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Society of Radiographers

Society of Radiographers


Reference code(s): GB 2939

Held at: Society of Radiographers

Title: Society of Radiographers

Date(s): 1920-2003

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: approximately 18 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Society of Radiographers | 1920-


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Society of Radiographers was founded in 1920 at the instigation of radiologists Albert Forder, and Dr Robert Knox, of King's College Hospital. Forder, Knox along with Dr Walmsley and Mr Blackhall formed a sub-committee to draft the rules for the admission of members. Membership was open to applicants who had been actively and continually employed for not less than ten years in the electro-therapeutic department or the X-ray department of a hospital or institution approve by the Council. In 1921, examinations were introduced for entry to membership, and a syllabus developed. There were 67 members in 1921, which rose to 164 by 1923.

In 1930, a branch of the Society was formed in South Africa, and established a pattern of branch formation with local committee management that was propagated in the UK during the 1930s.The Scottish Radiographic Society was formed in 1927 became a branch of the Society in 1936, the South West Branch in 1937, the North West in 1942, the Midland and the North East in 1943. The first Annual Conference of the Society was held in Bath 1947.

The society was active in the area of training for members in the context of a move towards national registration of auxiliary medical professions. In 1932 a number of hospitals were inspected and officially recognised a training schools - including Guy's, King's College, The Royal Northern and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London, to which were added the Royal Infirmary and the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, the Middlesex Hospital, London, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, and the General Infirmary, Johannesburg, were added in 1934. The Board of Medical Auxiliaries was established for professional registration purposes in 1937. The Society's professional journal began in 1935, a Benevolent Fund was set up in 1936, and the first Fellowship examinations were held in 1937. It was also concerned with the employment conditions for radiographers, and in the late 1930s surveyed 35 county councils concerning salaries and terms of employment for radiographers.

During World War 2, the Society's Office was moved to Staplehurst, Kent, and the Society was asked to provide training for the Emergency Medical Service and a scheme to train assistants to qualified radiographers was devised. Radiography was designated a reserved occupation in 1940 due to the staff shortage. Training and the status of the radiographer continued to be an issue during and after the War, but their main energies were directed to the formation of the National Health Service, was launched in 1948. In 1951, the Cope Report was published, which recommended the setting up of a statutory council to maintain registers of medical auxiliaries qualified for employment in the NHS. Statutory Registration took effect under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act, 1960, and was implemented in 1962 for radiographers.

During the 1970s, the Society concentrated its energies on education and industrial relations, as well as consolidating its financial position. The extension of training for radiographers from two to three years was raised, as was the incorporation of the developing area of nuclear medicine the in to the syllabus. The system of payment for radiographers for emergency work was addressed, and the serious concerns about the loss of members from the profession. There were over 6,500 members in 1970.

The 1970s also was increased branch activity and a number were restructured - the Wessex Sub-branch was granted full Branch status, the North-East sub-branch became the Northumbrian Branch, and new branches were formed - East Mercia, and Devon and Cornwall.
In 1976, it was proposed that the Society become registered as a trade union. This required some restructuring within the Society to form a new charitable company to hold the Society's assets and de-register the Society as a charity. This led to the formation of the College of Radiographers, Jan 1977 to take over the educational and professional responsibilities. In 1990, the Society became affiliated with the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Membership of the Society reached 10,000 in 1982, and by 1995 stood at 13,500. In 1999, the structure of the Society was revised, and the branches abolished and replaced by eight new regions and national councils for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Society initially occupied premises at the headquarters of the British Institute of Radiology, Seymour Place, before moving in 1926 to the headquarters of the British Institute of Radiology at 32 Welbeck St. In 1968, the Society relocated to its own premises at 14 Upper Wimpole St, then as space demands increased purchased No 13 Upper Wimpole St where it moved in 1986. It has since occupied premises at Eversholt St, and is currently located in Mill Street, London.


