Historic Hospital Admission Records Project

The Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (HHARP) is an active ongoing partnership between Kingston University's Centre for the Historical Record and four children's hospital archives. It began life in 2001 as a project to create a database of late 19th and early 20th century admissions to the Hospital for Sick Children, whose extensive archive is still maintained and housed within the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust. Surviving records for the Hospital's convalescent home, Cromwell House, were also added. Subsequently, the project was expanded to include admissions databases for three other children's hospitals: the Evelina Hospital (now part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust), whose records are held at the London Metropolitan Archives; the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease (records held at the Museum and Archive Department of St Bartholomew's and the London NHS Trust) and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) in Glasgow, whose records are held by the hospital.

The databases are available for all to access via the dedicated, free of charge website. They can be searched and analysed by a number of fields, including name, address and disease. The website also provides access to a growing collection of articles written by the project's medical historians which offer an insight into the care and treatment of sick children in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

HHARP is an evolving key resource for people interested in the history of children's medicine and has been cited by historians in their work on childhood disease, while a number of university history departments are using it as a pedagogic tool. It has also proved of great interest to family historians. Funding for the project came principally from the Research Resources in Medical History Programme of the Wellcome Trust, with additional financial support from the Friends of Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Nuffield Foundation and the History Research Unit at Kingston University.

Key facts

  • Databases of admissions to: Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Evelina, the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.
  • Contains c120,000 admission records from 1852-1914.
  • Searchable indexes provide access to the data and include standardised diseases and addresses to enable comparisons between hospitals.
  • The GOSH database is supplemented by 1,300 digitised case notes from Dr Charles West, the hospital's founder, with more in progress.
  • A library containing over 70 articles and a gallery of images from the four hospitals.

Project team

  • Dr John Stewart: Principal Investigator, Centre for the Historical Record
  • Dr Sue Hawkins: Investigator, Centre for the Historical Record
  • Dr Helen Goepel: Database and Volunteer Manager, Centre for the Historical Record
  • Juliet Warren: Researcher and Database Manager, Centre for the Historical Record
  • Oliver Cope: Web Design Consultant

The project is indebted to former colleagues who worked on earlier stages of the project:

  • Dr Andrea Tanner: Project Director (2001-2009)
  • Dr Christopher French: Director, Centre for Local History Studies, Kingston University (now retired)
  • Annie Sullivan: former Volunteer Manager, Kingston University
  • Peter Tilley: Database Design Consultant and technical advisor to the project
  • Alicja Skowronska: Clinical Coding Consultant

And the following archivists:

  • Nicholas Baldwin: Archivist, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
  • Katie Ormerod: Deputy Archivist, St. Bartholomew's Hospital Archives & Museum
  • Alma Topen: Archivist, Royal Glasgow Sick Children's Hospital

Volunteers

The Project team would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the large number of dedicated volunteers and Kingston University students, without whose work on transcribing the records, checking and correcting the database, this project would have been impossible.