Blair-Bell 13: A man of different hats….

As I draw to the end of this phase in the cataloguing project, I begin to understand just how this collection of papers of Professor William Blair-Bell provides a wonderful story of him as a medic and a man during the 1920s and 1930s. The same themes recur over the three series of papers (S1,…

Blair-Bell 12: Important Connections in International Cancer Research Work

Two more boxes of papers relating to the career of Professor William Blair-Bell have been catalogued and repackaged since the last posting to this blog, and some quite exciting professional connections have been unearthed! As well as correspondence between 1926 and 1928 from random members of the public to Professor Blair-Bell, giving their own opinions…

Blair-Bell 11: ‘What does cause Cancer? Is it cold?’

This question was put to Professor William Blair-Bell by an anonymous correspondent sometime in 1926 or 1927, and serves as quite a good summary of the variety of letters received by him during his time spent on research work during the late-1920s. Newspapers throughout the country ran a story on the work on cancer treatments…

Blair-Bell 10: Blood Transfusions and Cancer Research

And so the cataloguing continues, and the overriding theme of these series of papers relating to Professor Blair-Bell seems to be his connection with the Liverpool Medical Research Organisation ath the University of Liverpool, including its administration, and his involvement in research into the use of lead preparations as a treatment for cancer. Some of…

Blair-Bell 9: The importance of context!

Following the Easter break, I returned to this cataloguing project – and to this blog! Confession time: as I started the next phase of the project, which is revisiting the legacy catalogue records of the files in series S10, I couldn’t help losing some of my previous enthusiasm amid the routine correspondence of the Liverpool…

Blair-Bell 8: Wills and Wartime!

Having turned my back on the dirt and disarray of the uncatalogued section of the first phase of the Blair-Bell project, I began the next phase of the project by looking at the small series of letters and papers relating to Professor Blair-Bell which had come from diverse sources. Not as exciting, but still some…

Blair-Bell 7: Dirt and disarray!

This blog covers the end of this first stage in providing a comprehensive catalogue to the papers of Professor William Blair-Bell held here at the RCOG. This part of the project looked at material originally catalogued and referenced S1, and is composed of records bought by the College at auction in 1986. Catalogue descriptions consisted…

Blair-Bell 6: Books!

The latest work on the papers of Professor William Blair-Bell has seen the beginning of an exciting phase of the project – the cataloguing of previously unlisted material. My librarian colleagues could barely disguise their amusement at my delight on opening four boxes of unsorted, unpackaged, slightly dirty, papers and notebooks, and as I got…

Blair-Bell 5: Professional correspondence during the 1920s

This post covers the end of the first phase in the cataloguing of the papers of Professor Blair-Bell – that is, an overhaul of the existing descriptions to papers already made available. These last 36 folders of material can all be categorized as ‘professional correspondence’, and overwhelmingly pertain to the dates 1920 to 1922. The…

Blair-Bell 4: A bit of detective work…

The requirement to be something of a Sherlock Holmes is not generally seen as being one of the skills needed for archive work, but this was certainly the case this week! Quite often, in order to place the context to papers and enable access to as many readers as possible, we need to probe a…

Blair-Bell 3: Letters of a very personal nature….

While in these early stages of the project almost all the files seem to have something of an interesting or unexpected nature, I am beginning to suspect that Blair-Bell’s material will produce nuggets of gold right to the end! This week, with eight more files catalogued and repackaged, it is Blair-Bell as the esteemed doctor…

Blair-Bell 1: To begin……

A new project for 2012 is to undertake the complete cataloguing and arrangement of the papers of Professor William Blair-Bell (1871 – 1936), co-founder of the British College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1929 and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Liverpool. The impetus to this project came from the generous donation…