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Archives in London and the M25 area

Physical Society of Guy's Hospital

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 G/S4
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: Physical Society of Guy's Hospital
Date(s): 1775-1851
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
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Extent: 16 volumes; 8 folders
Name of creator(s): Physical Society of Guy's Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Physical Society of Guy's Hospital was founded in 1771, and London's first medical society. It was not initially associated with Guy's Hospital, but met in the theatre of Dr Lowder in Southwark, a private teacher of midwifery as well as lecturer at St Thomas's and Guy's Hospitals. The first meeting was held at Guy's Hospital between 1780 and 1782. The society met weekly from October to May to hear and discuss a dissertation and exchange medical news and cases. At the early meetings the chairman was usually Dr Haighton, Lecturer in Physiology and Midwifery at St Thomas's and Guy's Hospitals. The society was open to physicians, surgeons, apothecaries and pupils, and members largely comprised the officers of the Guy's and Thomas's Hospitals and practitioners in the area. On the establishment of other medical societies in London its popularity declined, and the society closed in 1852.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Physical Society of Guy's Hospital, 1775-1851, comprising minutes of weekly meetings, 1775-1825, 1835-1851, including discussions of the papers presented to the society and lists of members; laws of the Society, 1775-1778; case reports on patients, presented to society meetings by members, 1818-1825; volumes of dissertations and essays presented to society meetings, [1799], [1808-1809], 1826, on a wide range of subjects, including small-pox, death by drowning and hanging, dysentery, diabetes and ulcers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogues are available in the reading room of the College Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Minutes of the Physical Society were discovered in 1896 in a room next to the chapel by Mr Bryant.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Guy's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Catalogue of the Society's library, [1817-1829], 1850, held by the Special Collections of King's College London Library.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984); 'The Library of the Guy's Hospital Physical Society' Andrew Baster in Guy's Hospital Gazette, 1984. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

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:
March 2001; revised 2002

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