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Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths

Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The following is an interim description which may change when detailed cataloguing takes place.

Included in the collection are the following records series:

Files on funded scientific research projects

Minutes and papers of the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Committee and Grant Review Panel

"Theme" files on a wide range of subjects relating to infant death

Files relating to "theories" about the causes of sudden infant death as propounded by members of the public

Press cuttings

Newsletters of regional groups

"Case files" of correspondence with individual bereaved parents




Physical description

61 boxes

Acquisition note

These papers were donated to the Wellcome Library by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths in October 2010.

Biographical note

In 1970, following the unexplained death of her baby grandson, Mrs John Hunter-Gray donated £200 towards the organisation of a two day symposium at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge which was attended by doctors and scientists. Those present concluded that it was essential to initiate medical research to try to discover the causes of unexplained cot deaths and to raise funds to that end. The Foundation grew out of a subsequent meeting held at the British Medical Association as an organisation to to promote research, amass and share information and provide bereavement support. It was registered as a charity in April 1971.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths went on to become a leading charity working to prevent sudden deaths and promote infant health. In addition to funding research projects on the causes of sudden infant death, is has supported bereaved families via a dedicated helpline and other initiatives, promoted baby care advice, and run influential campaigns, such as the "Reduce the Risk" campaign which was launched in 1991.

Accruals note

Further deposits of the Foundation's annual reports minutes and other material dating back to its foundation are expected.

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