Records of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minutes 1948-1964;
  • Annual reports and other publications 1814-1947;
  • Ledgers and cash books 1811-1957;
  • Case notes and records of electroconvulsive therapy 1816-1973;
  • Registers 1831-1975;
  • Admission documents 1816-1960;
  • Papers of auxiliary committee 1949-2002;
  • Registers of physical condition 1872-1958;
  • Files and papers of secretary / treasurers 1812-1957;
  • Files and papers of superintendents 1881-1987;
  • Files and papers of Dr A A Bell 1810-1966;
  • Miscellanous (including scrap book and publications) 1730-1999;
  • Photographs c1900-1991;
  • Maps and plans c1842-1989;
  • Records of gardener's department 1852-1993;
  • Western Regional Hospital Board circulars 1947-1965;
  • Education and training records 1968-1985;
  • Staff records of physician superintendent 1900-1968.
  • Pharmaceutical requisition books, 1953-1957.

Patient case notes numbers 1-1056 (ref: HB 13/5/178-194) are being recatalogued in more detail for a Wellcome Trust funded cataloguing project. These case notes are currently still in the process of being recatalogued and more details will follow shortly.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Committee of Management of the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum was formed in 1804. Construction of the Asylum commenced in 1810 and was completed in 1814. In 1843 the Asylum moved to new premises at Gartnavel which, like the previous buildings, were designed to facilitate segregation both by gender and social class. Substantial extensions were added in 1877, 1937 and 1959.

In 1824 a royal charter was obtained. In 1931 the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital, and the present name was adopted in 1963.

Construction of the adjacent Gartnavel General Hospital commenced in 1968, and as a result some sports and recreational facilities of the psychiatric hospital were lost. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the proportion of pauper lunatics at Gartnavel began to decline as parochial asylums came into being. After its transfer to the National Health Service Gartnavel continued to have a substantial proportion of paying patients.

Industrial/occupational therapy was formally introduced in 1922, and a psycho-geriatric unit was established in 1972. From 1948 until 1968, Gartnavel had its own Board of Management for Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital. In 1968 a new Board of Management for Glasgow Western and Gartnavel Hospitals was formed, mainly to facilitate the construction of the Gartnavel General Hospital. In 1974 Gartnavel was placed in the Western District of the GGHB. When the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust was formed in 1993, the hospital was placed within its jurisdiction. In 1999 the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust became the Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust. The Primary Care Trust became the Primary Care Division of NHS Greater Glasgow in 2004.


Largely in chronological order within record series unless further accessions have been added.

Access Information

Data protection applies for clinical records up to 75 years after their creation, or 100 years if the data subject is a minor. Administrative records have a closure period of 25 years.

Acquisition Information

Gartnavel Royal Hospital

Other Finding Aids

Item level catalogue can be located in the searchroom.

Conditions Governing Use

Archivist's permission

Appraisal Information

Standard GB 812 proceedures.

Location of Originals

The material is original.