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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Education,Health and Contemporary Documents  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Museums and Archives

There are so many museums and archives, the following are just a taste. See the website London museums and archives. Others are given by Mitton, and can be found on the Internet.

Bethlem Royal Hospital Archives and Museum
Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX has material related to the history of psychiatry.

Florence Nightingale Museum
At St. Thomas’s Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW website is devoted to her life including work in the Crimea and influence on nursing training.

Glenside Hospital Museum The Church, Blackberry Hill Hospital, Stapleton, Bristol BS16 1DD is in a former county asylum and displays artefacts from the history of psychiatry.

Jenner Museum
The Jenner Museum, Berkeley, Gloucestershire GL13 9BN is in his former home and devoted to his life and various works, including the development of vaccination for smallpox. There is a useful article describing Edward Jenner’s work and the museum by Saul, and the museum website.

Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garret
9a St. Thomas Street., London SE1 9RY. This is an old pre-anaesthetic operating theatre with original wooden operating table and observation stands. Separate displays include herbal medicine, Old St. Thomas’s, Guy’s and Evelina Children’s Hospitals, and Florence Nightingale’s nursing school.

Royal College of Surgeons of England Museums
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE. This houses a number of major collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens, scientific and surgical instruments, including those belonging to Joseph Lister.

Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum
Housed in the crypt of St. Augustines with St. Philip’s Church, Newark Street, London E1 2AA; postal address: Archives and Museum, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London E1 1BB. This was the largest voluntary hospital and has a number of interesting exhibits detailed on the website.

Stephen G. Beaumont Museum
Field Head Hospital, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 3SP. Originally the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, depicts original plans, records, documents, scale model of 1818 building, restraints, padded cell, surgical and medical equipment and tradesmen’s tools.

Wellcome Collection
This is one of the world’s greatest collections of books, manuscripts, pictures and films around the meaning and history of medicine, from the earliest times to the present day. It is open to the public without appointment and provides a wide range of enquiry services.

Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course English: Education,Health and Contemporary Documents offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.