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Manchester Medical Society Archive

Date range: 1834-present

Medium: Archive

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. The Society currently has 1400 members (2018).

During the 19th century one of the Society’s principal functions was to provide a library for local doctors and medical students. This library grew rapidly under the direction of Thomas Windsor (1831–1910) into one of the finest provincial medical libraries. From 1875 Owens College provided accommodation for the Society and its library, and since the 1930s the library has been owned by the University of Manchester.

In 1950 there was a major reorganization of medical societies in Manchester and the the Society 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 Manchester Paediatric Club joined the Society at a later date.

The merged societies were reconstituted as sections of the Society. As of 2018, there are sections for Anaesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Imaging, Medicine, Odontology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Psychiatry and Surgery.

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

See also:

Further information:

Catalogue of the Manchester Medical Society archive available online via ELGAR.

Catalogues are also available on ELGAR for the archives of the various societies which have merged with the MMS:

  • Manchester and District Society of Anaesthetists archive, catalogue available online via ELGAR
  • Manchester Odontological Society archive, catalogue available online via ELGAR
  • Manchester Paediatric Club archive, catalogue available online via ELGAR
  • Manchester Surgical Society archive, catalogue available online via ELGAR
  • Pathological Society of Manchester archive, catalogue available online via ELGAR


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