Wellcome digitises medical records
Thousands of historic records held by the Wellcome Library have been made available to examine on the web for the first time.
The London-based archive has released six unique datasets via ancestry.co.uk, together comprising nearly 1.5 million records relating to medical students and professionals across Britain and the Commonwealth.
The largest of the datasets features over 730,000 records gleaned from old medical directories, listing retired and practising doctors from 1845-1942.
Fully searchable, the entries can provide a doctor’s residential address, as well as details of their qualifications and employment history.
Other additions to Ancestry include registers of medical and dental students (1882-1937), dentists (1879-1942), physiotherapists (1895-1980) and midwives (1904-1959), plus the Roll of the Indian Medical Service (16151930), listing the names of 8,000 medical professionals who worked within the former British Raj.
This is not the first time that the Wellcome Library has released historic records online. In 2013, the institution launched a free resource named London’s Pulse ( wellcomelibrary. org/moh), featuring reports written by Medical Officers of Health in the capital between 1848 and 1972.
The Wellcome Library has also been publishing mental health records held by partner archives across the UK. These are gradually being made available free of charge at wellcome library.org/collections/digitalcollections/mental- healthcare.
WG Grace (centre) can be found in the records