Family Planning Association
- Family Planning Association
- Archives and manuscripts
Where to find it
About this work
The collection comprises archives of the FPA and predecessor bodies, 1921-1976, including minutes, records of branches, internal records of administration, research and surveys.
This list includes three sets of papers related to the FPA records. The records of the North Kensington Women's Welfare Centre, originally founded by the Society for the Provision of Birth Control Clinics in 1924, and of Margery Spring Rice, superintendent of the centre from 1924-1958 were part of the original list. The papers of Caspar Brook, director of the FPA, 1968-1973, were stored in Cardiff with the FPA records and have been incorporated in the current list (Section CB) as the majority of the papers relate to his activities at the FPA. [Additional papers of the Organisation Working Party, 1960-1964, were also located in the move and have been listed at the end of section A5].
Some files of individuals' correspondence were transferred to the Wellcome Library from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in March 1989. These have been incorporated in the main list. (section A14).
A copy of the original introduction to the collection, section A plus some smaller areas, is held in the Notes field. This goes into detail on the history of the FPA and how it is represented in the archive.
A list of abbreviations is also held in the notes field.
- Family Planning Association
- National Birth Control Association
- National Birth Control Council
- Birth Control Investigation Committee
- Birth Control International Investigation Centre
- Society for the Provision of Birth Control Clinics
- Workers' Birth Control Group
- North Kensington Women's Welfare Clinic
- Walworth Women's Welfare Centre
- Manchester and Salford Women's Welfare Clinic
- Spring-Rice, Margery
- Brook, Caspar
- Service, Alastair
- White, Dorothy M.
The original classification system has been retained, although this does not always adhere to normal archival listing standards; it was decided that a complete re-numbering of the collection was impractical. Related papers are indicated by the use of cross-references.
The basic divisions are between section A (records 1930-c.1975), section B (records c.1965-c.1975) and section C (c.1965-c.2008). In addition, several small sections stand outside this division: published non-FPA papers (MISC), files on regional branches and federations (X), files relating to the North Kensington Women's Welfare Centre (NK), and personal papers of [Margery] Spring Rice (SR) and Caspar Brook (CB).
An outline list follows:
A: RECORDS 1930-c.1975
A1: ADMINISTRATION (including ACCOUNTS):
A2: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS and CONFERENCES
A3: ANCILLARY SERVICES
A4: BRANCHES and FEDERATIONS:
1-20: General files
H: Area Organisers
A-F: Old branch files (selected)
J: Old branch files (unselected)
K: Proposed branches
A5: COMMITTEES AND COUNCILS
A6: CONFERENCES (not associated with AGMs)
A7: CONTRACEPTIVE TESTING
A8: PARLIAMENT AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS
A9: REGIONAL HOSPITAL BOARDS AND TEACHING HOSPITALS
A10: INTERNATIONAL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION (IPPF)
A11: LOCAL AUTHORITIES
A14: CORRESPONDENCE WITH INDIVIDUALS
A15: RELIGIOUS BODIES
A18: ROYAL COMMISSIONS
A19: TRAINING AND EDUCATION
A21: FOREIGN COUNTRIES
A22: RESEARCH AND SURVEYS
A23: MISCELLANEOUS, including photographs
B: RECORDS 1965-1975. [This material accumulated during and after listing of early records and mostly dates from the period after re-organisation of the FPA in 1965. The classification follows that used for the A series, which led to some gaps in numbering.]
B2: AGMS AND NATIONAL CONFERENCES
B6: CONFERENCES (non-AGMs)
B8: GENERAL GOVERNMENT
B10: PUBLICITY (including press cuttings)
B12: POPULATION COUNTDOWN
[B16: Publications to 1975 are in A16]
B17: PRESS DEPARTMENT
C: RECORDS 1953-1995
C/A :COMMITTEE SECRETARY
C/B: CHIEF EXECUTIVE
C/C: FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
C/D: EDUCATION AND TRAINING
C/G: PUBLICATIONS, PRESS AND PUBLICITY
CB: CASPAR BROOK PAPERS
MISC: PUBLISHED PAPERS (non-FPA)
NK: NORTH KENSINGTON WOMEN'S WELFARE CENTRE
SR: [Margery] SPRING RICE PAPERSX: REGIONAL FILES [Files transferred to FPA from branches, federations]
The records of the FPA were transferred to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre at the Wellcome Institute (now the Wellcome Library, Archives and Manuscripts department) from the Cardiff University Population Centre (formerly the David Owen Centre) in July 1988. The records had originally been transferred to Cardiff in 1976 from the FPA national office in London when Caspar Brook, the former director of the FPA, moved to take up the position of director of the Centre.
