Project summary and acknowledgements

The “'Sexually Transmitted Infections in London during the Twentieth Century” project has now come to an end! In this last post we would like to summarise what has been achieved and to thank those who have made this fascinating project possible. For the past three years The Royal London Hospital Archives has been working towards... Continue Reading →

The private (sex) lives of 20th Century East London

One of the most fascinating aspects of these medical records is the different stories they can tell us. Between the lines detailing diagnosis and treatment that each of those patients received, there are untold stories revealing aspects of social history and people’s habits that are very particular to these documents. Let’s take the private sex... Continue Reading →

Doodles in the patient notes

Warning! You might see a male genital organ doodle in this post... Working with a collection that covers a sensitive and stigmatised subject such as Sexual Transmitted Infections has its challenges. We come across many stories that are too private and too personal to be shared, and for ethical reasons we cannot tell them. However,... Continue Reading →

Project continues: making our collections available

Our project to make available the archives related to the treatment of sexually transmitted infections held at the Royal London Hospital continues. We have started a second phase of redacting these records in order to anonymise them. This will give researchers access to these unique records for the first time. The documents date from approximately... Continue Reading →

A Medical Student in the Archives

Each year the Archives runs a module on the History of Medicine which allows students access to the collections to create a project around the sources they find. One student who participated this year was Nadya Ali Ebrahim Ali Alfardan, who researched the history of Syphilis using the records of the Ambrose King Centre. We... Continue Reading →

Digitisation Assistant’s Perspective

Digitisation (converting material of various formats to a digital copy) has been a central part of this project, helping us to achieve our aim of providing access to the collection. Digitising material is beneficial for a variety of reasons; it minimises the need for fragile items to be handled, allows information to be found more... Continue Reading →

Biography: Ambrose King

The Ambrose King Centre was established in 1929 by the London County Council (LCC), and came to be known as the Whitechapel Clinic. It is a department which specifically deals with venereal diseases. The London County Council ran the department until the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 and afterwards it was run... Continue Reading →


This exciting project aims to make the papers related to the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections at the Royal London Hospital available to the public for the first time. Dating from approximately 1903-2000, this fascinating collection comprises a range of materials including confidential registers, case notes, photographs and slides, as well as items relating to the study of STIs by... Continue Reading →

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