National Birthday Trust Fund

  • National Birthday Trust Fund
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


This is the complete surviving archive of the NBTF from its foundation to merger with Birthright in 1993; The records consist of the papers of the National Birthday Trust Fund itself, the Joint Council on Midwifery which was in existence from 1934-1940, some personal papers of Juliet, Lady Rhys-Williams DBE (1898-1964), one of founder members and Chairman for a period until her death, questionnaires and results from various surveys.



Physical description

213 boxes o/s folders 1, 3, 5-7, 9-10 o/s 2, 4, 11 1 roll, o/s 8 (Q.1) 7 boxes


By section as follows:

A. Minutes

B. Committee Papers

C. Annual General Meetings

D. Accounts

E. Administration [includes maintenance of building]

F. Correspondence [members, other organisations and individuals]

G. Fundraising and publicity [Some publicity material can also be found in other sections]

H. Analgesia

J. Research Projects [funded by the NBTF]

K. Reports to outside bodies

L. Surveys

M. Perinatal Mortality Survey, 1958

N. British Births Survey, 1970

P. Press cuttings

Q. Miscellaneous

R. Joint Council On Midwifery - Administration

S. Joint Council On Midwifery - Abortion Survey

T. Joint Council On Midwifery - Nutrition Survey

U. Lady Rhys-Williams' Papers

V. Non-NBTF Organisations.

Some re-arrangement of files has been necessary, particularly for several large filing systems originally maintained in an alphabetical sequence. Where possible files of correspondence with one individual or papers relating to one subject have been brought together.

The archives included large numbers of press cuttings. These have been listed together in one section but some press cuttings can be found in files with other papers. There are few photographs and these have been left with the papers with which they were found.

Acquisition note

The majority of these records were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (known as Archives and Manuscripts following its merger with Western Manuscripts in July 2000) by Mrs MC Matthews, Secretary to the National Birthday Trust Fund, in July 1987 (Acc 269). A further accession of survey questionnaires (Acc 281) was collected in January 1988. Additional accessions of material up to the date of amalgamation with Birthright were received in April and June 1993 (Acc 469) and Feburary 1994 (Acc 500). This material has been incorporated into the list. Further personal material of Lady Rhys-Williams (Acc 481) was given by the family in September 1993.

Biographical note

The National Birthday Trust Fund was established in 1928, it campaigned in the 1930s for the wider provision of analgesia in childbirth and improvements in midwifery services. Through the Joint Council on Midwifery it conducted extensive surveys on the benefits of ante-natal care and nutrition and an important survey of abortion practice (the collection includes the completed questionnaire forms.) After the war it contributed to several governmental reports on maternity provision, provided research grants for various projects connected with congenital defects and maternity services, and conducted a series of surveys, including a survey into premature births (for which there are completed questionnaires). These culminated in the Perinatal Mortality Survey in 1958, which formed the basis for the 'cohort' studies of the development of the children at seven year intervals. The collection includes the administrative records for the Perinatal Mortality Survey and the similar study, the British Births Survey, 1970. In 1993 the NBTF was amalgamated with the charity 'Birthright' which works in the same area of maternal and infant care.

Related material

At other repositories:

LSE holds Lady Rhys-Williams papers re her political career

Copyright note

Copyright assigned to the Wellcome Trust Letter from Paul Barnett, on behalf of Wellbeing, 17 Aug 1998

Finding aids

Electronic database

Appraisal note

Duplicates and some draft documents have been weeded.

Location of duplicates

The following photographs are held by Wellcome Images: SA/NBT/G.6/1, Flags for 'Help Our Mothers' appeal, 1930, L31851C, SA/NBT/G.12, Invitation to Lady Croft's 'At Home', 1931, L31849C, SA/NBT/G.14, Invitation to Lady Alington's 'At Home', 1930 , L31849C SA/NBT/S.4/10, Dr. Reynold's Lightening Pills, and packet, L40375, L40380, L40381 SA/NBT/S.4/10, Slippery Elm Bark (sold as an abortifacient), L40376


The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).


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Accession number

  • 269
  • 283
  • 469
  • 481
  • 500