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Manchester Medical Society Archive

Date range: 1834 to present.

The Manchester Medical Society, founded in 1834, is the oldest organization for medical practitioners in the Greater Manchester area, and one of the oldest provincial medical societies in the United Kingdom. Its aims are ‘the cultivation and promotion of all branches of Medicine and of all related Sciences’.

The Society plays an important role in promoting the professional development of doctors in the Manchester region. In 2003 it had over two thousand members.

During the nineteenth century one of the Society’s principal functions was to provide a library for local doctors and medical students. This expanded rapidly under the librarianship of Thomas Windsor (1831–1910).

From 1875 Owens College provided accommodation for the Society and its library, and since the 1930s the library has been administered by the University of Manchester.

Female students were permitted to use the library from 1904 and women doctors were admitted to full membership of the Society in 1908.

In 1950 there was a major reorganization of medical societies in Manchester and the mms amalgamated with the Pathological Society of Manchester, the Manchester Surgical Society, the Manchester and District Society of Anaesthetists, and the Manchester Odontological Society to form a reconstituted Manchester Medical Society.

The merged societies were reconstituted as sections of the mms, administered by their own councils. Further specialist sections have been created subsequently for General Practice, Paediatrics (which merged with the Manchester Paediatric Club in 1992 and is now generally referred to as the Manchester Paediatric Club), Psychiatry, Community Medicine (now known as the Public Health Forum), and most recently Imaging.

This extensive archive documents the Society’s activities since its foundation in 1834 and is a key resource for the history of medicine and medical education in the Manchester area. 

It includes minute books of the Society’s Council and general meetings from 1834 to the present day.

There are also minutes of the various specialist sections of the Society which were established after the 1950 reorganization.

Other material includes membership records, annual reports, addresses and administrative papers that document the Society’s relations with the University and with other learned societies in the Manchester area. 

See also

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


Main Library

Using the reading room in the Main Library