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Guide to the Medical Archive collections

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Manchester Medical Collection

Our core collection, unique in terms of its coverage, is the Manchester Medical Collection (MMC).

This was the creation of Ernest Bosdin Leech (1875-1950), a physician at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and a medical historian.

Leech intended that the Collection document all aspects of the medical history of the Manchester area including the lives and writings of local medical practitioners, local hospitals, medical education, local medical societies and charities, and major subjects such as nursing, public health and disease in Manchester.

Leech donated the Collection to the University of Manchester Library in 1934. Most of the material dates to Leech's period as an active collector, roughly from the 1900s to the 1940s, although new material has continued to be added since his death.

Due to the size of the Collection, the catalogue has been divided into the following sections:

Institutional archives

We also have the independent archives of several local medical associations, including the Manchester Medical Society (MMS), which has enjoyed a close relationship with the University since 1874 (the Society's superb collection of medical books was added to the Library in 1929).

The MMS archive is a source of considerable importance for the development of the medical profession in Manchester from the mid-Victorian period onwards.

We also have archives of other leading medical groups in Greater Manchester and the north of England. All provide valuable insights into medical politics, professionalization,  and the development of medical specialisms.

The Library is keen to maintain an active collecting policy in this area, and intends to acquire similar archives in future.


Personal papers

Personal papers of Manchester doctors are also a significant component of our collections.

Two of are particular importance: the papers of the orthopaedic surgeon, Sir Harry Platt (1886-1986), and of the neurosurgeon, Sir Geoffrey Jefferson (1886-1961).

We also hold the personal papers of the neurologist Donald Core, the radiologist Ian Isherwood and a collection of papers relating to Sir John Charnley (1912-1982), the pioneer of  the artificial hip replacement.

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