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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB 0100 G/Students
Level of description
Series of Guy's Hospital Medical School records
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
Approximately 78 volumes


Name of creator(s)


Administrative / Biographical history

In the eighteenth and first part of the nineteenth century students at Guy's Hospital were required to serve an apprenticehip of five to seven years, and then 'walk the hospital' as a surgeon's dresser or physician's pupil for six to twelve months. Most entered as pupils, with the dressers attached to a particular surgeon and paying a larger fee. Apprentices, pupils and dressers all attended courses of lectures on anatomy, surgery, midwifery, medicine and chemistry, with a separate fee for each course. Teaching was a joint undertaking with nearby St Thomas's Hospital, the two being known as the United Hospitals of the Borough. Students attended operations and lectures at both hospitals. Medical education at Guy's was put on an official footing in 1769, when the wards were officially opened to students by a Governors' resolution, and was the beginning of the official union of the schools of the two hospitals. The resolution of the Governors gave an official stamp of approval to existing arrangements, and also proposed that the surgeons of the hospital should occasionally give practical lessons on surgery to the pupils. Henry Cline the elder (1750-1827) was the first lecturer to attract a large number of pupils and establish a school of anatomy and surgery at St Thomas's. When the School of the United Hospitals came into existence, St Thomas's delivered the anatomical and surgical lectures, which were those most in demand and for which all pupils were prepared to pay fees. Guy's established courses in medicine, chemistry, botany, physiology and natural philosophy. The pupils were apprentices whose masters had instructed them in physic, and went to the hospital for six months to a year to complete their training. Between 1768 and 1825, during the existence of the School of the United Hospitals, Guy's students attended lectures at St Thomas's or private establishments such as the Windmill Street School. A disagreement with St Thomas's over the appointment of a successor to Sir Astley Cooper as Lecturer in Surgery and Anatomy led to the establishment of an independent medical school at Guy's in 1825. The Governors agreed to erect more buildings for the School, with a large lecture theatre (the Anatomical theatre), museum and dissecting room erected. In 1835 the curriculum was increased so as to cover a period of three winter and two summer sessions. Until 1849 there was little real clinical teaching by the medical school. Students' appointments were reorganised in 1849, a direct outcome of the formation of a Clinical Report Society. In 1846 the Medical School introduced a common fee for all students, rather than continuing with the old system whereby students paid varying fees according to their entry, with students entering as dressers or surgical pupils paying higher fees. The Medical Examining Council, later known as the Medical Council, was established to select which students should become dressers, clinical clerks, assistants and resident obstetric clerks. Guy's Medical School was the first to initiate such a system, and other schools soon followed. Practical work was at first confined to clinical subjects and anatomy. Demonstrations in practical chemistry were first held in 1852, and in 1862 classes on the use of the microscope began. The classes gradually evolved into practical histology, and were taken over by the Physiology Department in 1871. Practical classes in botany, comparative anatomy and morbid histology appeared in the school prospectus a little later. A classroom for practical chemistry was added in 1871, and in 1873 the dissecting room was enlarged and additional classrooms provided for histology. A Residential College (Guy's Hospital College) was opened in 1890 by William Gladstone, after the number of resident posts was increased in 1888. The Dental School was founded in 1889, and was an offshoot of the medical school. A course of Dental Surgery was given by Thomas Bell, Surgeon Dentist to the Hospital and Mr Salter in 1855. The first lectures at Guy's on dental surgery were given by Joseph Fox in 1799 with the assistance of Astley Cooper on 'Structure and Diseases of the Teeth'. The school was opened in 1889, and the first dental students admitted. New school buildings to house the Dental School and departments of physics, chemistry, bacteriology were opened in 1893. A Board of Studies in Dentistry was formed in 1901, and drew up a curriculum and established a degree of Bachelor in Dental Surgery. A fifth year was added to the medical curriculum in 1892, and was an important factor leading to the rebuilding of the Medical School. In 1927 a 3 months preliminary clinical period was inserted into curruculum between the pre-clinical and clinical training. A clinical tutor was appointed to take charge of the class, and special accommodation for it provided a few years later. On the outbreak of the second world war the pre-clinical departments of the school and students were transferred to Tunbridge Wells, where a mansion was leased and adapted. Medical education was recognised as an essental occupation and medical students were not called up for active service. The school returned to Guy's in 1944. The first women students at Guy's were admitted in 1947, following the Goodenough Report. Twelve were admitted. On the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948 the Medical School became a separate legal entity from the Hospital. The Medical Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals reunited as the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals (UMDS) in 1982. The new institution was then enlarged by the amalgamation of the Royal Dental Hospital of London School of Dental Surgery with Guy's Dental School on 1 August 1983. In 1990 the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals (UMDS) began discussions with King's College London and, following formal agreement to merge in 1992 and the King's College London Act 1997, the formal merger took place on 1 August 1998. The merger created three new schools: the Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Schools of Medicine, of Dentistry and of Biomedical Sciences.

Archival history

Received by Guy's Hospital Medical School Library from Mr A Baker in 1993, and from the Registrar's Office, 1997.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

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

Content & structure

Scope and content

Student records of Guy's Hospital and Guy's Hospital Medical School, 1725-1992, comprising register of pupils and dressers at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, 1755-1823, arranged alphabetically; registers of general entry for pupils, 1805-1859, containing names, addresses, lecture fees paid; books of entry of physicians and surgeons' pupils and dressers, 1725, 1762, 1778-1845, containing names and fees paid; entry books for surgeons' pupils of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, 1812-1833, containing fees paid by students; pupil entry books, 1837-1879, containing names, length of studentship and to whom apprenticed; student entry lists, 1870-1934, giving names of students by year; index to pupils at Guy's Hospital, 1823-1878, giving numbers of lectures attended; lecture books, 1835-1847, containing names of pupils entered for lectures on particular subjects; student registers, 1876-1992, containing name, parent or guardian and address; pupil returns, 1850-1895, containing numbers of lectures attended by pupils and remarks; Dental pupil returns, 1889-1896, giving name, parent or guardian, address and details of pupil's attendance; Guy's Hospital register of internal students, [1900-1907]; lists of student entries to Guy's Hospital, 1931-1941; student record cards for Abdul Hamid Gool, 1904-1910, and Goolem Hoosen Gool, 1923-1928; statistics of examinations, 1918-1938.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

The student record cards were microfilmed and then destroyed, apart from those described in the scope and content.

System of arrangement

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Subject to an eighty year closure period from date of leaving, but may be consulted by Departmental staff and other appropriate College members with permission from the Head of Department.

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

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 2002; revised November 2002

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  • Documents
  • Health services
  • Health services
  • Higher science education
  • Hospitals
  • Information Sources
  • Medical Sciences
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical records
  • Medical sciences
  • Medical students
  • Patients
  • Physicians
  • Social Policy and Welfare
  • Social Policy and Welfare
  • Social welfare
  • Students
  • Surgeons x Physicians

Personal names

  • Gool, Abdul Hamid, fl 1904-1910, Medical student
  • Gool, Goolem Hoosen, fl 1923-1928, Medical student

Corporate names

  • Guy's Hospital Medical School
  • St Thomas's Hospital Medical School


  • Southwark, London, England, UK, Western Europe

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