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Local Government Board and predecessor and successor: Medical Department: Official Memoranda and Senior Officers' Papers

MH 113
Local Government Board and predecessor and successor: Medical Department: Official Memoranda and Senior Officers' Papers

This series consists of, for the most part, an annual series of official memoranda used within the Medical Department successively of the Privy Council and the Local Government Board together with copies of reports of local inspections into infectious diseases. These papers are not a homogeneous collection. More than half the volumes can be associated with either Dr George Buchanan or his son Dr George Seaton Buchanan. The basis of this group is composed of Dr George Buchanan's personal collection of official papers. He brought together, initially for his own use, both office memoranda, used within the Medical Department of the Privy Council and later the Local Government Board, and copies of local reports of inspections into infectious diseases, made by departmental inspectors.

The series continues as an annual collection of similar papers certainly for the use of the Medical Department and probably for the use of the Medical Officer for the time being. The volumes contain manuscript annotations by successive Medical Officers: Buchanan, Thorne, Power and Newsholme. It is clear that separate sets of the reports of local inspections were made up, initially in the 1880s, for individual inspectors at the Medical Department of the LGB. The binding of these sets, if original, usually bears the name of the inspector for whom it was put together. The later volumes in this series have clear associations with Dr George Seaton Buchanan (1869-1935) and contain correspondence relating to food regulations under the Public Health Act 1907 and also include a set of papers of George Seaton Buchanan in his capacity as British Delegate to the Committee of Office International d'Hygiene Publique Paris 1919-1933.

Related Material:
Other collections of local infectious disease reports are known to exist at the London School of Hygiene.
For George Seaton Buchanan's personal file see MH 107/24
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Local Government Board, Medical Department, 1871-1919
Ministry of Health, Medical Staff, 1919-1968
Privy Council Office, Medical Department, 1858-1871
Physical description:
52 files and volumes
Administrative / biographical background:

Dr (later Sir) George Buchanan (1831-1895) was employed by the Privy Council Medical Department as an occasional inspector from 1861. The appointment became permanent and full time in 1869. Two years later he transferred, with the rest of the Medical Department, to the Local Government Board, and took on the duties of Assistant Medical Officer. He was promoted to Medical Officer to the Board at the beginning of 1880 and held the post until his retirement in 1892.

Dr (later Sir) George Seaton Buchanan (1869-1935) began his career as a Medical Inspector to the Local Government Board in 1895 and was its Chief Inspector of Foods from 1906 to 1911. When the Ministry of Health was formed in 1919 he became Senior Medical Officer until his retirement in 1934.

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