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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB 0100 G/S4
GUY'S HOSPITAL: Physical Society
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
16 volumes; 8 folders


Name of creator(s)

GUY'S HOSPITAL: Physical Society

Administrative / Biographical history

The Physical Society of Guy's Hospital was founded in 1771, and London's first medical society. It was not initially associated with Guy's Hospital, but met in the theatre of Dr Lowder in Southwark, a private teacher of midwifery as well as lecturer at St Thomas's and Guy's Hospitals. The first meeting was held at Guy's Hospital between 1780 and 1782. The society met weekly from October to May to hear and discuss a dissertation and exchange medical news and cases. At the early meetings the chairman was usually Dr Haighton, Lecturer in Physiology and Midwifery at St Thomas's and Guy's Hospitals. The society was open to physicians, surgeons, apothecaries and pupils, and members largely comprised the officers of the Guy's and Thomas's Hospitals and practitioners in the area. On the establishment of other medical societies in London its popularity declined, and the society closed in 1852.

Archival history

Minutes of the Physical Society were discovered in 1896 in a room next to the chapel by Mr Bryant.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from Guy's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Records of the Physical Society of Guy's Hospital, 1775-1851, comprising minutes of weekly meetings, 1775-1825, 1835-1851, including discussions of the papers presented to the society and lists of members; laws of the Society, 1775-1778; case reports on patients, presented to society meetings by members, 1818-1825; volumes of dissertations and essays presented to society meetings, [1799], [1808-1809], 1826, on a wide range of subjects, including small-pox, death by drowning and hanging, dysentery, diabetes and ulcers.

System of arrangement

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Detailed catalogues are available in the reading room of the College Archives.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources:Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984); 'The Library of the Guy's Hospital Physical Society' Andrew Baster in Guy's Hospital Gazette, 1984. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

March 2001; revised 2002

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  • Associations
  • Death
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diseases
  • Diseases
  • Diseases
  • Diseases
  • Drowning
  • Dysentery
  • Higher science education
  • Infectious diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Learned societies
  • Life cycle
  • Medical Sciences
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical sciences
  • Medical students
  • Organizations
  • Pathology
  • Pathology
  • Pathology
  • Pathology
  • Physicians
  • Smallpox
  • Students
  • Surgeons x Physicians

Corporate names

  • Guy's Hospital Medical School
  • Guy's Hospital Physical Society


  • Southwark, London, England, UK, Western Europe

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