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Records of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland

Compiled by Alistair Tough, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archivist, 23 July 1998.
GB 812 HB 13.
Records of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland.
Dates of Creation:
56.00 metres.
Held at:
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives.
Name of Creator:
Gartnavel Royal Hospital (hospital: 1804– : Glasgow, Scotland).
Language of Material:
Level of Description:
First edition.

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Administrative/Biographical History

The Committee of Management of the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum was formed in 1804. Construction of the Asylum commenced in 1810 and was completed in 1814. In 1843 the Asylum moved to new premises at Gartnavel which, like the previous buildings, were designed to facilitate segregation both by gender and social class. Substantial extensions were added in 1877, 1937 and 1959. In 1824 a royal charter was obtained, in 1931 the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital and the present name was adopted in 1963. Construction of the adjacent Gartnavel General Hospital commenced in 1968 and as a result some sports and recreational facilities of the psychiatric hospital were lost.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century the proportion of pauper lunatics at Gartnavel began to decline as parochial asylums came into being. After its transfer to the National Health Service Gartnavel continued to have a substantial proportion of paying patients. Industrial/occupational therapy was formally introduced in 1922 and a psycho–geriatric unit was established in 1972. From 1948 until 1968 Gartnavel had its own Board of Management for Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital.

In 1968 a new Board of Management for Glasgow Western and Gartnavel Hospitals was formed, mainly to facilitate the construction of the Gartnavel General Hospital. In 1974 Gartnavel was placed in the Western District of the GGHB. When the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust was formed, in 1993, the hospital was placed within its jurisdiction. In 1999 the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust became the Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust. The Primary Care Trust became the Primary Care Division of NHS Greater Glasgow in 2004.

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Scope And Content

  • Admission warrants, 1815–1962
  • Case notes, 1814–1973
  • Circular letters received from Western Regional Hospital Board, 1947–1973
  • Files and papers of Physician Superintendents, 1881–1981
  • Files and papers of Secretary/Treasurers, 1812–1957
  • Financial records, 1811–1957
  • Gardener’s Department production and other records, 1852–1980
  • Gartnavel Gazette, 1853–1855 and 1903–1925
  • Maps and plans, 1842–1968
  • Minutes, 1925–1986
  • Miscellaneous printed ephemera, 1809–1999
  • Nursing report books, 1948–1965
  • Personal papers of Dr Andrew A Bell, 1924–1966
  • Photographs, c.20th century
  • Registers of patients, accidents and staff, 1814–1964
  • Reports on official inspections, 1867–1902 and 1908–1948
  • Royal charters, 1824 and 1931
System of Arrangement:
Chronological within record class.
Custodial History:
Records held within National Health Service prior to transfer.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:
Gartnavel Royal Hospital.
Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling:
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 812 procedures.
None expected.
Access Conditions:
Normal 30 year and 75 year closures apply.
Copyright / Reproduction:
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents.
Existence of Copies:
No known copies.
This material is original.
Finding Aids:
Descriptive list.
Related Units of Description:
GB 812 HB 21: Records of West of Scotland Neuro–Psychiatric Research Institute, Glasgow
GB 812 HB 27: Records of Lansdowne Clinic, Glasgow
GB 812 HB 28: Records of Western Regional Hospital Board, Glasgow
GB 812 HB 55: Records of Greater Glasgow Health Board
Publication Note:
Andrews, J and Smith, I, Let there be light again: A History of Gartnavel Royal Hospital from its beginnings to the present day, (Greater Glasgow Health Board, 1993).

Fonds–Level Description Compilation Details

Compiled by Alistair Tough, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archivist, 23 July 1998.

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