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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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The Museum of Military Medicine archive


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Has anyone used the Museum of Military Medicine’s archive for research? How extensive is their archive of the Great War for the RAMC?




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I visited it at the start of my (ongoing) research for a book on medical care and casualty evacuation from war zones especially WW1); the staff were very welcoming and helpful, but it's tucked away in a corner of Keogh Barracks (see vhttps://museumofmilitarymedicine.org.uk) -- most of the holdings have been catalogued but not digitised.  But many (perhaps most) of its holdings have been digitised by the Wellcome and are available online: see the Royal Army Medical Corps Muniments Collection at https://wellcomecollection.org/works/xqc9qs4x.  

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Here is the Wellcome's description of the Collection:

'Reports, diaries, memoirs, photographs and memorabilia given to the RAMC Museum and Library by former officers and men of the Corps. Some date back to Marlborough's campaigns of the late 17th century; there is also material relating to the continuing European and Imperial conflicts of the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Crimean War (1854-1856), the Boer War and the Balkan conflicts of the early 20th century, the two World Wars, the Korean War and other smaller conflicts thereafter.


The present catalogue is effectively a detailed list of the Muniment Collection in accession order: a full scale re-arrangement of the collection has not been undertaken. Thus there is no inherent structure to the catalogue, and indeed one may find parts of the same individual's papers in different places if they came to the RAMC at different times. The reference number is the original museum 'acquisition number': thus a reference number might refer to a single volume, or several volumes, or a collection of papers. Larger collections have been arranged and described in sections or sub-sections by a chronological or other logical arrangement.

Acquisition note

The RAMC Muniments Collection is deposited with the Wellcome Library under an agreement between the Wellcome Trustees and the Trustees of the RAMC Historical Museum in 1991. This agreement also covered the pre-1850 Collection of books of historical value and the Collection of post-1850 medical textbooks, also placed in the Wellcome Library.
In the 1980s the Trustees of the RAMC Historical Museum entered into negotiations with Dr Peter Williams, then Director of the Wellcome Trust, about the possible housing and cataloguing of the collections. This culminated in the transfer of book and muniments collections to the Wellcome Tropical Institute (owned by the Trust) in 1986-7.
When the muniments collection first came to the Wellcome Trust it was intended that only items of tropical medical interest would be catalogued and retained by the Wellcome Tropical Institute. In order to discover exactly what was in the collection a detailed description based on the existing accession order was started. It became clear that extracting items on the basis of tropical or medical interest was impracticable and undesirable since it would break up coherent groups of material. For the same reason it was deemed unacceptable to split collections by removing items which were in fact strayed public records and which ought strictly to have gone to the Public Record Office. With the agreement of the PRO it has been possible to retain such material in the Muniments Collection.
With the closure of the Tropical Institute in 1989 the RAMC material entered the archive collection of the Wellcome Library.
Some archives proper of the College and Fort Pitt Hospital were kept in the RAMC Library and were transferred to the Wellcome Trust with the Muniments Collection: they have never been accessioned with Muniment material and remain uncatalogued.
The publications listed in the hard-copy RAMC Muniments Collection catalogue as Appendix E were returned on 24 November 2003 to the Army Medical Services Museum, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, GU12 5RQ. In 2016 it changed its name to the Museum of Military Medicine.'

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I am also writing a book on casualty evacuation from Hill 60- 1914-1917.

Thanks for you advice. This time last week I was sitting in the Wellcome Collection library.


it looks as though I will have to pay a visit to Aldershot sometime soon.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Husband and I visited the Museum of Military Medicine last summer under the aegis of the Friends of Millbank https://www.friendsofmillbank.org/. The Museum will be moving to Cardiff at some point, and the Keogh Barracks material will be packed for the transfer, although I cannot remember when the process was due to start.

It's probably worth telephoning to check on their holdings and plans before you commit yourself to the journey.


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