fonds NHS/YCH - York County Hospital Archive

Identity area

Reference code



York County Hospital Archive


  • 1742-1999 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6.78 cubic metres

349 boxes and 17 rolls

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

York County Hospital was established in 1740, as a voluntary hospital, that is, a charity supported by the subscriptions of the wealthy in order to treat poor deserving patients for free. It was founded largely because of a legacy left for the purpose by Lady Elizabeth Hastings.

The hospital, which took general medical and surgical patients, was initially based in rented premises in Monkgate, but a subscription was raised to build a purpose built hospital, also sited in Monkgate, which was begun in 1742 and largely completed by 1746.

A second purpose built hospital building, larger than the old, and standing in front of it, was built in 1849-51, and the original building was pulled down in 1851. The second building was used as the main block up to the closure of the hospital in 1976, but additions were built on the site around it during the late 19thc and 20th c. Despite this, accommodation remained cramped, and the hospital small for York's needs: there were just over 200 beds, after a number of extensions, in 1948.

The hospital ran as a charity up to the creation of the National Health Service (NHS), but in the 20th c. subscriptions and investments were supplemented by patients' fees and insurance schemes. It became part of the NHS in 1948.

Throughout its life, the hospital was York's main medical and surgical hospital, although under the NHS a number of other general hospitals (City Hospital, Fulford Hospital, Military Hospital etc) were run in conjunction with it.

The hospital closed in 1977, after the completion of the new York District Hospital. The 1849-51 block is still standing, having been converted in 1998-9 to flats. York County Hospital is notable as the site of one of the earliest known hospital radios, established by photographer Thomas Hanstock in 1925.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1995 as part of the transfer of York Health Archives to the Institute from their temporary home at Clifton Hospital. Other items were transferred to the Borthwick from York City Archives and York Medical Society Library in the same year to create a united York County Hospital archive. A further addition was made to the archive in 2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Administrative records, comprising Trustees Court minutes, 1742-1948; General Court minutes, 1742-1948; House Committee minutes, 1831-1948; with index, 1930-1946; Sub-committee minutes, 1907-1912, 1917-1948; Medical Board minutes, 1908-1948; Medical Board Development Sub-committee minutes, 1929-1930; Elective Committee minutes, 1906-1948; York A Group House Committee minutes, 1962-1970; annual reports, 1808-1809, 1841, 1866-1948; rules and bye-laws, 1851-20th century; correspondence and other papers, 1792-1958; death certificates of hospital trustees, 1912-1936; printed material relating to the hospital, including press cuttings, 1829-1971; photographs, c.1910-1970s; copy draft of receipt of stock, money and articles of York Eye Institution on amalgamation with York County Hospital, 1887; audio tape record of County Hospital Stores Inquiry with list of interviewees, 1962.

Land and buildings records, comprising plans and drawings, 1927-c.1968; deeds and papers, 1824-1948.

Financial records, comprising general accounts, 1823-1876; deeds and papers relating to York County Hospital Trust, including legacies, bequests and special funds, 1751-1940; papers relating to investments, 1889-1928; insurance policies, 1937-1949; correspondence and papers relating to national savings, 1940-1943; bank books and statements, 1938-1949; finance committee papers, 1939-1948, audit papers, 1943-1948; papers relating to patient accounts and property, 1922-1952; and papers and ;correspondence relating to wages and salaries, 1932-1949.

Stores and equipment records, comprising inventories, 20th century, papers and correspondence relating to general and medical equipment, 1876-1951; linen, including the Ethel Crombie Linen Guild, 1914-1947; and emergency hospital scheme equipment and special provision, 1939-1947.

Establishment records, comprising register of staff appointments, 1944-1948; papers relating to staff training and conditions, 1941-1950; papers relating to the staff social club, 1964-1969; nursing school records, including regulations and prospectuses, 20th century; training registers, 1946-1956; examination papers, 1950s; and related papers, 1948-1950s.

Patient records, comprising admission registers, 1829-1904; case notes, 1908-1947; theatre registers, 1962-1977; referral cards, 1944-1946; pathology laboratory records, early 20th century-1961; and copies of Pharmacopoeia, 20th century.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Includes audio tape. Access to audiovisual material may be restricted due to technical requirements, please contact the Borthwick Institute for more information.

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For related material held by the Borthwick Institute, see the archives of York A Group Hospital Management Committee and its successor, in particular their printed annual reports. See also the archives of York Medical Society, the Margaret Barnet Archive and the Records of Jack Kenneth Willson-Pepper.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Accession area