As well as the records from Cardiff, a few items, found at the FPA national office in the course of a survey of later archives, were also transferred to the Library (1975-1991), these have been incorporated into the main list.
Substantial additional transfers were made between 1990 and 1996 and these were catalogued with the assistance of Heritage Lottery Funding.
Prior to the FPA formally entering liquidation on 15 May 2019, Wellcome acquired further records from the organisation, forming accessions 2574 and 2498.
1918: Marie Stopes published Married Love.
1921: Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress (CBC), founded by Marie Stopes and Mothers' Clinic opened.
1922: Walworth Women's Welfare Centre opened.
1924: Society for Provision of Birth Control Clinics (SPBCC) founded; North Kensington Women's Welfare Centre opened [Walworth also run by SPBCC].
Workers' Birth Control Group founded.
May 1924: Deputation to John Wheatley, Minister of Health.
1927: Birth Control Investigation Committee (BCIC) founded [Chairman, Sir Humphrey Rolleston, Hon Medical Secretary, Dr C.P. Blacker] and established International Medical Group to investigate birth control in other countries.
1929: Birth Control International Information Centre (BCIIC) founded [President, Margaret Sanger].
Jul 1930: Ministry of Health Memorandum 153 MCW 'Birth Control' issued.
National Birth Control Council (NBCC) founded
Premises at 26 Eccleston Street.
Workers' Birth Control Group joined NBCC.
1931: Birth Control Investigation Committee joined NBCC.
Jul 1931: NBCC changed name to National Birth Control Association (NBCA).
1933: Resignation of Dr Marie Stopes from Governing Body
Feb 1937: Deputation to Sir Kingsley Wood, Minister of Health.
1938: Society for Provision of Birth Control Clinics and Birth Control International Information Centre amalgamated with NBCA.
Feb 1938: NBCA moved to 69 Eccleston Square [HQ of Eugenics Society].
Feb 1939: Dissolution of BCIC. Replaced by Scientific Advisory Committee.
May 1939: NBCA changed name to Family Planning Association (FPA).
1947: FPA branches grouped into regional federations.
Oct 1949: FPA moved to 64 Sloane Street.
1954: Death of Lady Denman, chairman; succeeded by Mrs Margaret Pyke.
1955: FPA Silver Jubilee.
Lady Denman Memorial Fund established to provide clinics in rural areas.
First official visit by Minister of Health [Iain Macleod].
Jul 1957: Oliver Bird Trust founded and established Council for Investigation of Fertility Control (CIFC).
Oct 1957: Publication of The Human Sum [for FPA Silver Jubilee].
Nov 1958: First issue of 'Medical Newsletter' published by the Medical Department, became bi-monthly and then quarterly until October 1976, when it was replaced by 'Fertility and Contraception'
1959: FPA Holdings Ltd incorporated.
BBC Appeal by Bishop of Southwark.
Birthright film premiere.
1960: Organisation Working Party established [Chairman, Professor François Lafitte, Birmingham University].
1962: Family Planning International Campaign [later 'Countdown'] launched.
FPA became a registered charity.
Feb 1963: FPA moved to 231 Tottenham Court Road.
Sep 1963: Family Planning in the Sixties Report of Organisation Working Party published.
1965: Re-organisation of FPA branches. 500 clinics grouped into 52 branches.
Press and Information Department established.
Theodore Fox appointed as director (1966 - 1967)
Oct 1965: Interim National Council established.
1966: FPA incorporated as a company.
Margaret Pyke Memorial Trust established.
1967: National Health Service (Family Planning) Act.
National Council empowered the FPA's 736 clinics to offer advice to unmarried patients, if they so wished.
FPA Holdings Ltd ceased trading.
Jun 1967: National Council formally established.
1968: Caspar Brook appointed as Director and Secretary of the FPA, he was Director until 1974.
First vasectomy clinic opened in Cardiff.
Oct 1968: FPA moved to 27-35 Mortimer Street.
Jan 1969: First issue of 'Family Planning Journal' published.
Apr 1970: Oliver Bird Trust/CIFC wound up. Remaining funds to Margaret Pyke Memorial Trust to continue annual lectures.
National Council made it mandatory for FPA clinics to advise unmarried patients.
Jun 1970: 1000th clinic opened at Thamesmead, London.
1972: Amendment to the National Health Service (Family Planning) Act empowered local authorities to provide vasectomies free.
Family Planning Sales Ltd established.
Formation of the FPA Education Unit.
1973: Education and Training Department established.
