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Archives in London and the M25 area

London Hospital Medical College and its Dental School

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0387 MC
Held at: Barts Health NHS Trust Archives (Royal London Hospital Archives)
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Full title: London Hospital Medical College and its Dental School
Date(s): 1752-1996
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
View subfonds/series records
Extent: 80 linear metres
Name of creator(s): London Hospital Medical College
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London Hospital Medical College was established by the efforts of William Blizard and Dr James Maddocks, who in 1783 proposed to the Hospital House Committee that a proper medical school should be established in connection with the London Hospital. At this time, the training of a physician or surgeon consisted of two elements; the practical, which meant "walking the wards" of a hospital, as the pupil of a member of the staff, and the theoretical, which consisted of lectures on a number of subjects. Lectures were normally given by individual physicians or surgeons, either in their own premises, or in private medical schools. The Medical College was to enable students to receive practical and theoretical training at the same place, organised along the lines of a University. The Committee allowed Blizard and Maddocks a piece of land at the east end of the hospital on which to build a lecture theatre and museum. The Hospital made no financial contribution, as the Committee did not feel that medical education should be funded by hospital finances, nor would it allow the lecturers' private pupils into the wards. The new building was opened in October 1785.

From its opening in 1785 until 1831, the College appears to have been run by the physicians and surgeons in an informal manner, probably largely under the influence of Blizard. In 1831 the medical practitioners teaching in the College formed themselves into an association of "Lecturers and Teachers of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy and other Sciences connected therewith at the Theatre attached to the London Hospital", which became the Medical Council of the London Hospital School in 1847. The old premises were now proving inadequate and in 1854 the Hospital Governors agreed to erect a new college building. The building housed two large lecture theatres, two museums, a library, dissecting room and two smaller lecture rooms. In the resultant administrative changes, the Medical and Surgical Officers of the Hospital took over the management of the College from the Medical Council, as the London Hospital College Council. In practice, the Medical Council and the College Council consisted of the same people. The management of the College was in the hands of the College Council (called, by 1868, the Medical Council of the London Hospital School) from 1855 to 1876. In 1876, after several years of negotiation, the House Committee of the Hospital took a hand in the administration and regular financial support of the College. Management was given over to a College Board consisting of nine members of the House Committee and six of the Medical Council. In 1879, at the end of a three year trial period and further negotiation, a new College Board was formed, consisting of six members from the House Committee and six from the Medical Council. In 1900 the College became a School of the University of London, although this change made no real difference to its administrative arrangements.

The Dental School of the London Hospital Medical College opened in 1911 to provide specialised treatment to patients and training and research opportunities. Surgeon Dentists had been appointed by the Hospital from 1857, and a Dental Department established. William Wright, Dean of the Medical College, was instrumental in the founding of the Dental School supported by the Dental Surgeon to the Hospital, Francis Farmer. It was managed by the Dental Council, which developed from the Dental School Committee formed in 1911. The Dental Council became known as the London Hospital Dental Board from 1913 to 1921, and from 1922 onwards the Dental Council. The Dental Education Committee was established by resolution of the College Board in March 1945. Originally accommodated in the Hospital's Out-Patients Department, the Dental School moved to new premises in Stepney Way in 1965.

With the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948, the College Board was abolished. The overall management of the Medical College passed to a Council of Governors and its standing Committee which was, in effect, the continuation of the Finance Committee of the College Board. Education matters were the concern of the Academic Board. In 1989 the pre-clinical teaching of the London Hospital Medical College merged with that of St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School as the Central and East London Confederation (CELC). It was re-sited at the Basic Medical Sciences Building at Queen Mary & Westfield College, Mile End. The Hospital was granted a royal title in 1990 and the College became known as the Royal London Hospital Medical College. Following the recommendations of the Tomlinson Report (1992) and the governmental response to it (Making London Better, 1993), the medical colleges of the Royal London and St Bartholomew's hospitals were united with Queen Mary & Westfield College, in December 1995. The resulting institution became known as St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry.


Scope and content/abstract:

Administrative records, records of the Anatomy Department, Students' Club records, title Deeds, financial records, records of the Department of Forensic Medicine, the London Hospital Students Hostel records, records of the Library, Neonatal Research Unit records, photographs, records of the Photographic Department, records of the Physiological Laboratory, records of the Pathological Museum, plans of College buildings, student records, records of the London Hospital Clubs Union and miscellaneous records.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See Scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Some material is restricted. Please contact the repository in the first instance.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copying and digitisation services are available for unrestricted material. Researchers should contact the repository in the first instance.

Finding aids:

See 'Detailed catalogue' link above.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Medical College began to transfer its archives to the Royal London Hospital Archives from 1986.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Originally compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Updated by Clare Button, Archivist, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July 2001, updated April 2020.

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