The Richard Burton Archives hold various collections from before and after the creation of the National Health Service that are of relevance to the history of medicine, health and various associated professions. These cover:
Entry from annual report and balance sheet for Clydach Nusing Association, 1931 (ref. LAC/92/R/6)
Friendly and Medical Societies
Particularly prior to the creation of the National Health Service, friendly and medical societies were ways in which people could make provision for some health care provision and support. Individuals, usually men, could apply be admitted as members, and this could sometimes cover their spouses and families too. If they were admitted as members they would pay a regular contribution to the society, so that, if needed, they could later apply for support. The societies would have rules and regulations, some of which would make moral as well as medical decisions.
The South Wales Miners' Federation, later the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area), organised and supported different types of health provision including ambulances, nursing, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, including 'homes' at Porthcawl, Talygarn near Pontyclun and Bournemouth. Examples from the South Wales Coalfield Collection in the Archives include:
Postcard of the north front of Talygarn Miners' Rest Home (ref. SWCC/PHO/NUM/6/11/2)
Talygarn Miners' Rest Home
In 1923 the South Wales Miners' Welfare Committee bought the house and grounds near Pontyclun from Wyndham Damar Clark, transforming it into a miners' convalescent home and later a rehabilitation centre for mineworkers. Items relating to Talygarn in the collections include:
The Archives holds a variety of items relating to nursing throughout the collections. As well as material relating to nursing associations, there are a significant number of photographs in the Raissa Page Collection relating to hospitals, nursing staff and doctors within the section relating to physical health.
Henry Leyshon Collection (ref. LAC/64)
Mr Henry Leyshon of Swansea was a committee member of the East Side District Nursing Association 1906-1912. The association was founded in 1905 when the first district nurse took up her duties. Henry Leyshon was later Chairman of the Association, 1913-1919, and Honorary Treasurer, 1914-1940. The collection includes:
Archives can reveal much about remedies and medication used in the past. These can be as part of the records of pharmacists and other medical practitioners as well as non-medical records such as church and household papers:
'A much approved Recipe for a violent Cold' from the 'The Pennsylvania Town and Country-Man’s Almanack' for 1768 kept by William Dillwyn (ref. LAC/26/B/7)
The employment and work of doctors, both pre- and post-creation of the National Health Service, can be found in the collections in the Archives:
Various types of record relating to named and unnamed hospitals in south Wales can be found in the collections:
Image of the hospital, Swansea, early 20th century (ref. SWCC/PHO/TOP/1/79/1)
Within the collections in the Archives there are documents relating to medicine and health overseas, particularly regarding the Spanish Civil War. Items include:
The Archives holds a variety of items relating to the provision and operation of ambulances throughout the collections. There are items relating to colliery ambulances, as well as rescue teams, St John ambulance and types of ambulance service.
St John Ambulance
Miners' banner "Help in time of need": South Wales Miners' Library
You may also want to contact individual hospitals, health boards, charitable bodies and other organisations.