The Graves Medical Audiovisual Library

The Graves Medical Audiovisual Library (formerly the Medical Recording Service Foundation) was set up in 1957 by husband and wife team Valerie and John Graves. Both were as General Practitioners closely involved in the College of General Practitioners. They realised how difficult it was for busy working GPs to have refresher courses in new research fields of general medicine so they came up with the ingenious idea of recording lectures by people at the top of their field, which the regular working GP could listen to from the comfort of their own home usually recorded onto audio cassette and sometimes with 34mm slide projections. Small groups of GPs would gather together to listen to the recordings.

Valerie Graves describes the service as 'terribly amateur’ as she did all of the graphic work herself using Letterset and she was responsible for the entire administration of the service. However, the service was cheap and popular - for members of the CGP, it was free as Smith, Kline & French Ltd. provided a grant to cover it. Non-members such as nurses and doctors were charged only a small subscription fee. By 1980, when John Graves died, there was a catalogue of over 1000 titles. The service continued until 1993 when the remaining recordings were passed onto Concord Video service from whom Wellcome Library acquired them.

Explore the Graves Medical Audiovisual Library in the Wellcome Library.

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