Papers of Ronald Epey Lane

  • Reference
      GB 133 REL
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 li.m.
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection, which includes reports, patient files, photographs, lectures, and working papers from Lane’s investigations, documents his commitment to occupational and industrial health through research and education. There is material relating to his work as a medical inspector for the Chloride Electric Storage Company, investigations into asbestos and TNT, and work with patients with tar warts. There is also material from administrative roles held by Lane, including a minute book from the North West Occupational Health Group, Chair of the Industrial Health at the University of Manchester, and his running of the Occupational Health Service. There is additional material relating to lectures he gave, and photographs of events he attended.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ronald Epey Lane was born on 2 July 1897. After serving in the RAF, Lane trained at Guy's Hospital. He held junior positions at Guy's before settling in general practice in Nottingham where he was also honorary surgeon to Nottinghamshire General Dispensary. Lane's interest in occupational medicine began in 1927 when he was appointed to investigate health problems connected with the electric accumulator industry. In 1929 was appointed consulting physician to most of the industry, a position which involved much research into industrial medicine. The quality of his research was rewarded when he became a member of the Industrial Health Research Board in 1937.

During the 1930s Lane also held appointments at Salford Royal Infirmary, where he was appointed physician in 1937. World War II saw Lane heavily involved in research and research management for the Occupational Health Committee of the Medical Research Council especially in relation to the training of doctors and nurses.

In 1945 Lane was appointed to the UK's first chair of industrial medicine at the University of Manchester. His appointment was part of the University's objectives in expanding its medical research activities, and under Lane, important studies were carried out into lead, cadmium and antimony poisoning, injuries caused by electric shocks, industrial noise, Raynaud's disease, rheumatism in miners and byssinosis in textile workers . The department, which renamed Occupational Medicine in 1947, also ran an Occupational Hygiene Service for local industries. Lane retired in 1964.

Lane held a number of public appointments including membership of the Ministry of Pensions' National Injuries Advisory Council, and the ministry of Labour's Industrial Health Advisory Council, the ILO/WHO Occupational Health Advisory Committee, and the Medical Research Council's Occupational Health Committee (of which he was chair for many years). Lane also helped establish the British Journal of Industrial medicine. Ronald Lane died on 14 March 1995.


The collection is arranged to reflect Lane's work in occupational health.

  • REL/1 - Medical Inspector to the Chloride Electric Storage Company
  • REL/2 - Investigations into Asbestos
  • REL/3 - Investigations into TNT Toxicity
  • REL/4 - Work with Tar Wart Patients
  • REL/5 - North West Occupational Health Group
  • REL/6 - Lectures and Working Papers
  • REL/7 - Tour of South Africa
  • REL/8 - Chair of Industrial Health at the University of Manchester
  • REL/9 - Occupational Health Service
  • REL/10 - Photographs

Access Information

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Open parts of this collection, and the catalogue descriptions, may contain personal data about living individuals. Some items in this collection may be closed to public inspection in line with the requirements of the DPA. Restrictions/closures of specific items will be indicated in the catalogue.

Acquisition Information

Transferred by Ronald Lane's former department in January 2014. It is assumed that they had been retained there since Professor Lane's retirement.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Related Material

The Vice-Chancellor's Archive contains a file on the Department of Industrial Medicine (VCA/7/302). Lane's research work on byssinosis is covered in a file in the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners Archive (ACS/6/7/11) . The Sydney Henry (SHE)and Thomas Legge (TML) collections also deal with medical research into industrial diseases.