Wellcome Trust Research Bursaries for archive researchers

The Wellcome Trust recently announced a new scheme for small and medium-scale research projects based on archive collections that have received previous Research Resources funding. This is great news for the LSHTM archives as we have previously received four of these grants which have helped us to increase access to our collections.

These awards can support experienced researchers based in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and also scholars based outside the UK which could be useful to many of our researchers who travel to see us from overseas. Awards are not limited to academic researchers and applications can be submitted by conservators, artists, performers, broadcasters, writers, public engagement practitioners and others working in the creative arts.

We thought that it would be useful to highlight the four collections that we have received funding for and which would be eligible for this funding initiative.

Sir Ronald Ross collection

Ronald Ross in military uniform[1648]

Sir Ronald Ross

Sir Ronald Ross was the discoverer of the mosquito transmission of malaria and the first Briton to be awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1902. The collection contains over 20,000 items and includes correspondence, photographs, publications, notebooks, postcards, press cuttings and a sketchbook. It is very rich in material relating to Ross’s scientific work, including the Ross-Manson correspondence, records relevant to the early discoveries in trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis as well as records of his malaria researches during World War One and matters connected with this work at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His papers show that he was not only interested in medical research. They reflect his other interests such as his efforts to improve the pay of research workers and the improvement of sanitation in the colonies which involved correspondence with political figures such as J Ramsay MacDonald, Waldorf Astor, J B Seely and Austen Chamberlain. His literary interests are indicated by letters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, H G Wells and Rudyard Kipling.

One area which we are keen to see investigated further is Ross’ work during the First World War, initial research was done on this by the Archives team for the Health in Wartime exhibition in 2014 (link) but there is lots more fascinating information on tropical diseases during the war that could be researched.

Map collection

Outline map of Southern Nigeria showing districts [11595]

Southern Nigeria showing districts where tsetse flies have been collected, 1910

This collection consists of maps mostly concerning malaria and sleeping sickness in Africa as well as many other maps that relate to subjects such as population distribution, vegetation and geological features. Maps originate from all across the world, including Great Britain, Europe, Australia and much of Africa. Some of the maps were used by School staff in the planning of expeditions overseas, in spatial investigation of tropical diseases, recording research results and in prevention programmes. There are over 450 maps dating from 1858-1973.

Nutrition collection

Recipe leaflet issued by the Ministry of Food for [14524]

Recipe leaflet issued by Ministry of Food, 1946

The Nutrition Collection is a rich and varied resource consisting of historical records relating to scientific investigations in the field of nutrition created and collected by LSHTM staff between the 1920s and 1990s. The collection reflects the global and collaborative nature of the School’s work in the field of nutrition, with records relating to countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe and to projects with a range of organisations, including WHO, FAO, UN, BMA and the MRC.

Records include:

  • Reports of surveys and research in applied nutrition.
  • Anthropometric data, extensive dietary survey material, studies of agricultural practices and records of clinical surveys.
  • Documents relating to Second World War nutrition in the UK as well as records kept by Dr Dean Smith and Dr Alan Woodruff in the Changi internment camp in Singapore and Stanley internment camp, Hong Kong, 1942-1945.
  • Personal letters, memoranda and reports relating to the School’s work with WHO, FAO, UN, BMA and MRC.
  • Papers of the LSHTM Department of Human Nutrition and Applied Nutrition Unit staff and leading figures in the field of nutrition research, including: Benjamin Platt, Patty Fisher, Philip Payne, Erica Wheeler, Prakash Shetty and Mary Griffiths.

Nutrition is one of the most important public health agenda items of the 21st century and the cataloguing project has opened up this previously inaccessible resource to the medical research community and researchers in associated areas, including epidemiology, anthropology, geography and social, colonial and military history.

HIV/AIDS collection


HIV poster, c.1989

This cataloguing project was completed in December 2014. Seven collections were catalogued as part of this project, these are as follows:

  • The papers of Professor Peter Piot, current Director of LSHTM and former director of UNAIDS (1996-2008). This collection includes material on the discovery of Ebola in 1976.
  • Professor Virginia Berridge’s papers on the history of AIDS in the UK and other research on addiction.(1967-2012)
  • Research papers from the AIDS Social History Group (1988-1994)
  • The papers of Professor Kaye Wellings, relating to her research on AIDS awareness within the European Union (1983-1996)
  • Research papers relating to the Centre of Sexual and Reproductive Health at the School (1980-1990s)
  • Collected research material from Project SIGMA (Socio-sexual Investigations of Gay Men and Aids) (1987-2010)
  • Papers of Joseph Sonnabend, virologist and medical practitioner (1933-2014)

There is further information on all of the HIV/AIDS collection in recent blog posts, just search for AIDS.


The Archives team is keen to work with researchers who would like to use these collections and are happy to discuss possible ideas for research.

For further information on the Wellcome Trust’s Research Resources Busaries, please see: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Medical-humanities/Funding-schemes/Research-resources-awards/Research-bursaries/index.htm

Please contact archives@lsthm.ac.uk to discuss further.

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