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Records of Western Infirmary, hospital, Glasgow, Scotland

Compiled by Alistair Tough, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archivist, 23 July 1998.
GB 812 HB 6 and HH 66.
Records of Western Infirmary, hospital, Glasgow, Scotland.
Dates of Creation:
88.00 metres.
Held at:
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives.
Name of Creator:
Western Infirmary (hospital: 1874– : Glasgow, Scotland).
Language of Material:
Level of Description:
First edition.

Administrative/Biographical History

The Western Infirmary was planned and built as an integral part of the removal of Glasgow University from the High Street to its present site at Gilmorehill. The Infirmary has served as a teaching hospital since it was opened in 1874. Its initial complement of 150 beds was increased to 350 in 1881 and 630 in 1906–1911. A new nurses home was opened in 1891, the Lady Hozier Convalescent Home was acquired in 1893, the Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology was opened in 1936 and the Gardiner Institute of Medicine in 1938. In respect of both laboratory services and radiology the Western has long been proud of its pioneering role. In the 1950s it was agreed that the maintenance costs of the Western’s original buildings could no longer be sustained.

A rebuilding programme in two phases was authorised in 1964–1965 and the 256–bed Phase I was completed in 1974. Phase II was indefinitely postponed in 1975. Since the completion of the 576 bed Gartnavel General Hospital in 1973, the work of the Western Infirmary and Gartnavel General has been closely coordinated. The Western was placed under the Board of Management for Glasgow Western (later Western and Gartnavel) Hospitals from 1948 to 1974 and in 1974 was placed in the Western District of the Greater Glasgow Health Board. In 1993 the Western passed to the West Glasgow University NHS Trust. In 1993 the West Glasgow University NHS Trust was formed. This was replaced in 1999 by the larger North Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust which also includes Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Gartnavel General, the Dental Hospital and Stobhill Hospital.

Scope and Content

  • Annual Reports, 1873–1947
  • Attendance register for students of clinical surgery, 1875–1887
  • Badges and decorations belonging to nurses, undated
  • Career profiles of medical and surgical staff, 1890s–1940s
  • Clinical records, genito–urinary patients, 1902–1948, and kidney patients, 1935–1942
  • Correspondence and working papers of Dr L MacQueen as co–author of history cited, 1973–1975
  • Letter books, 1911–1931
  • Lists of Residents, 1874–1971
  • Minutes, 1874–1974
  • Orthopaedic operations books, 1945–1980
  • Pamphlets, 1883–1958
  • Papers of or regarding Matron Helen Gregory Smith, 1900–1956
  • Photographs, principally of probationers/trainee nurses and residents, 1903–1988
  • Record of decorations awarded to nurses, 1916–1946
  • Registers of deaths, 1874–1979
  • Registers of nurses, 1890–1930
  • Registers of probationers/nurses in training, 1894–1901 and 1907–1929
  • Scrap books of press cuttings, 1893–1967
  • Ward journals, part indexed, 1874–1940
  • Weekly returns of patient numbers, 1935–1938
System of Arrangement:
Chronological within record class.
Custodial History:
Records held within National Health Service prior to transfer.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:
Western Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland.
Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling:
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 812 procedures.
Further accessions are 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 28: Records of Western Regional Hospital Board, Glasgow
GB 812 HB 37: Records of Glasgow Western (and Gartnavel) Hospitals Board of Management
GB 812 HB 55: Records of Greater Glasgow Health Board
Publication Note:
Kerr, A B and MacQueen, L, The Western Infirmary 1874–1974 (Glasgow and London, John Horn Ltd, 1974).

Fonds–Level Description Compilation Details

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