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Archives and manuscripts
Wood, Constance Annie Poyser
- Wood, Constance Annie Poyser, 1897-1985
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About this work
Reports, correspondence, published and unpublished papers, 1933-1974.
All the files about Dr Wood's work on radiotherapy, including correspondence about terms and conditions, have been grouped together, and the three published reports which were retained have been placed in this section with the files to which they pertain.
Constance Wood's papers were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in July 1987 by the British Institute of Radiology, to which they had been bequeathed. Published material of no direct relevance to Dr Wood was incorporated into the holdings of the Institute Library's Modern Medicine Collection.
Wood's studies of x-ray and radium therapy at the Royal Cancer Hospital, Fulham Road, London, led to her appointment in 1934 as Director of Radium Beam Therapy Research at the London Radium Institute, using radium from the Belgian Congo. In 1941 the work was moved to Hammersmith Hospital and renamed the Radiotherapeutic Research Unit, responsible solely to the Medical Research Council. Wood remained the Director and also directed the hospital's radiology department until her retirement in 1962. Under her, the unit carried out trials of teleradium, introduced the use of the electron linear accelerator for supervoltage therapy and developed the first medical cyclotron for studies with short-lived radio-isotopes, for neutron radiobiology and neutron therapy. Further biographical details can be found in the obituaries in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet. The material retained and listed here consists of reports, correspondence and papers, mainly unpublished. The album of photographs (B6) which was with an accession of the archives of the Medical Cyclotron Unit, received by the CMAC in May 1987,has been incorporated into this collection, since it is evidently a stray from Wood's papers.
See also SA/MCU and GC/160 for records relating to the MRC's Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, records of Strangeways Research Laboratories (SA/SRL) and papers of Dr FG Spear (PP/FGS).