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Ian Isherwood Papers

Date range: 1896–2006.

Ian Isherwood CBE, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Manchester from 1975 until his retirement in 1993, was in the forefront of advances in the technology, teaching and applications of radiology.

He helped to establish diagnostic radiology as an important speciality in academic medicine internationally.

He pioneered the use of Computed Tomography (CT) scanning in medicine; the world’s first commercial CT head scanner was installed at Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1972, and the first commercial whole-body scanner in Europe was installed in the University’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology in 1975.

He was one of the first to recognize the huge impact that Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Imaging, later referred to as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), would have on the diagnosis and management of disease; this new technique did not involve the use of potentially harmful X-rays. 

In 1983 the first cryogenic superconducting NMR scanner in Europe was installed at the University. Isherwood encouraged multidisciplinary research into the development and application of new imaging techniques in many important areas of technical and clinical research.

He is the author of over 250 scientific publications, and he been actively involved in many national and international bodies in the field of radiology.

The papers of Ian Isherwood document the major aspects of his career as a neuroradiologist and, in particular, his role in pioneering the use of CT and NMR imaging at Manchester.

They include correspondence and papers relating to the funding, installation and operation of individual scanners, and to the establishment of the University’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology in 1975, as well as lecture notes, drafts of speeches, articles, reviews and papers relating to various bodies of which he was a member.

There is a significant amount of material relating to the history of radiology both in Manchester and beyond, and to the history of medicine in general.

The records of the Manchester and District Radiographic Society and the Manchester School of Radiography, which were entrusted to Isherwood in the 1970s, are of great importance to the study of the history of radiography and the training of radiographers.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


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