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Society of Medical Officers of Health, North Western Branch Archive

Date range: 1875-1981

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The North Western Association of Medical Officers of Health was the first provincial medical association to be dedicated to public health issues, when it was formed in 1875. Its membership comprised Medical Officers of Health from local towns and cities, and provided them with an opportunity to discuss public health topics, such as infectious diseases, pollution, child welfare and food quality.

The Association submitted reports, memorials and petitions to the Local Government Board, the House of Commons and the British Medical Association, and promoted public health issues in the local and national press.

In 1888 the Society of Medical Officers of Health amalgamated with the North Western Association and two other provincial groups to form a national society, the Association becoming the Society’s North Western Branch. Membership of the Branch declined in the 1970s, with the abolition of Medical Officers of Health. The North Western Branch was wound up, and some of its members joined the Community Medicine section of the Manchester Medical Society.

The Archive consists of the surviving minutes, statements of accounts, some membership records and correspondence files. The early minute books are a useful source of information for the official development of public health regulation in the late 19th century.

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Catalogue available online via ELGAR.

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