Queen Mary’s Hospital and Museum archive group
The QMH Archive & Museum Group was founded in 1999 to identify, locate and record documents, artefacts and other archive material, provide for its security and make it available to the public.
QMH was founded in 1915 initially as a military convalescence hospital for servicemen who had lost limbs in World War One. It soon became renowned as a centre for rehabilitation of amputees. In the 1920s plastic surgery, burns and maxillofacial surgery were added and in World War Two it became a specialist centre for the treatment of tropical diseases, especially for Far East Prisoners of War. In the 1960s it became part of the NHS as a District General Hospital while retaining its specialist services. In 1998 it became a leading Community Hospital.
The principal location of the QMH archive is The London Metropolitan Archive with specialist collections housed at the Science Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons, Surrey University, and the Wellcome Trust. It is accessible to the public at these institutions on notice. QMH archive office has a record of where everything is stored and keeps copies of the digitised oral histories and moving images.
Since 2003 the Group has been collecting memories and lectures from people connected with QMH and the Limb Fitting Centre at Roehampton. In 2008, the Heritage Lottery Fund financed a 3 year OH Project which produced 63 oral histories with transcripts. This has since been expanded and there are now memories from approximately 140 people recorded within the Personal Histories Collection. Copies are deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives and available to the public on request. The originals are kept in the Archive office at QMH and may be inspected by special request.
This is the current catalogue which is updated from time to time: Queen Mary’s Hospital Personal Histories (Excel) It is in 4 series : a, b, c, & d. Series a is only available at QMH. We continue to add to the collection as opportunities and resources arise.
In May 2010 a small museum was opened in the Bader Reception area on the Lower Ground Floor of QMH which can be visited between 09.00hrs and 17.00hrs Mondays to Fridays subject to the demands of the hospital. Group visits are possible by special arrangement.
“The 2015 Centenary Exhibition displays historic memorabilia and prostheses, a TV monitor showing 13 mins. of historic archive footage on a rolling loop, and 5 different touch screens describing the items on display.
The Centenary was marked by an official event on 24th June 2015 to which the Mayors of Wandsworth & Richmond were invited. The exhibition was formally opened by Sam Gallop CBE who is a distinguished WW2 fighter pilot and patient of QMH and Cllr. Ravi Govinder, Leader of Wandsworth Borough Council.
In September Centenary lectures were given by Sarah Smith on the development of prosthetics, and by Gordon Jones, Chairman of the Archive & Museum Group on the history of the hospital.”
In addition to the continuous process of archiving and responding to enquiries the Group engages with universities and other institutions in joint ventures connected with the history of QMH.
To highlight the 100 years history of QMH a DVD has been produced which can be accessed through the St George’s YouTube channel.
The Archives and Museum Group became a ‘Special Interest’ group of the Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital in 2020. For enquiries, please contact the Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital and your enquiry will be forwarded to the Chair of the Archives and Museum Group.
The Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital
Tel: 020 8487 6798