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Institute of Psychiatry Camberwell Psychiatric Case Register Records

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 KCLCA IOP/CAM
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: Institute of Psychiatry Camberwell Psychiatric Case Register Records
Date(s): [1965-1995]
Level of description: Sub-fonds of King's College London Archives
Extent: 74 boxes
Name of creator(s): Institute of Psychiatry and Medical Research Council
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Camberwell Register was set up in 1964 by the Medical Research Council Social Psychiatry Unit led by Dr Lorna Wing, based at the Institute of Psychiatry, now part of King's College London. It began operation in January 1965. Its purpose was to provide an in-depth and cumulative source of data on the users of psychiatric services in a defined geographical area to test various hypotheses concerning the influence of social factors on the onset, course and outcome of psychiatric disorders. Camberwell was chosen as a testing ground because of the vicinity of the Maudsley and Bethlem Royal Hospitals, and it constituted one of a number of such registers to be compiled at this time in the United Kingdom and internationally, most notably at Aberdeen, Cardiff, Worcester, Nottingham and Northampton. It measured contact and monitored changes in the uptake of services and collected social and clinical information on sufferers and included both in-patients and out-patients. Data was initially only accumulated in hard-copy but was later also transferred to temporary electronic storage based at the University of London Computer Centre. Analysis programs were written to provide year by year statistics on the progress of the project. The register evaluated the effectiveness of competing community-based and hospital-based rehabilitation, the value of specialised psychotherapy and long term support, and provided invaluable statistics on the demography, socio-economic breakdown and distribution of the mentally ill, their support and care. The project ended in 1984 but follow-up data has accrued since then.


Scope and content/abstract:

The records of the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry Camberwell Register comprise record and index cards of psychiatric patients, data collection parameters and instruction literature, and related notes and correspondence, [1965-1985]. Half the collection in volume terms consists of record cards of patients containing personal information, dates and details of admission, diagnosis and treatment, with some background comments (boxes 1-31). These are arranged in a numerical sequence that correlates roughly to the date upon which a new patient entered the study. The vast majority of these date from the 1970s. An alphabetical index card system and index book are available to trace the names of individual patients (boxes 32-43). The remainder of the collection (boxes 44-74) comprises questionnaires of some psychiatric patients engaged in the study [1964-1985]; Umatic and VHS video tapes of interviews with psychiatric patients and sufferers of depression, with some interviews with triplet children, 1979-1992; copies of the death certificates of psychiatric patients in the study, [1975-1995]; notes, correspondence, user manuals and trial information relating to the collection of data in the project, including computer databases and user manuals of programs associated with the Register, [1964-1985]; yearly progress reports of the project, 1964-1968; census and population statistics of the Camberwell study area, including street names and indexes, [1964-1985]; data and published material on similar epidemiological studies, principally at Worcester and Cardiff, 1970-1985; secondary literature on the methodology of case registers, 1968-1981.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The record cards were originally stored in a Rotadex system with index cards filed separately. The record cards are now boxed in numerical order according to a serial number assigned to each patient.

Conditions governing access:

Medical records are closed for 100 years but access may be granted to researchers in certain circumstances, and upon signature of a special undertaking, providing such research if for purely statistical purposes and published data is anonymised such as to prevent the identification of named individuals or their descendants.

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 Services.

Finding aids:

Online detailed list.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, 2001

Allied Materials

Related material:

King's College London Institute of Psychiatry SCAN Records (Ref: KCLCA IOP/SCAN).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

John Kenneth Wing and Anthea Hailey, Evaluating a community psychiatric service: The Camberwell Register, 1964-1971 (London, 1972); Lorna Wing, Christine Bramley, Anthea Hailey and John Kenneth Wing, 'Camberwell Cumulative Psychiatric Case Register', Social Psychiatry, Vol. 3, No. 3 (1968); Anthea Hailey, 'The chronic mental hospital population: a six-year follow-up study', British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 27 (1973); idem., 'The new chronic psychiatric population', British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 28 (1974).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: John Kenneth Wing and Anthea Hailey, Evaluating a community psychiatric service: The Camberwell Register, 1964-1971 (London, 1972). Entry compiled by Geoff Browell 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:
April 2002

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