Wednesday, 30 October 2013

London’s Pulse from the Wellcome Library: Medical Officer of Health reports freely available online.

The Wellcome Library has launched London’s Pulse, providing free online access to digitised versions of more than 5500 Medical Officer of Health Reports covering the City of London, 32 present-day London boroughs and their predecessors from 1848 to 1972.

The Medical Officer of Health (MOH) reports provide statistical data about births, deaths and diseases, but also give a fascinating insight into the diversity of the local communities and the personal interests and concerns of the individual Medical Officers of Health themselves. The reports offer a rich source of material for public health research.


Image: Sir John Simon, first Medical Officer of Health for the City of London, serving from 1848 until 1855.
Credit: LSHTM PhotoLibrary.

As well as access to the reports themselves, London’s Pulse allows data from the reports to be downloaded in a variety of formats. The resource also offers additional contextual information about the role of the Medical Officers of Health and the evolving environment in which they worked.
London’s Pulse is available at

The Wellcome Library also holds printed MOH reports from across the rest of the United Kingdom. Details can be found via the Wellcome Library Catalogue at

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