Library Historical Collections

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The Friends of the Children of Great Ormond Street Library holds a substantial collection of historical books and reprints of papers published by staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health. Enquiries about our historical material should be directed to the Librarian, John Clarke, in the first instance.

Material on Paediatrics and the History of Paediatrics

Our collection on the history of paediatrics, paediatric textbooks, and those written or donated by staff of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health amounts to some 2500 volumes from 1819 onwards.

Virtually all of this material has been catalogued and therefore can be searched on the online catalogue. Please check our holdings before planning a visit.

Some of the items in our collection are available to read as digital editions. To see these items, please visit our history of paediatrics page.


"Besser", "Moncrieff", "Office", "Sandifer", "Still", and "West" Collections

These locations refer to our historical collections which are reference only. They are named after Dr Felix Besser, former Dermatologist and Honorary Archivist to Great Ormond Street Hospital; Professor Sir Alan Moncrieff (1901-1971), Emeritus Professor of Child Health at the University College London; Paul Harmer Sandifer (1908-1964), Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital; Sir George Frederick Still (1868-1941), first Professor of Britain’s children’s diseases and the outstanding British paediatrician of his day and Dr Charles West (1816-1898), pioneer of English paediatrics and founder of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The "Office" location refers to our oldest historical materials which are shelved in the Librarian's Office.

Books in these special sections have no classmark on them and can be identified in the UCL Library Catalogue as CHILD HEALTH + location + first three letters of author’s surname. For example, Alexander Dingwali’s “Diet in Infancy” will have the classmark CHILD HEALTH SANDIFER DIN in the UCL Library Catalogue and it will be located in the Sandifer cabinet.

Reprints of Clinical and Scientific Papers

The collection of clinical and scientific papers written by staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health covers the period 1897-1993. Some of these papers are listed on our Staff Publications page. We are also investigating ways of transferring some of the content to the Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (HHARP) website, an important site for those researching the incidence and history of paediatric diseases.

The Library collections are open to researchers, students and members of the public during our normal library opening hours

The Hospital Archives and Museum are not held in the Library. These are maintained as a separate collection based at York House on Great Ormond Street. For further details of the Hospital Museum & Archive service please refer to its web page at

http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/about-us/our-history/museum-and-archive-services/

Please note this collection is only open by prior appointment. 


Useful Links

A2A http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/

AIM25 http://www.aim25.ac.uk/

Archives Hub http://archiveshub.ac.uk/

Great Ormond Street Hospital Museum & Archive Servicehttp://www.gosh.nhs.uk/about-us/our-history/museum-and-archive-services/

Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (HHARP) http://www.hharp.org/

UCL Special Collections http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/special-coll/

Wellcome Library, London http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/index.html