Correspondence relating to the Scottish Anti-Vaccination League

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of correspondence relating to the Scottish Anti-Vaccination League, Kirkcaldy, 1896-1897.

Administrative / Biographical History

Throughout the 19th century there had been serious outbreaks of highly infectious smallpox in the UK which was most severe among children. The disease was most commonly found in densely populated districts. The first Vaccination Act of 1840 was an early attempt to control the disease but vaccination was provided on a request basis only. The 1871 Vaccination Act heralded compulsory infant vaccination however, and out of this compulsion the anti-vaccination movements were born across the country.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material purchased from Broughton Books, Edinburgh, November 1989, Accession no. E89.75.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Willis, Tim. 'Vaccination: politics, the press, and public health' in Wellcome history. No.21. October 2002. ISSN: 1477-4860. The Wellcome Trust.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes this material related to the Anti-Vaccination League: records, 1873-1897, Keighley Public Library, Ref. BK33