Alt Ref NoPA
TitlePathology Department records
DescriptionRecords of the Pathology Department of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1867-1962, comprising correspondence and general reports, 1882-1962, including correspondence concerning the Pharmacological Laboratory, 1900-1901; surgical post mortem registers, 1867-1936; histology reports for post mortems reports, 1924-1946; registers of complete cases, medical and medical post mortem registers, 1867-1936; post mortem reports, 1911-1913; medical and surgical post mortem reports, 1937-1988; histological reports; 1936-2004; clinical research papers, 1936-1937; microscope and bacteriological records of post mortem cases, 1909-1910; histological reports, 1899-1935; staff members, 1950-1951, including Hill End Hospital.
Administrative historyPercivall Pott prepared the way for pathology at St Bartholomew's Hospital. He lectured on the causes and clinical manifestations of paraplegia resulting from pressure on the spinal cord due to abscess formation, and on the production of cancer of the scrotum in chimney-sweeps by the effect of soot. However, the real appreciation of the importance to surgeons of morbid anatomy came with the work and teaching of Pott's pupil, John Hunter. The developing interest in pathology within the Hospital meant that in 1726, just one year after being appointed Assistant Surgeon, John Freke was put in charge of the anatomical and surgical preparations. This collection, however, consisted almost entirely of urinary calculi, and the medical collection was small. Permission to perform post mortem examinations was not given until 1750. The opportunity to examine the process of disease in greater detail than had been possible at the time of operation provided the stimulus which changed opinion about the futility of enquiring into causes of disease. The Hospital was geographically in a very favourable position to obtain material for anatomical research for, until the Anatomy Act of 1834, the Company of Surgeons and thereafter the College of Surgeons, hired a house in Cock Lane where the bodies of criminals were delivered for dissection.
Interest in pathology continued to grow within the Hospital, with the donation of the pathological collections of John Abernethy and Edward Stanley to St Bartholomew's Hospital for the use of the Medical School. Stanley was appointed Assistant Surgeon in 1816, and edited the first catalogue of the pathological collections at the Hospital in 1831. James Paget, Assistant Surgeon to the Hospital in 1847 published his lectures on surgical pathology in 1853. The first lecturer in pathology, Alfredo Kanthack, was appointed in 1893 and was succeeded by Frederick Andrewes. He was appointed Pathologist in 1902, and provision was made for a laboratory, a bacteriological laboratory and a workroom for the museum curator. Classes in practical pathology and clinical pathology were held twice a year. The staff of the Department comprised one lecturer, six demonstrators, two junior demonstrators, a surgical registrar and five surgical pathology dressers. The new Pathology Department was opened in 1909, and an extension built in 1971. By 1973 the department had been subdivided into histopathology, haematology, chemical pathology and medical microbiology.
Access statusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Arrangement of the recordsSeries reference numbers 9 and 11 have not been used
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