Saint Ultan’s Hospital Papers

Repository: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleSaint Ultan's Hospital Papers
Archive ReferenceIE RCPI/SU
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1900-1989
Extent Medium11 boxes2 outsized items


Creator(s): Saint Ultan's Hospital for Infants, Dublin

  • Administrative History ↴

    The establishment of Saint Ultan's Hospital was the result of the activity of a group of female doctors and activists, who were deeply concerned at the high level of infant mortality in Dublin, and the rise of infant syphilis in the wake of the First World War. A central figure in the establishment of the hospital was Dr Kathleen Lynn. A committee, Cóiste Cosanta na hÉireann, was founded in May 1918 to establish the hospital, and the members worked hard to raise funds and find a suitable site. The hospital opened at 37 Charlemont Street on Ascension Thursday, 29 May 1919. The name of the hospital came from the seventh century Saint Ultan of Ardbraccan, bishop of Meath, who had looked after the children of Meath during an outbreak of yellow plague. The organisational structure of the hospital was provided for in its constitution. The main governing institution was the hospital board, which had absolute control of the management of the hospital. Under the board the constitution provided for four committees; medical, nursing, lay (renamed house) and finance, which could be established as the needs of the hospital grew. It is also clear that there was an amusements committee which was responsible for raising much needed funds for the hospital, unfortunately no records of this committee have survived. As the hospital grew and circumstances changed two additional committees where established; the Saint Ultan's Hospital Utility Society (1933) and the Kathleen Lynn Memorial Committee (1956). Saint Ultan's was at the fore front of the fight against Tuberculosis in Ireland. Dr Dorothy Price had pioneered the introduction of the BCG vaccine to Ireland, and proved its effectiveness at Saint Ultan's. In 1949 Saint Ultan's opened a dedicated BCG Centre, and when the National BCG Committee was established by Noel Brown, Minister for Health, in the same year it was based at Saint Ultan's with Dr Price as its chair. Saint Ultan's continued to grow with the opening of the Dr Kathleen Lynn Surgical Ward in 1965, the result of the Memorial Committee's fundraising. However, by the 1980s plans for the restructuring of hospital provision in Dublin were threatening Saint Ultan's, and the hospital was closed in 1984. A fund was established to deal with the assets of the former hospital, with the money going to other Irish hospitals and the hospital's administrative papers to the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
  • Archival History ↴

    The Saint Ultan's Hospital Papers were deposited with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for safe keeping after the closure of the hospital in 1984, the medical records of the hospital were retained by the HSE.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Saint Ultan's Hospital for Infants, Dublin ↴

    This collection contains the administrative papers of Saint Ultan’s Hospital from its foundation in 1919 to the closure of the hospital in 1984. There is also a small amount of material relating to the National BCG Committee, annual reports and some photographs, which was based at the hospital.

    The main types of records in this collection are the hospital’s published annual reports and the minute books of the Hospital’s Board and committees. These give an invaluable insight into the administration and management of the hospital throughout its existence, and show the development of the hospital over time. There are also some records relating to the proposed merger of Saint Ultan’s with the National Children’s Hospital in the 1930s and the hospital’s Golden Jubilee in 1969. As well as the administrative papers the collection contains publicity and photographic material relating to the hospital. These include an extensive collection of newspaper cuttings showing the public profile of the hospital and its founders, and two photograph albums which provide a visual insight into the first decade of the hospitals existence.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The original order of the material has been lost, the material has been divided into ten sections by record type, within these sections further subdivisions have been made as necessary.

    Section 1 – Saint Ultan’s Hospital Annual Reports

    Section 2 – National BCG Committee Annual Reports

    Section 3 – Board and Committee Minute and Agenda Books
    Part I – Saint Ultan’s Hospital Board Minute and Agenda Books
    Part II – Saint Ultan’s Hospital Medical Committee Minute Books
    Part III – Saint Ultan’s Hospital House and Finance Committees Minute and Agenda Books
    Part IV – Minute books of other Saint Ultan’s Hospital Committees

    Section 4 – Proposed amalgamation of Saint Ultan’s Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital

    Section 5 – Saint Ultan’s Hospital Golden Jubilee

    Section 6 – Other Administrative Papers

    Section 7 – Publicity and Fundraising Material

    Section 8 – Photographs and map
    Part I – National BCG Committee, Ireland photographs
    Part II – International Tuberculosis Campaign photographs
    Part III – Saint Ultan’s Hospital photographs and map

    Section 9 – Artefacts and Paintings

    Section 10 – Commemorative plaques

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Access subject to the conditions laid out in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Heritage Centre Access Guidelines, two photograph albums have additional restrictions
Conditions Governing ReproductionCopying of archive material is subject to the conditions laid out in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Heritage Centre Copying Guidelines
Creation Dates1900-1989
Extent Medium11 boxes2 outsized items
Material Language ScriptEnglish; Irish; Latin
Characteristics Tech ReqThe material is generally in good condition, the most common problem being damage to the spines of bound volumes. The main exceptions are two photograph albums which are more seriously damaged.
Finding Aids The collection list is available in the reading room or online Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Copies InformationThe College holds duplicate material of several of the records within the collections, this is noted at the relevant level and duplicate material has been stored separately
Related MaterialKatheen Lynn Diaries (IE RCPI KL)
Publication NoteBryan, Deirdre, 'Madeleine ffrench-Mullin' in Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2010)Clarke, Francis, 'Mary Josephine Cosgrave' in Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2010)Ó hÓgartaigh, Margaret, 'Dorothy Stopford-Price' in Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2010)Ó hÓgartaigh, Margaret, Kathleen Lynn. Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor (Irish Academic Press, 2006)Ó hÓgartaigh, Margaret, 'Kathleen Lynn' in Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteHarriet Wheelock
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions40269