19th Century Children’s Hospitals

HHARPEver wondered what life was like for sick children admitted to hospital in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? HHARP (the Historic Hospital Admission Records Project) is an active ongoing partnership between Kingston University’s Centre for the Historical Record and four children’s hospital archives. Hospitals included in the project are the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street (GOSH), the Evelina Hospital (now part of St Thomas’ Hospital London), the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) in Glasgow.

The HHARP Website

The project has created databases of admissions to these hospitals for a period stretching from 1852 to 1914. A dedicated, free of charge, website  provides access to the databases which can be searched by name, address, disease and outcome of treatment. The website also hosts a growing collection of articles written by the project’s medical historians offering insight into the care and treatment of sick children in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Impact

HHARP2HHARP has been cited by historians in their work on childhood disease, and is used by a number of university history departments 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.
  • Standardisation of disease terms and indexing of addresses enables comparison between the hospitals.
  • A small collection of case notes for two of Great Ormond Street’s prestigious medical officers is also accessible via the website.
  • A library containing over 70 articles and a gallery of images from the four hospitals.
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