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British Institute of Radiology

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1970 BIR
Held at: British Institute of Radiology
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Full title: British Institute of Radiology
Date(s): 1896-2001
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: Approximately 220 volumes, 5 files, 30 boxes and 8 vinyl discs.
Name of creator(s): British Association for the Advancement of Radiology and Physiotherapy (BARP) | [1917]-1924
British Institute of Radiology | 1924-1927
British Institute of Radiology incorporated with the Röntgen Society | 1927-


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1917 when the Cambridge University diploma in Medical Radiology and Electrology was proposed there was no medical body to inaugurate and sponsor the teaching in London, so a medical society - the British Association for the Advancement of Radiology and Physiotherapy (BARP) - was formed. It was composed chiefly of medical members of the Röntgen Society and members of the Electro-therapeutic Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.
In 1921, BARP was incorporated, and in 1922, acquired premises at 32 Welbeck St. In 1924 it changed its name to the British Institute of Radiology (BIR). It worked in collaboration with the Röntgen Society whose meetings were held at the same premises, until 1927 when the two societies amalgamated to form The British Institute of Radiology incorporated with the Röntgen Society. The Society of Radiographers (founded in 1920) also became affiliated with the Institute at this time. The BIR received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1958.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) and its predecessors comprising:

minutes of the British Institute of Radiology meetings 1922-1943; Council, 1943-1952; Council and General meetings, 1951-1993; Special General meetings 1934-1960; Medical Committee 1928-1983 ; Museums and Library Committee 1928-1930; Library Committee 1954-1970; Organisation Committee, 1962-1963 ; Physics Committee, 1966-1974; Stanley Melville Memorial Award Committee, 1934-1935; Editorial Committee, 1924-1959; House, Finance and Staff Committee, 1938; Finance Committee, 1939-1944, 1981-1983; Finance and General Purposes Committee 1952-1962; Officers committee, 1977-1994; General Programme Committee, 1959-1992; Developments Committee, 1966; Nuclear Medicine Committee, 1968-1982; Industry Committee, 1928-1981; Radiation Physics Committee 1968-1983; Radiation Protection Committee, 1921-1985; Scientific Committee, 1968-1982; Radiation Hazard Committee papers 1961-1962;

BIR election register, with death dates annotated, 1929-1939; BIR list of members, 1926; Lists of members, 1954-1989; printed copies of BIR Yearbook and list of members, 1930-1950; printed copies of Handbook of the BIR, 1953-1966; proof copy of Handbook of the BIR, 1978 (1 file); BIR Handbook and list of members, 1991;

visitors books, 1958-1998;

papers relating to the Institute's relocation to premises at 36 Portland Place, London, including, papers relating to the appeal for funds, Lord Penny's broadcast, donors and covenants, tender documents, removal plans, architect plans, opening by the Queen, 1977-1984; letters relating to the purchase of the lease for the Welbeck St premises 1922-1924; papers relating to the Special General Meeting, 1953-1954;

BIR memorandum of objects, officers and council, 1925; articles of association, of the BIR incorporated with the Röntgen Society, 1929; royal charter, 1958; BIR Byelaws, 1959; memorandum and articles of the Society of Radiographers, 1920;

papers relating to arrangements and programme BIR Annual Congress 1954-2001; files relating to the International Congress, London 1950, Copenhagen, 1953, Munich, 1969; correspondence relating to the Royal Charter, 1959; papers relating to centenary of X-ray, 1990-1996; papers relating to amalgamation with other radiological and medical associations, 1950-1951;

papers relating to the Royal College of Radiologists' George Simon lecture, 1970s;papers relating to Sugden and Poole's experiments on oxygen tension (undated); offprints and articles by various authors, 1917-1970s;

photocopies of indexes to volumes of Patent Specifications particular to Radiology (original volumes are no longer held by the BIR), 1925-[1975]; files relating to Symposia and meetings papers; Symposium Ossium cash books, 1967-1968;

collection of BIR advertisements from the British Journal of Radiology, 1920-1994;

financial records of the BIR including Register of Seals, 1929-1978; Charities Act 1960 income tax exemptions; List of securities 1926; Detailed balance sheets, 1922-1960 (incomplete); papers relating to BIR voluntary liquidation, 1960; and Stocks and shares - award funds, [1920s];

radiology related material held by the BIR including miscellaneous financial ledger, 1904-1915; Trade catalogues for radiology equipment from various companies, [1930s-1960s]; Vinyl disc recordings (78 RPM) of a lecture given by Lord Rutherford at Goettingen on 14 Dec 1931 (8 discs); Index to transparencies illustration normal subject technique 'Radiology - a routine normal subject technique';

minutes and papers of the Radiology History Committee (now the Radiology History and Heritage Charitable Trust), 1990-1995; minutes, correspondence, and papers of the British Radiation Protection Association, 1984-1991; minutes of the International Congress of Radiology Provisional Committee, Organising Committee, and Grand Committee, 1924-1925; attendance book, 1925;

papers of F G Spear relating to British Radiation Martyrs -presented 1961; copies of letters to and from William Roentgen, 1896-1905; telegram from Lord Kelvin, 1896; news cuttings relating to radium, 1903-1904; volumes of radiographs including W A Coldwell's collection of albums of radiographs 1901-[1918] ; Albums of radiographs, Vol 1, [1896-1898] and Vol 2 [1915]; and album of x-ray plates, (undated).

photograph albums including BIR 22nd Annual Congress, 1961; BIR album compiled by Dr F Gordon Spear, President 1961-1962 [1940s-1960s]; BIR technical exhibition 1967, and 1964; Farewell to No 32 [Welbeck St, 1981]; BIR Portland Place, 1980s; Official opening [of Portland Place premises, 1982]; album of photographs of x-ray tubes, presented by the Physics Department, The City University, 1976; and other photographs 1990-1993;

glass plate negatives collection including images of Röntgen tubes [1879-1911]; X-ray tubes (37 slides) part of collection of slides listed in the 1966 BIR Handbook; large glass plate negatives of Lord Salisbury's hand, 1896; Crooke's hand; fish-lemon sole; A J Balfour's hand 1896; and Lord Kelvin's hand 1896;

x-ray plates, including Lord Salisbury's hand, 1896; and early x-ray glass slides (undated);

hospital records including Guy's Hospital, London, Radiographic Day Book, Edward W H Shenton, 1900; Hospital for Consumption, Brompton, X-ray register, 1914-1915; Middlesex Hospital radium requisition book (carbon copies), Apr 1963;

printed copy of Silvanus Phillips Thompson, his life and letters, J S and H G Thompson, T Fisher Unwin, London 1920 (containing some photos and loose papers relating to Thompson); copy of thesis 'Adult Bronchiectases', Dr Barclay, 1930.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

By appointment only. Contact the Information Centre Manager, British Institute of Radiology, 36 Portland Place, London W1B 1AT

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies available at the discretion of the Archivist

Finding aids:

The collection is uncatalogued

Archival Information

Archival history:

Created and held in situ by the Institute.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Papers of F G Spear relating to the British Radiation Martyrs were presented in 1961.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The British Institute of Radiology also holds material relating to the Rontgen Society, and the National Radium Commission

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; British Institute of Radiology Handbook, 1962. Compiled by Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey 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:
September 2003

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