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By | Digital Developments, From the Collections

In commemoration of the upcoming 100 year anniversary of World War I, all material within the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) Muniments collection relating to the war is being digitised as part of the Library’s Digitisation Programme. The material will be digitised between June and September 2013.

Postcard photograph of a ward in King George Hospital for wounded soldiers, Stamford Street, London circa 1915 - 1918. Wellcome Images L0024173

Postcard photograph of a ward in King George Hospital for wounded soldiers, Stamford Street, London
circa 1915 – 1918. Wellcome Images L0024173

The RAMC Muniments collection is a major collection on military medicine, which contains reports, diaries, memoirs, photographs and memorabilia given to the Royal Army Medical Corps Museum and Library by former officers and men of the Corps. The substantial amount of material indexed under ‘First World War’ covers the Balkan Front, the Dardanelles, East Africa, France and Flanders, the Home Front, India, Italy, Malta, Mesopotamia and the Middle East, Russia, Serbia and South West Africa, as well as Prisoners of War.

World War I is of course an important event in its own right, but also, for the medical services the war was a milestone in care not only of battle casualties but also of those suffering from disease and non-battle injuries. Digitising these extensive holdings will enable readers to access large amounts of archive material remotely from anywhere in the world, improving access to an important body of research material and providing a global resource for the study of the history of medicine. This digital resource will be made freely available online, subject to copyright, and Data Protection and privacy issues as set out in our Access to Archives Policy (pdf).

In order to develop this world-class digital resource access to these parts of the collection will be affected. Please see the archives digitisation schedule for further details. We regret that we are unable to make any exceptions to allow individual readers access to material, and encourage readers to contact the Archives and Manuscripts team beforehand at or telephone +44 (0)20 7611 8899 to ensure that material will be available for consultation. You can also check whether a specific item or collection is temporarily unavailable by searching for the item in the catalogues. If an item is unavailable, it will state ‘This material is undergoing digitisation and is not available for consultation.’

Sketch of a casualty clearing station from an album belonging to RAMC Lieutenant Colonel G.W.G. Hughes. Wellcome Images L0023433

The RAMC collection has been on long-term deposit from the Army Medical Services Museum since 1991. The Board of Trustees of the Army Medical Services Museum decided some years ago that their long term aim would be to retrieve those archives currently held in the Wellcome Library, and known as the RAMC Muniments Collection, and integrate them into the extensive archive collection held at the museum. As a result the archives will be in one location rather than two. As part of that plan the Board has initially requested the return of all archives relating to World War I and certain other items. Once the Wellcome Library has digitised the material requested, it will be permanently returned to the Army Medical Services Museum in Keogh Barracks, Mytchett in Surrey where it will be publically accessible. For the present, the remainder of the RAMC Muniments collection will continue to be held at the Wellcome Library.

Should you have any questions or concerns about any of this please feel free to contact us on or telephone +44 (0)20 7611 8899. Alternatively you can contact the Army Medical Services Museum on or telephone 01252 868612.

Author: Toni Hardy, Archivist

Toni Hardy

Toni Hardy is Archivist for Digital Discovery and Delivery at the Wellcome Library.

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