Barts Health NHS Trust is one of the largest acute healthcare Trusts in the UK, and is made up of 5 hospitals serving a population of over 2 million people across the City and East London. The archives held by the Trust reflect a tradition of caring for patients spanning nine centuries, from the foundation of their oldest hospital, St Bartholomew’s, in 1123. Their hospitals have maintained a distinguished medical and nursing tradition throughout their history; they claim many eminent physicians, surgeons, nurses and others amongst their past and present alumni and staff, and between them they have been responsible for treating millions of patients over the centuries.
Their historic archives include records retained and preserved permanently for legal, financial and historical purposes, spanning the 12th-21st centuries relating to the hospitals that have been part of Barts Health NHS Trust and its predecessors, including over thirty current and former hospitals located in the City and East London. These range from medieval property records relating to estates as far afield as Somerset and Lincolnshire, to Victorian medical registers and case notes, nursing and medical student records, and collections of some of the individuals and organisations associated with the hospitals. The archives can be accessed by appointment, by anyone from family and local history researchers to current clinicians and academic historians. Their researchers range from ancestors of past patients and staff to historians of medical illustration and medical researchers; the enquiries they receive are nearly as broad as the collections!
They also manage two museums at their two oldest hospitals, the St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospitals, which are open to the public (no appointment needed).
You can find out more about the archives and museums, and search and browse their catalogue, at https://www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/museums-and-archives.
Follow them on Twitter at @bhaandm and Instagram at @barts_health_archives_museums