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Research Defence Society

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 SA/RDS
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Research Defence Society
Date(s): 1811-1992
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 39 boxes, 2 outsize boxes and 2 card filing cabinets
Name of creator(s): Research Defence Society xx Association for the Advancement of Medicine by Research
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Association for the Advancement of Medicine by Research (AAMR) was founded by James Paget to promote a positive image of experimenting on animals for medical research and to resist harassment by anti-vivisectionists, 1882; the AAMR developed a quasi-official role with the Home Office, scrutinising applications made to conduct medical research involving animals; the Research Defence Society (RDS) was founded as a separate body with similar aims to the AAMR but also to publish and distribute literature on the importance and necessity of experiments on animals, 1908; the RDS was granted charitable status for its educational work, 1980.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Research Defence Society, 1811-1992, comprising papers; administrative records; correspondence; minutes; records of membership, meetings and rules; annual reports; treasurers reports; accounts; RDS publications including Conquest magazine (which was called The Fight Against Disease until 1950); copies of Acts of Parliament, Bills and Royal Commissions, 1786-1915; correspondence and papers relating to animal rights Bills, 1927-1937 and 1965-1980; literature and publications used by the RDS; anti-vivisection literature; newspaper cuttings; tape recordings and films; and photographs and slides.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Certain restrictions apply. Most of the collection is open and available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. However, unpublished material under thirty years old is Restriced Access, and only available with prior consent of the Research Defence Society.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

The catalogue of this collection is not available in electronic format. Please see the hard-copy catalogue available in the Wellcome Library. Copies of the catalogue are available on request.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records of the RDS and AAMR were given to the Wellcome Library in 1989.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The safety film of 'Bacillus Typhosus' and 'The Cholera Bacillus', SA/RDS/N.1, was transferred to the Moving Image and Sound Collection of the Wellcome Library in 2006.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.

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:
June 2008

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