About the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives

The holdings of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives, one of the largest health authority archives in the United Kingdom, consist principally of the archives of the hospitals in the Glasgow area and in Paisley.

These date back to the late eighteenth century when Glasgow Royal Infirmary was established. The archive also holds the prime records of the defunct Western Regional Health Board and of the Greater Glasgow Health Board.

The archives include the minutes of governing bodies, architects’ drawings of hospital buildings, photographs, accounts, correspondence, reports and records of patient care. Medical advances documented include antiseptic surgery (Lister), aseptic surgery (Macewen), caesarean delivery (Cameron), ultrasound (Donald) and the use of X-rays (MacIntyre). Developments in psychiatric care (Parry-Jones), physiotherapy (T M Anderson) and nursing (Strong) are also extensively covered.

The records are subject to some restrictions on access. In particular, there is a 75 year closure period in respect of patient’s clinical records, in order to comply with the Data Protection Act. There is an established procedure by means of which access may be granted to records which are currently closed, usually subject to satisfactory assurances being given as to protecting the identity of individual patients.

The records are stored in the Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow (near Charing Cross railway station) in space leased from Glasgow City Council. Please note the staff of Glasgow City Council do not have access to the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives.

As the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archivist spends much of his time in hospitals, clinics, and NHS offices, therefore, he can not be present at the Mitchell Library for the whole of the working week. Accordingly, it is essential that intending users should contact the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archivist before making a visit.

Please Note: For information on current NHS Greater Glasgow Board policy and publications, please visit the NHS Greater Glasgow Board website.