The Welfare Collection

The Library holds various special collections relating to the history of medicine including the books and papers of Charles Webster, Official Historian of the National Health Service.

About the Welfare Collection

The Welfare Collection is made up of three parts. The main core comprises files containing the working documents that formed the basis of Webster's substantial two volume History of the NHS (1988, 1996). Supporting materials on the NHS include a series of official reports, an extensive collection of press cuttings, plus books and pamphlets relating to health policy since World War II. Supplementing this is a variety of political works that give context to this period. Additional to all of this are a variety of titles on pre-twentieth century medical history plus a collection of items on early modern intellectual history, focusing predominantly on seventeenth century culture and ideas.

The books in the Welfare Collection are listed on LibrarySearch and are kept as a reference collection on the shelves in the Special Collections Reading Room. A list of the main papers and working documents is available in World and pdf format; these may be requested for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS we have created this online exhibition highlighting material from the Welfare collection and the Medical Sciences Video Archive: