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Wood, Constance Annie Poyser (1897-1985)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 GC/95
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Wood, Constance Annie Poyser (1897-1985)
Date(s): 1933-1976
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3 boxes
Name of creator(s): Wood | Constance Annie Poyser | 1897-1985 | radiotherapy pioneer
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Wood's studies of x-ray and radium therapy at the Royal Cancer Hospital, Fulham Road, London, led to her appointment in 1934 as Director of Radium Beam Therapy Research at the London Radium Institute, using radium from the Belgian Congo. In 1941 the work was moved to Hammersmith Hospital and renamed the Radiotherapeutic Research Unit, responsible solely to the Medical Research Council. Wood remained the Director and also directed the Hospital's radiology department until her retirement in 1962. Under her, the unit carried out trials of teleradium, introduced the use of the electron linear accelerator for supervoltage therapy and developed the first medical cyclotron for studies with short-lived radio-isotopes, for neutron radiobiology and neutron therapy. Further biographical details can be found in the obituaries in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet.


Scope and content/abstract:

Reports, correspondence, published and unpublished papers, 1933-1974, specifically A: Research files and correspondence, 1933-1958; B: texts of papers, c 1933-1955; C: published papers, 1933-1976; D: correspondence files, 1955-1974.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

All the files about Dr Wood's work on radiotherapy, including correspondence about terms and conditions, have been grouped together, and the three published reports which were retained have been placed in this section with the files to which they pertain.

Conditions governing access:

Open. The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

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:

Online catalogue on Wellcome Library website.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The album of photographs (B6) which was with an accession of the archives of the Medical Cyclotron Unit, received by the CMAC in May 1987, has been incorporated into this collection, since it is evidently a stray from Wood's papers.

Constance Wood's papers were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in July 1987 by the British Institute of Radiology, to which they had been bequeathed. Published material of no direct relevance to Dr Wood was incorporated into the holdings of the Institute Library's Modern Medicine Collection.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also SA/MCU and GC/160 for records relating to the MRC's Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, records of Strangeways Research Laboratories (SA/SRL) and papers of Dr FG Spear (PP/FGS).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled from Wellcome Library online catalogue by Barbara Ball.

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 2008.

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