Update on BIR historical archives

Where is it now? 

Since the BIR moved from Portland Place in 2013 to new premises in Farringdon, we have been busy making sure that our collection of historic books, artefacts and papers can not only be looked after and safeguarded, but can be seen and appreciated by a wide range of people, including researchers and, in many cases, the general public.

So, we have been working in collaboration with the Science Museum, The Wellcome Trust and The Roentgen Museum in Germany who have kindly given our treasures a safe home.

Science Museum

Lord Salisbury HandWe are delighted that the Science Museum has kindly accepted most of our paintings, historical X-rays, such as an early X-ray image of Lord Salisbury’s hand, and some key historical books, such as The Electromagnet published in 1892 and Calculus Made Easy published in 1921 by Silvanus Thompson.

These will be displayed in the Science Museum’s new £24 million History of Medicine gallery due to be completed in 2019. This will complement the BIR’s unique collection of historical X-ray tubes that are currently available for viewing at the museum.



The Wellcome TrustRussell Ray skull

The Wellcome Trust will be safeguarding our collection of radiology books at the Wellcome Library, which will be available for viewing for study and research as soon as they have been added to the library catalogue. These include books in the English language from 1896 to 1999 such as The Practical Applications of the Röntgen Rays in Therapeutics and Diagnosis by Pusey and Caldwell, published in1904.

The Roentgen Museum

The Roentgen Museum in Remscheid, Germany, will be housing our collection of French, German, Dutch and English books dating from 1896 to 1910 such as the Bibliography of X-ray Literature and research by CES Philips published in 1897. These will be also be catalogued and made available to the public for research and study.

BIR Archives

Much of the BIR’s own archive has been kept in-house, which contains information about its history and origins. Some of this content will be posted on the BIR website in the history section. We hope that you will get involved too and send us your stories when we send out postings.

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