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Institute of Biomedical Science: archives

  • Institute of Biomedical Science
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The following is an interim description that may change once detailed cataloguing takes place in the future;

Contains records relating to the Institute for Biomedical Science (IBMS) which includes papers relating to various committees and groups; Council minutes and Annual General Meeting papers, 1961-1994; Finance committee minutes, 1950s-1970s; Science Committee papers, c.1990s-2000s; Committee Structure Audit Working Party minutes and papers, 1990s; Education and Professional Standards Committee minutes and papers, 1990s; Operational Committee minutes and papers, 1990s; Membership Committee minutes; Joint-standing Pathological Committee minutes; Scottish Joint Committee minutes, 1960s; Higher National Certificates Joint Committee minutes, 1960s-1970s; Fellowship Committee minutes and Education Committee Minutes, 1970s-1990s; Regulation Committee minutes; Chief Examiners; Education Advisory Committee; Fellowship Committee, c.1980s-1990s; Regulations Committee minutes, 1971-1982; History Committee papers, 1990s-2000s; Bill Advisory Group papers, 1990s; Professionals Allied to Medicine minutes; Staffing and Workload Working Party minutes, 1990s; and others.

Also includes Annual Reports, 1970s-2000s; Congress papers and associated promotional material, 1990s-2000s; conference programmes, 1950s-1990s; exam papers; job descriptions; Honorary Fellowship correspondence, 1989; funding correspondence, 2000s; trading company and trademark papers; name change papers; Career Professional Development (CPD) papers; reports on various schemes and projects; staff training manuals; various publications including The Gazette, Medical Laboratory Science, The Bulletin of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology, The Monthly Bulletin of PBLAA and others.

Also consists of 1 VHS tape and 1 lever arch folder of 3.5 inch floppy discs of various material.



Physical description

41 transfer boxes 213 digital files; 15.0 MB (15783135 bytes)

Acquisition note

Donated by the IBMS in March 2016

Biographical note

The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) (1912-) is the professional body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom. The organisation aims to represent and educate members, set standards, and award qualifications as well as promoting biomedical science to the general public. It has almost 20,000 members working in healthcare, university laboratories and government agencies around the world. The Institute has branches all over the world and has representation on a wide range of advisory bodies and committees.

The Institute was founded in 1912 as the Pathological and Bacteriological Laboratory Assistants' Associations (PBLAA) and was initially based in Liverpool before moving to London. The founders of the Institute are credited as John McLean (b.1875-d.1963), Dr German Sims Woodhead (b.1855-d.1921), Professor James Lorrain Smith (b.1862-d.1931), Richard Muir (b.1862-d.1931) and Albert Norman (b.1882-d.1964), with Smith acting as the Institute's first President. Early on in organisation's formation, Norman acknowledged the need for laboratory assistants to attain a certificate of competence which should be obtained by examination. These qualifications were set up to enhance the professional status of laboratory assistants and for their abilities to be recognised by the wider medical profession. A preliminary examination scheme was authorised and soon became a condition of employment.

The PBLAA held its first conference in 1924 to facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices, improve corporate identity and provide an opportunity to network. Several topics were discussed including the prevention of malaria, diagnosis of rabies and the diagnosis of diphtheria. The Institute has held a conference approximately once every three years, with the proceedings published in the Institute's Journal. Regular Annual General Meetings were organised and during the 1990s the Institute began organising congresses which included workshops, discussion sessions and presentations papers relating to biomedical science.

The IMBS was formally known as the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology (IMLT) from 1943 and the Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences (IMLS) from the 1970s, before changing its name in 1994. The Institute produces several publications which provide a platform of communication with the membership, with most changing their name synonymously with the organisation. The Laboratory Journal was the Institute's scientific publication first produced in 1913 which provided information on education and published original papers. This later became the Journal of Medical Laboratory Technology in 1951, the Medical Laboratory Technology in 1967, the Medical Laboratory Science in 1976 and the British Journal of Biomedical Science in 1993. Only two issues a year were published and the membership became dissatisfied with its sparse production. As a result a second publication was created in 1934, The Monthly Bulletin, which included general news from divisions, job vacancies, advice on technique and information on new equipment and was less scientifically focused than the Journal. This publication became the The Bulletin of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology and ceased production in 1950. The Gazette was launched in 1951 and began as monthly 'house magazine' which became not only a 'news sheet' but contained articles relevant to the profession. All publications experienced production issues during World War One and World War Two.

More information can be found on the IBMS website and in the book Letters of Consequence: A History of the Institute of Biomedical Science

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