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The Bentley Memorial Bed

Health and medicine

We hold the York NHS archive, consisting of the records of NHS managing bodies and services in York since 1948, and also the records of the many older hospitals in the York area which were taken over by the NHS in 1948: these include York County Hospital (general medical and surgical, opened 1740), Bootham Park Hospital (psychiatric, formerly called York Lunatic Asylum, opened 1777) and Clifton Hospital (psychiatric, formerly called the North Riding Asylum, opened 1847).

We have the archive of the Retreat, the independent psychiatric hospital opened by the Society of Friends in 1796, which became world famous for its mild methods of treating the insane - much of this archive has now been digitised and is available to view online. Other holdings relating to health include the archive of York Dispensary (a charity which offered an out-patient, home-patient and a maternity service in York between 1788 and 1948), the archive of York Medical Society (founded in 1832), and the archive of York Community Health Council.