Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research

  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Records of the Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research.

The Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research [WBSR] was established by Henry Wellcome in October 1913, with Andrew Balfour as Director-in-Chief. Wellcome intended the WBSR to be the hub of his research activities, and in his capacity as Director, Balfour was given overall responsibility for the WHMM, WCRL, WPRL, and 'any other research laboratories I [HSW] may found.'

See Arrangement for detail of material held.

Persons or organisations featured in this material include:



Physical description

55 boxes


The collection is divided into sections as follows:


WA/BSR/RP/Bal Balfour Reports 1913-1922

WA/BSR/RP/Wen Wenyon Reports 1924-1935


WA/BSR/BA/Cor General correspondence files 1913-1922

WA/BSR/Cor/A. Early series 1913-1919

WA/BSR/Cor/B. Later series 1919-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Sci Scientific work and tours 1913-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/A. Administration 1914-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/B. South American Expedition 1914

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/C. Tropical medicine research 1913-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/D. 'Plant investigations' 1918-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/E. Mauritius Tour 1920-1921

WA/BSR/BA/Sci/F. Balfour publications 1914-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Isa Institutions, societies and associations 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Pub Publications 1914-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Pub/A. General 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Pub/B. 'Medical History of the War' 1917-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Pub/C. 'Practice of Medicine in the Tropics' 1918-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Pub/D. 'War Against Tropical Diseases' 1919-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Pub/E. Other 1915-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Adm Administration 1913-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Adm/A. General c.1913-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Adm/B. Financial 1914-192

WA/BSR/BA/Adm/C. Property 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Adm/D. Library 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Sta Staff files 1914-1925

WA/BSR/BA/Sta/A. General 1914-1925

WA/BSR/BA/Sta/B. Alphabetical sequence 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Crl Wellcome Chemical Research Laboratories 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Crl/A. Monthly reports 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Prl Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Prl/A. Monthly reports 1914-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Trl Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories 1904-1911

WA/BSR/BA/Mtm Wellcome Museum of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1913-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Efl Wellcome Entomological Field Laboratories 1919-1923

WA/BSR/BA/Efl/A. Monthly reports 1920-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Efl/B. Correspondence 1919-1922

WA/BSR/BA/Efl/C. Other 1920-1923


WA/BSR/LA/Sci Scientific and Technical Committee 1925-1933

WA/BSR/LA/Bwc Burrough's Wellcome and Co correspondence 1925-1931

WA/BSR/LA/Sta Staff recruitment 1923-1939

WA/BSR/LA/End Endsleigh Gardens: Re-opening ceremony 1926

WA/BSR/LA/Wen CM Wenyon's papers c.1926-1932

WA/BSR/LA/Odd ?Odd files looking for a home?


WA/BSR/PB/Vol Volumes 1917-1927

WA/BSR/PB/Rep Staff reprints 1928-1938

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/A. 1928

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/B. 1929

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/C. 1920

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/D. 1931

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/E. 1932

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/F. 1933

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/G. 1934

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/H. 1935

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/J. 1936

WA/BSR/PB/Rep/K. 1937-1938

Acquisition note

Acquired from the Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research:

The majority of this group of papers was transferred from the store in Beckenham to the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in the 1970s, via Dr Len Goodwin.

Further papers were received in 1997, following the closure of the WIHM's Enfield Store

Biographical note

Historical Background:

1913 Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research established

Andrew Balfour appointed as Director-in-Chief

Premises at 10 Henrietta Street

1914 Balfour research tour in Trinidad, Venezuela and Columbia

1914-1918 Co-operation with Army Medical Department

Balfour President of Medical Advisory Committee of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force

1918 Mobile Bacteriological Laboratory operational in Salonika

1920 WBSR moves to Endsleigh Gardens, Euston Road

New staff appointed, including SH Daukes to organise WMTMH exhibits

Wellcome Entomological Field Laboratories housed at Wisley

1923 Balfour leaves to become Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

CM Wenyon appointed Director

1924 Wellcome Foundation created to encompass the commercial operations, research laboratories, museums

1925 Scientific and Technical Research Committee formed for WBSR to advise on areas for commercial development

1926 Official opening of Endsleigh Gardens premises

1930 WBSR moves to Gordon Street during construction of new Wellcome Research Institution

1931 Cornerstone of WRI laid

1932 Occupation of WRI premises

1936 Henry Wellcome dies; Wellcome Trust established

1944 Wenyon retires

CH Kellaway appointed as Director

WBSR and WCRL combine to form Wellcome Laboratories of Tropical Medicine

Related material

At Wellcome Collection:


Also, a small amount of correspondence between Balfour and HSW relating to the establishment of the WBSR, and a discussion of how to secure its future after HSW's death, may be found in WA/HSW/CO/Ind/A.1. Photographs relating to Balfour's South American Expedition and to the Mobile Bacteriological Laboratory are listed at WA/PHO/Bsr. The Library also holds some papers of Boris Jobling (WTI/JOB) and CA Hoare (WTI/CAH).


Abbreviations used in the catalogue:

BMA British Medical Association

BMJ British Medical Journal

BW&Co Burroughs Wellcome & Campany

HSW Henry Solomon Wellcome

RSM Royal Society of Medicine

[W]BSR Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research

[W]CRL Wellcome Chemical Research Laboratories

[W]EFL Wellcome Entomological Field Laboratory

[W]HMM Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

WLTM Wellcome Laboratory of Tropical Medicine

[W]MMS Wellcome Museum of Medical Science

[W]MTMH Wellcome Museum of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

[W]PRL Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories

WRI Wellcome Research Institution

[W]TRL Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratory.

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