March 4, 2013, by H Cotterill

Building the Medical School

It has been thirty-five years since the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Nottingham to open the new university hospital and medical school, named the Queen’s Medical Centre. The visit, which took place on 28th July 1977, was the culmination of years of planning and building work on the new complex.

Nottingham had been campaigning for a medical school since the 1940s but there was initially little wider support for the idea. That changed in the 1960s when a need to increase the number of doctors was identified. While existing medical schools were asked to expand in size and to increase the size of their intake the government also looked at establishing a totally new medical school. In July 1964 the Minister of Health announced that a new medical school and university hospital was to be established in Nottingham. This was to be the first new medical school established in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. 

Part of plan showing Floor A of the Medical School

Part of plan showing Floor A of the Medical School

The archives of the University of Nottingham’s Medical School have recently been transferred to Manuscripts and Special Collections and a project has begun to catalogue them. Although still in the early stages the cataloguing has already brought to light many fascinating records in the history of the Medical School. Particularly well represented are records to do with the planning and building of the Medical School and University Hospital. Over 60 plans of the architects firm Building Design Partnership have been catalogued, showing the site of the complex and the layout of individual floors and departments. There are also a series of photographs showing the construction of the Queen’s Medical Centre, from the start through to completion.

The records of the Medical School will be available to view in the Manuscripts and Special Collections reading room once cataloguing has been completed. The University holds many other collections of hospital and health records and a guide to these is available on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Posted in CataloguingUniversity archives