Scope and content/abstract:

Archives of the Society of Radiographers (SOR) comprising:

minutes of the proceedings of Council of the Society of Radiographers 1920-1998; Reports to Council from various committees, 1960-1973; index to minutes of council and other meetings, 1920-1956; attendance book for SOR meetings, 1947-1956;

minutes of the Public Relations Committee, 1956-1975; minutes of the SOR Executive Committee/General Purposes Committee, 1991-1996; SOR Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes and agenda, 1956-1991; SOR Salaries and Services Committee minutes, Oct 1954-Apr 1981; minutes of the Radiotherapy Advisory Committee, 1968-1975; the Liaison Committee with the Faculty of Radiologists, Dec 1971, and the Liaison Committee with the Hospital Physicists Association, Sep 1971 (1 vol); minutes of the Isotopes and Nuclear Medicine Sub-committee, 1969-1974; minutes and papers of the Senior Management team minutes and papers 1999-2001; External Affairs Advisory Committee, 1998-2001; and Policy Resources Committee, 1998-2000;

minutes of the College of Radiogaphers, 1977-1997;

signed records of receipt of Diploma of Membership, 1936-1940; membership registers, 1921-1935, listing names and whether subscription paid; Printed membership lists, 1929-1930, 1933, 1934;

printed Branch Regulations, 1972, 1982; Memoranda and articles of association, 1988, amended 1990;

printed Annual Reports and accounts, 1971-2003;

Branch and Section records comprising:
South West Branch (inaugurated Jan 1937) - minutes of the Committee South West Branch of the Society of Radiographers, 1959-1985; minutes of the South West Branch, 1937-1949; minutes of the South West sub-section of the Branch , 1947-1974; South West Branch visitors book, 1960-1970;
South Wales sub-section (inaugurated Jun 1946) -minutes of the South Wales subsection of the Midland Branch of the SOR, 1946-1950, and Committee minutes, 1971-1981;
Wessex Sub-Section (inaugurated 26 Nov 1955) - minutes of the Wessex sub-section of the London and Home Counties Branch of the SOR, 1955-1973, including minutes of the Wessex Committee, 1964-1971;
North West Branch Sub-Section (inaugurated, Mar 1961) -Minutes of the North West branch sub-section, 1961-1972 ;
Devon and Cornwall Branch, (inaugurated May 1974) -minutes of the Devon and Cornwall Branch, 1974-1980 and Committee meeting, 1974-1978;

photographic collection including album containing photographs of the 29th annual conference of The Society of Radiographers, Sollihul, 4-6 Jun 1975; Album containing colour photographs of the 40th Annual conference of the College of Radiographers, Bournemouth, 4-6 Jun 1986;

SOR publications including Radiography, Journal of the Society of Radiographers, Vol 1 1935-present, with index; Synergy News, 1996-2002; Radiography News, 1979-1988;

papers of W H J Combes relating to the history of W C Röntgen, including notes for lecture and 2 slides;

miscellaneous papers relating to Röntgen, including copy of extract of printed article on Röntgen, 1901; copy of printed program for Röntgen Society Inaugural Meeting, St Martin's Town Hall, 5 Nov 1897; printed copy of 'Röntgen-Jubilaum 1970, 10 Oktober 1970, Stadttheater, Remscheid (in German); two first day covers (stamps) commemorating Röntgen, 1970; newspaper cutting concerning Archibald James Morey;

Journal of the Röntgen Society, 1919-1920;

and the Sheffield Chest Clinic Book, May 1921-Apr 1923.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

By appointment only. Contact Executive Secretary, The Society of Radiographers, 207 Providence Square, Mill St, London, SE1 2EW.
Minutes relating to he current year are closed.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies available.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

The material is uncatalogued.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Regular accruals

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archive has been created and kept in the Society's offices. The Sheffield Chest Clinic Book, 1921-1923, presented by Mr E Higginbottom, 1976.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

Society of Radiographers, 50 years of history, Ian Moodie, SOR, London 1970; The maturing years, a history of the Society and College of Radiographers 1970-1995, Michael Jordon, Society of Radiographers, 1995.



Archivist's note: Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-Line National Register of Archives; Society of Radiographers, 50 years of history, Ian Moodie, SOR, London 1970; The maturing years, a history of the Society and College of Radiographers 1970-1995, Michael Jordon, Society of Radiographers, 1995.
Compiled by Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: October 2003

Medical education | Higher science education
Radiography | Scientific methods
Radiology | Medical sciences
Surgery | Medical sciences
Trade unions | Labour relations

Personal names

Corporate names
Society of Radiographers | 1920-

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe