Institutional records of the Society, including a minute book, by-laws, lists of members, financial and administrative records. The Society did not produce annual reports.
Archive of the Manchester Surgical Society
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 133 MSS
- Dates of Creation1922-1950
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description0.3 li.m 83 items
- LocationCollection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main John Rylands University Library.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The Manchester Surgical Society was founded in 1922. One of its main aims was to bring together surgeons from MRI and the non-teaching hospitals in the Manchester area, particularly Ancoats Hospital and Salford Royal Hospital. Surgeons from Ancoats and Salford were keen to promote surgical education and had helped arrange teaching for the final fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons. This had aroused some opposition from MRI's surgical staff and the faculty of medicine of the University of Manchester.
A group of surgeons met in April 1922 at MRI to discuss the formation of a surgical society, which, they hoped, would create a more constructive attitude to surgical teaching and research in the city. A small executive committee was set up in May to discuss a constitution drafted by the orthopaedic surgeon, Harry Platt (1886-1986). The first full meeting was held at MRI on 29 May 1922. Twenty two surgeons attended the original meetings and invitations were sent out to other surgeons in the region. Arthur Burgess (1874-1948) was elected first president of the Society, Gilbert Warburton was treasurer and Platt acted as secretary.
Platt had drawn on his experience in setting up the British Orthopaedic Association in 1918 to frame the constitution. Membership was made up of honorary members, full members and associate members (the latter being mostly junior surgeons). The founding members were hand-picked by those establishing the Society, and included practitioners from the periphery of the Manchester area as well as surgeons in the major city hospitals. They included gynaecologists and otolaryngoloists. The Society had thirty nine members on foundation, and this number more than doubled in the following decade.
The Society was very active in its early years, owing much to the enthusiasm of its secretary, Harry Platt. The Society's main activities were lectures, discussions, clinical meetings, operations meetings and visits to counterpart societies in Liverpool and Leeds. There were also annual lectures from a distinguished member of the profession. Committee meetings were held by the president usually at his home or in a local club. Meetings were suspended during the Second World War. The Society played an important role in publicising developments in surgery in the North West region. In 1950 the Society merged with the Manchester Medical Society, becoming the Section of Surgery.
The archive is divided into the following series:
- /1 Laws of the Society
- /2 Records of meetings
- /3 Membership records
- /4 Administrative records
- /5 Financial records
- /6 Addresses
Former reference: Manchester Medical Collection H 2 e
The collection is open to any accredited reader.
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Conditions Governing Use
Photocopies and photographic copies 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 University Library, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PP.
The archive was maintained by the Society until it amalgamated with the Manchester Medical Society in 1950. The MMS then took over custody of the archive until it was transferred to JRUL at a later date.
The collection is held on deposit at JRUL on behalf of the MMS.