AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Thomas, Dr K Bryn

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2127 THOMAS, K B
Held at: Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Thomas, Dr K Bryn
Date(s): 1942-1976
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3.5 boxes
Name of creator(s): Thomas | Kenneth Bryn | 1915-1978 | anaesthetist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Sutton, 1915; attended Swansea Grammar School from c1930; began pre-clinical medical studies at Swansea University College; entered King's College London, 1933; completed his medical education, which included clinical work at Charing Cross Hospital, and qualified as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, 1939; soon after the outbreak of World War Two (1939-1945), enrolled in the Emergency Medical Service and served at Great Ormond Street Hospital; volunteered for war service with the Royal Air Force, 1940; posted to Hullavington and subsequently to RAF Hospital Bridgnorth, Shropshire, where he was designated a specialist anaesthetist; Diploma in Anaesthetics, 1941; posted to Singapore, 1945; demobilised, 1946; joined the anaesthetic staff at Ashford Hospital, Middlesex; Consultant Anaesthetist to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and the Reading Group Hospitals, 1947-1978; a medical historian with a particular interest in the history of anaesthesia; Honorary Librarian of the Reading Pathological Society, 1949-1976; elected to the Fellowship of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of England, 1954; member of the Osler Club of London, 1956, and President, 1969; Council member of the Royal Society of Medicine Section of the History of Medicine, 1957, Secretary, 1959-1972, and President, 1970-1972; appointed Curator of the Charles King Collection of Historical Anaesthetic Apparatus of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, 1966; organised the Historical Section of the 4th International Congress of Anaesthiologists in London, 1968; appointed Assistant Curator of the Hunterian Society, 1971; President of the British Society for the History of Medicine, 1972-1974; member of Council of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, 1972-1974; elected to the Royal Society of Medicine Section of Anaesthetics Council, 1974; died, 1978. Publications include: James Douglas of the Pouch and his pupil William Hunter (Pitman Medical Publishing Co, London, 1964); Curare: its history and usage (Pitman Medical Publishing Co, London, 1964); 'The A Charles King Collection of early anaesthetic apparatus', Anaesthesia, vol xxv, no 4 (Oct 1970); The development of anaesthetic apparatus: a history based on the Charles King collection of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (published for the Association by Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 1975).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1942-1976 (some undated), of Dr K Bryn Thomas, comprising his files and notebooks on the history of anaesthesia, including drugs, techniques, and eminent practitioners, containing offprints, cuttings and copies from publications on anaesthesia, including periodicals, monographs, catalogues of medical equipment, and obituaries of anaesthetists, also including typescripts, copy photographs and diagrams, notes, and miscellaneous correspondence of K Bryn Thomas on the subject, the original sources dating from the 1840s to the 1940s, including pictures of eminent anaesthetists and anaesthetic apparatus; file on the King Collection, 1968-1976, containing miscellaneous letters on the history of anaesthesia, copies of photographs and diagrams of anaesthetic apparatus and eminent anaesthetists, and copies (from originals dating from between 1862 and 1967) of articles, including professional matters and obituaries of anaesthetists, and catalogues of medical apparatus; files containing correspondence and papers, 1969-1971, on Thomas's article on the King Collection for the journal Anaesthesia, including a typescript inventory of the collection; files containing correspondence and related papers, largely dating from 1974, concerning production of Thomas's The development of anaesthetic apparatus, including acknowledgements for reproduction of illustrations, and typescript index; file containing typescript and printed papers, including some catalogues, on collections of anaesthetic apparatus at St Thomas's Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons, London, the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Belfast, and in Australia; file of papers relating to the history of anaesthesia including material accumulated by Sir Robert Macintosh which passed to K Bryn Thomas, relating particularly to John Snow and Joseph Clover, and including articles, typescripts, notes, photographs of apparatus, and copies of earlier sources, dating from the 1840s to the 1910s, including letters and papers of eminent anaesthetists, also including a few miscellaneous letters, 1939-1949, addressed to Sir Robert Macintosh, and a letter from Sir Robert Macintosh to K Bryn Thomas, 1975, relating to The development of anaesthetic apparatus.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mainly English, some French and German

System of arrangement:

As received.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment with the Archivist only, and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Records are generally open unless access would contravene the Act.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies of material can be supplied, subject to copyright restrictions and suitability of the item for photocopying.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland holds its own records and also records deposited by various anaesthetists.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: H R Rollin, 'Kenneth Bryn Thomas - An Appreciation', The History of Anaesthesia Society Proceedings, vol 7 (1990), pp 22-5; British Library OPAC.

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:
Jun 2002

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"