The papers consist of medical reports and related material (including photographs) for Fife and Kinross in general and for certain specific areas and institutions within Fife and Kinross, between 1890 and 1973. These include annual reports from the medical officers of health in St Andrews, Dunfermline and Leven; annual reports from the St Andrews Institute for Clinical Research, the Glenlomond Sanatorium, Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital and St Andrews Memorial Cottage Hospital. There are also surveys of housing provision and needs in the Fife villages from 1944 to 1973.
In the case of Leven the MOH's papers include related material on housing, the pollution of the river Leven, the town water supply, the slaughterhouse, and, for 1939-45, matters such as billeting and air-raid shelters. There are also papers relating to the career of Dr R Balfour Graham, the source of the papers relating to Leven.
Box 8 contains papers relating to the health of miners in the Lochgelly area, 1954-56. Box 12 contains a large number of photographs, mostly recent prints, some from old originals. These include a number of pictures relating to mines rescue.
The early medical reports contain details of matters such as water supply and sanitation. In later years there is less emphasis on this, which has become the province of the Engineering Department of the County Council, and the local Sanitary Inspectors (some of whose reports are also to be found in this collection). Later still, Social Work became a separate speciality and the remit of the Medical Officer of Health was further narrowed.
The interest of this collection lies not only in the official records it contains, but also in the more informal material, such as handwritten comments on official documents, and correspondence and newspaper cuttings relating to a wide range of issues.