Research opportunity in 19th and early 20th century British children’s hospitals and child health


PhD Bursaries available from Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston University


Deadline: 15 June 2012


Kingston University has announced it is making 14 fees-only PhD bursaries available across arrange of subject areas within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, including History.


Over the last ten years, the History Department at Kingston has been constructing a series of databases created from admission registers to four children’s hospitals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the objectives of building the databases was to encourage academic work on these sources by developing a series of questions such sources could be used to investigate.  The databases provide information on nearly 120,000 individual patients including age, sex, admission details, original diagnosis, length of stay in hospital and outcome of stay. Some also contain information on treatment received and family background (eg fathers’ occupations and religion). They can be linked in the case of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow to surviving case notes which provide more detail on both treatment and patient background. Together these sources provide a unique insight into the care (and living conditions) of poor sick children at a time when the speciality of paediatrics was only just beginning to emerge.


Kingston History Department would be interested in offering advice and support to anyone who would like to make these databases the central resource in a PhD project, and particularly anyone who would be interested applying for one of the bursaries. We cannot guarantee success, as the bursaries are offered in open competition across the Faculty, but we would be keen to encourage and support any such application.


Further information about the awards can be found at this link:


Further information on the children’s hospital project and the databases themselves can be found on our dedicated public website<> (access is free).


If you would like to talk through an idea for a research proposal please feel free to contact Dr Sue Hawkins ([email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>).


Dr Sue Hawkins

Lecturer, History Department, Kingston University Project manager: Historic Hospital Admission Records Project