containing copy out-letters of Secretary and Assistant Secretary, 1893-1942; GOS/8/98-100 Letter-Books containing copy out-letters, alphabetical by recipient, 1910-1912; GOS/8/101-150, Incoming correspondence to Secretary (including some copy out-letters), including correspondence with Charles Barry regarding the costs of new building (1894) and the resignations of Mr Lubbock and Dr Gee from the medical staff, the 1909 "Midsummer Fair and Fete" at Olympia in aid of the Hospital, the marriage of the Princess Royal in 1922, the investigation of "pavilion" hospitals prior to purchase of Tadworth Court; (1925); GOS/8/147, 1945 attempts to get signatures for Bombing Book, GOS/8/149 Correspondence, 1947-1948 regarding arrangements for National Health Service takeover from Board of Management.

GOS/8/151-155 Letters and Press Cuttings Albums, 1852-1900; GOS/8/156-157 Volumes of reminiscences and historical memorabilia of the Hospital compiled by Dr F J Poynton, 1930-1941.

GOS/8/158-190, comprising Correspondence and Subject Files, including GOS/8/158, Box-file containing correspondence, memoranda and printed circulars and pamphlets on all aspects of the Hospital's history, 1882-1948; GOS/8/159, File entitled "Hospital History", 1891-1952; GOS/8/160, Box-file, entitled "Medical", containing miscellaneous papers concerning ward management, medical staff, types of illness and medical equipment, 1884-1958; GOS/8/161, File, entitled "Other Hospitals/General Social History", 1887-1944; GOS/8/162 File, "Patients", containing correspondence with former patients or about current patients, 1886-1984*; GOS/8/163, File, "Complaints and Scandals", including complaints about the treatment and death of patients, staff rudeness and alleged incompetence. 1888-1931; GOS/8/166, Box-file, 1900-09, including fund-raising ; GOS/8/167-170 and 174, Correspondence with the King's Fund (King Edward's Hospital Fund for London, formerly the Prince of Wales' Hospital Fund), 1897-1938; GOS/8/171, Correspondence concerning Astor Gift (of new Out-Patients' Department), l902-1906; GOS/8/172/1-26 "Lady Bull" Court-Case, 1910-11*; GOS/8/173, File, "World Wars I and II", including correspondence, reports, press-cuttings and published leaflets on the effects of the two World Wars on the Hospital, With regard to casualty and air-raid arrangements, ambulance supply, alternative uses for the Hospital, and its bomb damage in 1940. Also contains programme of 1923 concert in aid of WWI victims, and letters from conscripted staff-members, 1915-45; GOS/8/176-183 Medical School correspondence files, 1914-1936.

GOS/8/191, Correspondence regarding the distribution of complementary copies of Thomas Twistington-Higgins' Centenary History of the Hospital, 1952; GOS/8/192, Correspondence with the Child Welfare Society, Social Welfare Association, Surgical Aid Society and other hospitals, re proposed Child Bureau and the Special Committee for the Welfare of Poor Children, 1913-1917; GOS/8/193 Correspondence concerning Charles Dickens' support for the Hospital, 1939-1965; GOS/8/194 Correspondence concerning Centenary events at the Hospital, 1952; GOS/8/195, Correspondence concerning London County Council school pupils' education while Hospital patients, 1909-1914*; GOS/8/196 Miscellaneous papers of Arthur Lucas, Hospital Chairman, 1912-1914, including papers of sale of Cromwell House leases and draft Hospital fire regulations.

GOS/8/198, Typescript draft History of the Hospital for Sick Children, 'On the Street Where We Live', by Gordon Piller (former House Governor), circa 1986-1987; GOS/8/200 Typescript history of the Hospital Almoner's Department to 1936 by Janet Salmon, updated to 1955 by Margaret Mayfield; GOS/8/202 Matron's Diary, 1939, with entries to circa 1970; GOS/8/203, Reminiscences of Richard Payne (patient, 1950) by his mother. Written in 1985. (First page missing); GOS/8/204, Piece on Brian Jones, (patient, 1936-1938), including extract from Queen Mary of the Iron Road by Fred Bishop (see also photograph catalogue); GOS/8/205, Letter from Miss Helen Dennis of South Africa re her brother's admission to HSC circa 1898; GOS/8/206, Reminiscences by Mr. J. Tatam of his treatment for pleurisy at the Hospital by Dr Donald Paterson in 1931, 2003.

GOS/8/207, Miscellaneous administrative correspondence, 1966, including on bequest arrangements; GOS/8/208, Correspondence concerning the commemoration of the Hospital's 125th Anniversary, 1977, and the publication for it of a facsimile edition of Dr West's book How to Nurse Sick Children; GOS/8/209, Album of letters and cards received by the Hospital following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997; GOS/8/210, File of press-cuttings and reminiscences from former patient David Eaton, treated at GOSH in 1939 for Pyloric Stenosis; GOS/8/211, File of reminiscences (with digital photograph copies) of John Colley, patient at Tadworth Court, 1934.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

101 Letter books arranged chronologically, 11 albums of correspondence, and 47 archive boxes of loose correspondence and subject files arranged numerically.

Conditions governing access:

All material open, except for those marked with an asterisk, which are closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Open material permitted to be photocopied and photographed at the archivist's discretion.

Finding aids:

Typescript catalogue and a master catalogue are available for consultation in the Archives. A more detailed catalogue for Gos/8 is available on the Archive computer.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Allied Materials

Related material:

GOS/6, Fund-raising material.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Andrea Tanner

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2010

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