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.