Document Reference NumberLMS
TitleLeicester Medical Society
DescriptionThe archives of the Leicester Medical Society cover its administrative history, with particular focus on the Society's library. It also covers some of their financial records, membership and events they held. There is also a section of photographs which mainly covers presidents and other individuals associated with the society. There is a section on related bodies which covers the Public Medical Service, Leicester Royal Infirmary, the Postgraduate Medical School and the University of Leicester Medical School. There is a section of ephemera created by medical bodies in and around Leicestershire, plus some thesis related to the Leicester Medical Society. Finally, there are papers related to two prominent Leicester physicians: Ernest R Frizelle and Charles J Bond.
Extent50 boxes; 2 oversized folders; 4 large volumes
ArrangementThe archives of the Leicester Medical Society were catalogued by library staff in the 1990s and the arrangement reflects that catalogue to a large extent, with new sections created where required.
AdminHistoryThe Leicester Medical Society is one of the oldest medical societies in the country. It began as the Leicester Medical Book Society on 11 August 1800, set up as a medical lending library. It dissolved and was immediately reconstituted as the New Leicester Medical Book Society on 3 January 1825. It was first noted as the ‘Leicester Medical Society’ on 5 September 1846 when a dusting committee recommended that all books should be stamped with the words ‘Leicester Medical Society’. It could have been referred to by this name at an earlier date but with Minute Book III (1841-1856) missing, there are no records to indicate this. In 1857 the society had its first recorded clinical meeting, showing a move away from the library connection.

Initially, membership was open only to practitioners in the City, new members requiring approval by at least two-thirds of the members present at a meeting. A resolution to admit practitioners from the County was defeated in 1844, and not until the Medical Act of 1858 came into force was a resolution carried that "all legally qualified medical practitioners resident in Leicester and Leicestershire be eligible to become members of the Society, subject to the approval of the Committee." Despite this, county members were known as associate members. Female members were not admitted until 1919.

The library moved premises many times, being house in the Postgraduate Medical Centre in Leicester Royal Infirmary from 1968 and moving into the University of Leicester’s Clinical Sciences Library of the new Medical School in 1978. Its books and archives are now held in the University’s Special Collections and Archives.
The long-standing relationship between the Society and the medical scene in Leicestershire was emphasised in 1985 when the Society gladly accepted Mr Ernest Frizelle's suggestion that it should be entrusted with the publication and distribution of his book The Life and Times of the Royal Infirmary at Leicester: the making of a teaching hospital. 1985 also saw the successful completion of the restoration of the Leicester Medical Society’s most valuable books.
Today, the Leicester Medical Society still holds monthly lectures, bursary provision for students and continued support for local medical professionals and their families.
The Library and Archives of the Leicester Medical Society reflects the interests and concerns of the local medical profession in the 19th and 20th centuries.
AccessStatusSome material may be unavailable for general access
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