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Historic Hospital Admission Records Project


“Half of all London Deaths are of Children under 10 years old”

(Dr Charles West, Gt Ormond St, 1851)

Launch of the Small and Special website

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the world’s most renowned children’s hospital, has teamed up with Kingston University to create and, today, to announce the launch of Small and Special, a groundbreaking FREE web resource which offers an extraordinary insight into the lives and work of the inhabitants of a Victorian hospital. Never before has the health penalty of the first industrial nation been so poignantly revealed in the diseases suffered by its most vulnerable citizens.

At its hub is a fully searchable database of patient admissions from the day the hospital first opened its doors on February 14, 1852 to the end of 1914. It contains details of over 84,000 young patients including names, addresses, ages, symptoms and outcomes.

This database is unique – no other collection of hospital records of such historical significance has been digitised and thus made so accessible. It will be of great importance to medical historians and demographers – the funding provided by the Wellcome Trust is testimony to its academic importance.

The website will prove of equal interest to the new generation of “Who do you think you are?” family historians and those interested in the history of Victorian and Edwardian London.

Click here for the launch information leaflet (Adobe PDF, 3.3Mb)

Notes for editors

The Small and Special project has been undertaken by the Centre for Local History Studies at Kingston University. One of the Centre’s major strengths is the development of computer-based record linkage techniques – a ground-breaking means of harnessing vast quantities of historical information, revealing patterns and suggesting hypotheses that would have hitherto been impossible.

The Small and Special project has been funded by Kingston University, the Wellcome Trust, the Nuffield Foundation and The Friends of the Children of Great Ormond Street.

The website’s name Small and Special comes from Dr Elizabeth Lomax’s book “Small and Special: the development of hospitals for children in Victorian Britain”, published by the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (1996)

Please visit for a preview.

Contacts: The Centre for Local History Studies at Kingston University

phone: 020 8547 7359 OR email: