‘Evil consequences may well follow’: eugenics and the British medical establishment

After the Second World War, the British Advisory Committee for Medical War Crimes was set up to investigate experiments carried out on prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The committee’s records are held by the RCP archives. One of the categories into which the Committee divided the war crimes was eugenics, the bigoted ideology of ‘perfecting’ society through state-planned breeding. However, eugenics was not an ideology confined to Nazi Germany. Two members of the war crimes committee, Carlos Paton Blacker (1895-1975) and Aubrey Lewis (1900-1975), were also members of the RCP’s euphemistically named Voluntary Sterilisation Committee. Assistant Archivist, Felix Lancashire, examines eugenic theory and practice among British physicians in the 1930s-50s.


Please be aware that this blog contains distressing content from the outset. 

Felix Lancashire

A Thackeray Family Library

Library Volunteer Grace Murray uncovers an intriguing signature and a twisting tale of provenance that reminds us how individual collections can shape institutional libraries.

Investigating recipes: Is it supposed to look like this?

On 4 November 2022 we are joining with the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC) and the Wellcome Collection for a Transcribathon where participants form all over the world can take part in transcribing texts from our archives and enjoy talks and activities about early modern recipes throughout the day. Manuscript MS502, ‘A collection of medical receipts and prescriptions’, from our archives has been chosen as our text for transcription. To accompany the Transcribathon, archive manager, Pamela Forde, is producing a series of blogs focussing on each of the elements which make up a successful recipe.

Pamela Forde

Investigating recipes: How to boil an egg

Do you know how to properly apply a spiders web to a wound? Or how to  create your own pills?
Archive Manager Pamela Forde explores just how much knowledge and skill you would  have needed to work out a 17th century medical recipe in her latest blog