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Sir Harry Platt Papers

Date range: 1886–1986.

Sir Harry Platt was one of the foremost orthopaedic surgeons of the twentieth century.

During the 1920s and ’30s he established a formidable reputation as a surgeon in Manchester and the North West region, and in 1939 he was appointed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Manchester. 

After the war he worked tirelessly towards better hospital services within the nascent National Health Service. In the late 1950s and ’60s he chaired influential committees on the care of children in hospitals, on emergency services and on nursing education.

In 1954 he was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the first orthopaedic surgeon to be so honoured.

The papers encompass material that illustrates the main aspects of Platt’s career: his expertise as a practising orthopaedic surgeon, his international reputation in the field, his activities as a lecturer and speaker, and his work on the co-ordination of orthopaedic services.

There are substantial quantities of patient records, analyses and correspondence, especially relating to Platt’s work on congenital dislocation of the hip and peripheral nerve injuries; correspondence relating to the Royal College of Surgeons and the International Federation of Surgical Colleges; papers relating to Platt’s writings, lectures and speeches; and material concerning orthopaedic provision during and after the Second World War.

See also

the Manchester Surgical Society archive

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Stella V.F. Butler, ‘Academic medicine in Manchester: the careers of Geoffrey Jefferson, Harry Platt and John Stopford, 1914–39’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 87, no. 1 (2005), pp. 133–66.


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