1974: NHS Reorganisation Act allowed contraceptive advice and supplies to be made free of charge to everyone.
April 1974 - January 1975: John Geffen Director and Secretary of the FPA
Phased handover of FPA's 1,000 clinics to NHS AHA began, to complete by October 1976.
1975: Most FPA clinics handed over to NHS Area Health Authorities. GPs entered family planning service from July.
FP Sales Ltd moved to Oxford.
February 1975 - December 1978: Thomas E. Parker Chief Executive Officer of the FPA.
March 1975: FPA's National Council adopted new constitution for the FPA to come into effect in early 1976.
1976: Disbandment of Training and Medical Department.
AHAs became responsible for medical family planning training of doctors and nurses.
Absorption of FPA's clinics completed by the autumn, leaving the FPA with 7 private contraceptive clinics for research purposes, and 14 vasectomy clinics.
April 1976: Launch of the new FPA. New constitution to develop education and information work. FPA provided for a new regional structure in place of former branches: reorganised into 10 regions.
1977: Further restructuring of the FPA. Northern Ireland became the eleventh region of the FPA.
FPIS set up between HEA and FPA, to provide information service for consumers and professionals.
January 1979 - December 1979: Dorothy White Director of the FPA.
1980: FPA Golden Jubilee.
Recommendations made by Working Party in the report 'Future of the FPA' for reorganisation of FPA accepted by NC.
January 1980 - March 1989: Alastair Service General Secretary of the FPA.
Sept 1980: National Executive Council replaced both the NEC and the NC.
1981: FPA's community project 'Grapevine' is closed.
1983: HEC and the FPA joined a group of 11 manufacturers to form the Contraceptive Consortium (later Contraceptive Foundation).
FPA led a campaign against moves by Victoria Gillick to ban confidential contraceptive advice to under - 16s.
1984: Launch of FPA's 'Men Too' campaign.
1988: Clinic Cuts Action Committee established.
Review of structure and strategy of FPA by Coopers and Lybrand.
April 1989: Doreen Massey appointed as Director of the FPA.
Further restructuring of FPA following management review. New departments established. Medical Department closed.
1990: Number of FPA regional offices and few remaining FPA clinics closed.
FPIS became FPPS.
1991: Population Concern now independant of FPA.
1992: 'FPA Inform', a monthly bulletin produced by Information and Research Department for staff starts.
1996: FPA moved to 2-12 Pentonville Road, N1.
March 1996: Anne Weyman appointed as Chief Executive of FPA
1998: Research Department closed.
FPPS became CES (Contraceptive Education Service) still run by the FPA and funded by DoH..
2000: FPA 70th anniversary.
2002: FPA Sales Ltd. sold.
2005: FPA 75th anniversary.
2008: FPA defends the 28 week abortion time limit.
FPA launches "It's My Right", a campaign for the sexual rights of people with disabilities
15 May 2019: FPA was placed into liquidation due to a historic pension deficit and ceased to operate as a charity and a limited company.
Held by the Wellcome Library:
A collection of grey literature formerly held in the FPA Library, consisting of approximately 650 items published from 1969 to 2011 may be found here.
'Family Planning in Community Medicine', Film made by London Film Associates, 1973, for the Family Planning Association, held by the Moving Image and Sound Collection. Consult the Wellcome Library online catalogue to order a viewing copy of this film.
In other repositories:
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists retains microfilms and indexes of FPA training certificates, part of the Joint Committee on Contraception records held at the college. A summary list of RCOG holdings relating to the FPA is held in the Wellcome Library. Certain files from the Scottish branches have been transferred to Glasgow University Archives and are held with records of Greater Glasgow Health Board. These transfers are indicated in the list.
This organisation's website has been archived as part of the work of the UK Web Archiving Consortium (UKWAC) and can be consulted here: http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/108013.
The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:
16 transfer boxes received May 2010 (acc. 1744), consisting of: Topic files maintained by FPA on various subjects over some years; plus various files on projects in Northern Ireland, practice development, and cooperation with outside bodies by FPA's Information Department; 1970s-2000s.
8 transfer boxes received May 2013 (acc. 1986), consisting of: Cuttings on various FPA press campaigns
47 transfer boxes were transferred (acc 2498; May 2019), following the FPA going into liquidation. A further 17 boxes (plus 1 box of audio-visual material and 448MB of born-digital records were transferred from Iron Mountain storage in 2020 (acc 2574).
- Abortion, Legal
- Family Planning Services
- Charities, Medical
- Sexual and Gender Disorders
- Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Disabled Persons
- Social Work
- Missionaries, Medical
- Community Health Nursing
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
- Disabled Persons