Records relating to the RCOG and Population Investigation Committee of the Eugenics Society

Scope and Content

Correspondence of the Follow-up Survey Sub-committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) and the Institute of Child Health (University of London), 1949-1952, with some agenda and minutes of the Follow-up Survey Sub-Committee, including funding applications to the Nuffield Foundation, survey forms and summaries of survey data.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Population Investigation Committee (PIC) was established by the Eugenics Society in 1936 to promote and undertake inquiries into various aspects of population questions. In 1945 a Joint Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the PIC was established with the aim of conducting a survey of maternity services in selected areas throughout England, Scotland and Wales; the survey was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. All women in Great Britain who had given birth during a single week in March 1946 were interviewed by health visitors, and information collated on their use of maternity services, economic and social background, infant feeding and survival of the baby. The results were published in Maternity in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, 1948). In 1948 the Joint Committee's scope was broadened to include the study of child health and development, and a Follow-up Survey Sub-committee comprising RCOG, PIC and the Institute of Child Health (London School of Economics, University of London), was established to conduct a survey of the children enrolled in the 1946 survey. Two studies were made, in 1948 and 1950, again with funds from the Nuffield Foundation. In 1951 the College withdrew from the Joint Committee on the grounds that the work now extended beyond the scope of the College.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright of the RCOG. Reproductions are available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Related Material

Related material held at the RCOG may be found at the following references:

RCOG/T8 The minute book of the Joint Committee of the RCOG and the Population Investigation Committee inquiry into maternity services, 1945-1948, which includes minutes of the Follow-up Sub-committee of the RCOG, the Population Investigation Committee and the Institute of Child Health (University of London), dated 1947-1951

RCOG/B2/9 Some correspondence of the Committee dated 1937

The archives of the Eugenics Society 1908-1979 are held in the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

The archives of the Population Investigation Committee are held by the London School of Economics.