Barts Health Archives

Barts Health Archives

Welcome to our archives

The archives cared for by Barts Health are amongst the largest and most important hospital collections in the UK, with records filling over 2.5km of shelving! Unfortunately, physical access to the archives is currently suspended due to public health restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see the section on 'Visiting the Archives' below, for more information about the closure and our remote enquiry service.

We hold records dating from 1137, shortly after the foundation of our oldest hospital, St Bartholomew's, to the current day. They include records relating to staff, patients, buildings and management of the hospitals in the current Barts Health group, as well as numerous other hospitals, institutions, charities, organisations and individuals relating to health care and training in the City and East London.

The majority of this material is normally available for research, though some more recent material may be restricted under the Data Protection Act.

Searching the archives

Searching the archives

To find out more about our archives, search or browse our online catalogue. We can help and advise researchers, so please contact us with your enquiry.  We aim to be as helpful as possible, but we do not have the staff resources to carry out detailed research for you.

For the duration of the current lockdown restrictions, there will be a delay in responding to enquiries which require access to original records,as staff time onsite is very limited.Thank you for your patience during this time.

It is not currently possible to visit the archives to undertake research in person due to restrictions around Covid-19. During this period, we have introduced a temporary 'Scan and Supply' service, to provide digital copies of records to researchers where possible. You can find out more about the service here [pdf] 136KB. Unfortunately it will not be possible to process Scan and Supply requests during the current lockdown restrictions, but we will endeavour to process requests in a timely manner, in the order in which they were received, as and when restrictions are eased.

What we hold

We hold records of over 35 current and former hospitals as well as many organisations, institutions and individuals associated with the hospitals and with health care and health education in London - over 100 individual collections. You can find a full list of archive collections, with links through to the online catalogue, here [pdf] 782KB

View the locations of the hospitals for which we hold records and click through to our catalogue using the map below:

We are continually adding new material to the catalogue, and undertaking conservation work to ensure that the archives can be accessed now and in the future.

In recent years, generous funding from the Wellcome TrustThe Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital Trust, and Barts Charity has enabled us to add thousands more items to our online catalogue. Read more about our recent projects The Fight Against TuberculosisSTIs in East London in the Twentieth Century, and A Study in Specialism on the project blogs.

Visiting the archives

Temporary suspension of research appointments

The archives are normally open to researchers by appointment. However, it is not currently possibly to make an appointment to access the archives in person due to public health restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic

You can still search our catalogue online to identify material relevant to your research, or contact us via our enquiry service. Please see the section on 'Searching the Archives' above for more information.

Accessing archives online

You can search catalogue descriptions of nearly 60,000 records online, using our online catalogue. Although the majority of the records listed on the catalogue can currently only be consulted through a visit to the archives, a few collections or series of records have been digitised and can be accessed online, as follows:

A few films from our audio visual collections have been digitised and may be viewed at our YouTube channel, alongside short videos produced by the archives team to highlight items and stories from the collections.

Useful websites