As the above indicates, the Collection consists of a remarkably wide range of documents relating to the history of medicine in Manchester. The material is divided into sixteen subject- or genre-based sections.
The Publications series, MMC/1 , consists of almost 10,000 articles, reports and papers of a medical nature, written by Manchester-related medics since the 19th century [the collection does not include books]. Many of the pamphlets and offprints are rare and difficult to obtain; bringing together this published material in a single location is a considerable help to researchers as it not only allows the ability to trace published writings of single individuals but to relate these writings to the author's institutional connections, useful for studying the research programmes of hospitals and university medical departments.
The Biographical series, MMC/2, is also an invaluable resource for researchers. It comprises biographical data on over 5,500 individuals, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Biographical data has been collected from medical directories, curriculum vitae, MMS biographical forms, as well as from notes made by Bosdin Leech from mostly published secondary sources. The series includes a number of photographs of individuals, as well as some personal papers donated to the Collection by their creators or their descendants.
MMC/3, which complements the biographical series, is a brief collection of biographical material relating to medical practitioners in the North West of England but outside of the Greater Manchester area (i.e. Lancashire, Cheshire, North -west Derbyshire, West Riding, Westmoreland and Cumberland). The individuals recorded were active from the late 17th century to the early 19th century, and nearly all the information about them has been sourced from published material, particularly antiquarian histories.
MMC/4 is a miscellaneous collection of documents relating to various medical history themes. The choice of subject matter is idiosyncratic rather than comprehensive; there is material on homeopathy in Manchester, quackery, medicine and war, important historical episodes involving Manchester medics such as Peterloo, the 1745 rebellion in Manchester and the death of William Huskisson in a railway accident, locations in Manchester with medical associations, and material relating to specific specialisms such as obstetrics and gynaecology, and pharmacology.
MMC/5 is the Medical Education section, and consists of material relating to the proprietary medical schools in Manchester, including the Manchester Royal School of Medicine,and the Owens College/University of Manchester Medical School. No official archives survive for the proprietary schools, so the material in this section in of particular interest for medical education in the mid-nineteenth century. There is a minute book of the School of Medicine, as well as documents about students and staff in the schools. Documents for the University Medical School are more varied, and include interesting material relating to the social liefe of medical students, the syllabus and the old and new Medical School buildings.
MMC/6 is a small collection of offprints and pamphlets relating to a number of medical lectureships and scholarships in Manchester, namely the Lloyd Roberts Lectureship, the Dickinson Scholarship, the Llwyd Jones Lectureship and the Rickards Memorial Lecture.
MMC/7 comprises material relating to medical societies in Manchester, not including the societies for which we hold separate institutional archives (namely Manchester Medical Society and its predecessor societies). There is also material relating to meetings of national medical societies, such as the BMA, held in Manchester. MMC/7 is a useful source for the study of the development of provincial scientific and medical thought and discussion, and the professionalisation of medicine. Documents include annual reports, rulebooks, lists of members, circulars, and in a few cases, minute books. There are also a number of published addresses and reports produced by the societies. Much of the material in this section is unique as other records of these societies have not survived, particularly in the cases of the Manchester Medico-Ethical Association 1848-1936, the Clinical Society of Manchester 1885-1925, the Manchester Therapeutical Society 1897-1901 and the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch of the British Medical Association 1843-1965.
MMC/8 comprises documents from a variety of Manchester-based medical charities and welfare associations dating from the early nineteenth century through to the late twentieth century. Mostly published material, particularly annual reports. Societies covered include Manchester Hospital Work Society, Manchester and Salford District Provident Society, Lancashire and Cheshire Society for the Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded, Lancashire and Cheshire Society for the Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded, Manchester and Salford Blind Aid Society, Manchester Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute, Cripples' Help Society and local branches of the British Red Cross Society.
MMC/9 is the Hospitals section, and includes material on most of the hospitals in Manchester and Salford. Much of the material dates to the pre-NHS period, and there are sets of annual reports and rulebooks of the major voluntary hospitals, such as MRI, St Mary's Hospital, the Chrisite Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, and Salford Royal Hospitals. There is also a variety of material dealing with the history, buildings, staff and medical services of voluntary, Poor Law and municpal hospitals. Some of the sub-sections of MMC/9 deal with hospital/sanatorium type facilities run by medical charities and are therefore linked with the charitable groups described in MMC/8, e.g. the Jewish Fresh Air Home, Manchester School for the Deaf and Dumb, the David Lewis Epileptic Colony and the Barrowmore Hospital.
MMC/10 is a small collection of material relating to nursing in the Manchester area, consisting mostly of cuttings and flyers relating to nursing homes, promotion of nursing and articles on recruitment problems, and official reports on mental health nursing and nurse training.
MMC/11 is the National Insurance section containing papers relating to the Manchester Insurance Committee, who administered the Scheme, and the Manchester Medical (and Panel) Committee, who represented the panel doctors. There is also a substantial collection of cuttings relating mostly to the early years of National Insurance and a small number of other items relating to local implementation.
MMC/12 , MMC/13 , MMC/14 are related sections dealing with public health in the Manchester area. MMC/12 consists of published public health reports of Manchester and Salford Corporations. It includes the reports of the Medical Officer of Health, School Medical Officers, reports on TB and venereal disease, as well as weekly health reurns and maps of disease. There are also a few reports from surrounding urban district councils, Stretford, Sale and Swinton, as well as reports of the Port of Manchester Health Authority. MMC/13 is a small group of documents relating to the activities of three public health bodies active in Manchester: the Board of Health, the Manchester and Salford Sanitary Association, and the Ladies' Public Health Society. MMC/14 deals with a range of public health issues in Manchester and Salford, including such important topics as industrial health, food adulteration, air pollution, water supply and pollution, housing, maternity and child welfare services, burial grounds (and body-snatching), mortality statistics, and trreatment of the mentally ill. Most of the documents are published items, such as pamphlets, reports and newspaper cuttings.
MMC/15 deals with outbreaks and treatments of diseases in the Manchester, and includes miscellaneous material on infectious diseases such as plague, cholera, typhus, diphtheria, smallpox and rabies. There is also material on cancer, TB, poisons and sexual diseases.
MMC/16 comprises one item only, and is the original classification scheme for the Collection devised by EBL, with numerous manuscript amendments in his and other hands. It is useful for understanding Leech's original conception of the Collection.