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SAUNDERS, Dame Cicely (1918-2005)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 KCLCA K/PP 149
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: SAUNDERS, Dame Cicely (1918-2005)
Date(s): [1963]-2002
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 108 archive and larger boxes, outsize album and certificate, 25.2 metres of books
Name of creator(s): Saunders | Dame | Cicely Mary Strode | 1918-2005 | founder of the modern hospice movement


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1918; educated at Roedean school and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St Anne's College, Oxford; left early to study nursing at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School, Nightingale School of Nursing, from 1941 and qualified as a State Registered Nurse, 1944; returned to Oxford and was awarded a War degree; qualified as a lady almoner (medical social worker), 1947; meeting with dying Polish cancer patient, David Tasma, helped convince her of the need for more advanced palliative care in modern medicine and the experience also had a profound personal effect, heping to set her on a new career path, including retraining as a doctor to help the terminally and chronically ill; began voluntary work at St Luke's Hospital for the dying in Bayswater, London; qualified as a doctor after training at St Thomas' Hospital, 1951-1957; appointed a research fellow studying pain management at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, at St Joseph's Sisters of Charity in their home for the dying in Hackney, 1958-1965, she continued her research to improve the control of pain in terminally ill patients - the topic of her research fellowship. She accumulated over 1000 case records there, and a large collection of colour slide photos that she used to great effect in her lectures; established St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, 1967, which set the standard for modern hospices across the world and combined pain management with a holistic appreciation of the importance of the spiritual well-being of the patient in the treatment of the dying; Medical Director of the Hospice, 1967-1985, and President from 2000; recipient of numerous honorary awards, fellowships and honours including fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons and Royal College of Nursing, award of the Order of Merit, 1989, and numerous honorary degrees; died, 2005.
Publications: notably including Care of the dying (1960); Living with dying (1983); Beyond the horizon (1990); ed The management of terminal disease (1978).


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript notes by Dame Cicely Saunders for lectures, seminars and conferences, with supporting papers, [1967-2002]; administrative records and statistcs relating to St Christpher's Hospice, travel and appointment diaries, 1963-1984; photographic slides showing the construction of St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, 1967; photographic albums and lecture slides of early patients of the Hospice, [1967-1980]; photographs of Dame Cicely Saunders receiving honours from HM Queen Elizabeth II and other leaders and of visits to overseas hospices and conferences with folio Report of tour in the United States of America (1963) by Saunders; academic certificates, awards, medals and gifts to Saunders, [1970-2005]; duplicate articles written by Saunders, 1961-1979; offprints of articles by St Christopher's staff on palliative care, 1970-1975; another accesssion of approximate 25 m of books on palliative care, pain, nursing, religion, ethics and dying; a third accession containing 81 boxes, chiefly correspondence relating to drugs, pain control, palliative care, nursing, ageing, bereavement, grief, AIDS, ethics and the role of religion in end of life care with international correspondence organised by country, articles and reports, patient care notes, recorded conversations with patients, correspondence relating to the administration and support of St Christopher's Foundation, items relating to biography, Cicely Saunders: The Founder of the Modern Hospice Movement (London, 1984), by Shirley du Boulay and material relating to the promotion of the hospice movement in the media.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Papers and materials reflect the order received in the accessions; the book have been placed on secure shelving.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID. Files relating to the medical records of named individuals, and files enabling the identification of participants in medical surveys are closed, to be reviewed 100 years from the date of the most recent document in the file. Some administrative files are closed for 30 years. Access may be granted to researchers in certain circumstances, and upon signature of a special undertaking, providing such research is for purely statistical purposes and published data is anonymised such as to prevent the identification of individuals.

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:

Basic box lists of the collection contents are available in the Michael Howard reading room. The books are presently uncatalogued but their titles can be browsed on secured shelves at the King's College Strand campus and required items can be requested from Archives staff.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Collection given by St Christopher's Hospice and the Saunders family, February 2006 and 2nd accession, July 2006; 3rd accession sent from Lancaster University, 2009.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Christine Kearney, St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham; Lancaster University

Allied Materials

Related material:

Memorial service programme for service in Westminster Abbey, London, held 8 March 2006.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Times and other obituaries and autobiographical entry in the British Medical Journal No 7072 Volume 313. Entry compiled by Geoff Browell.

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:
August 2006

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