News and events

Please note that Queen Square Archives are closed to external visitors until further notice due to Covid-19 restrictions

Library staff continue to provide Archive services remotely. Please contact us at neuroarchives@ucl.ac.uk

Here are a few ways of exploring new and interesting items from the archives:

Brainspotting: Adventures in Neurology book published

Professor Andrew Lees’ new book Brainspotting: Adventures in Neurology, the sequel to his memoir Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment is published by Notting Hill Editions. An autographed copy can be purchased directly from the publisher. All royalties will go to Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

Shell Shock beyond the War – A European perspective: 25th April 2022

An opportunity for academic staff, clinical staff and students to discuss the psychological consequences of war, a fascinating and multidisciplinary topic with huge relevance for historical and contemporary debates.Takes a European perspective on the paradigmatic example of combat stress of World War I, shell shock, and discuss the enduring relevance of psychological war trauma.

Symposium booklet
Photos and recordings from the event

Current display

International Women and Girls in Science Day and International Women’s Day 2022

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Display celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science and International Women’s Day, which will be held in Queen Square Library February-May 2022, featuring photographs, objects, and documents from Queen Square Library and Archives. To celebrate these days, we have updated the handout and 2018 display which celebrated the centenary of Votes for Women in the UK.

Please note that only UCL library members are able to visit the display in person due to restrictions.

La guerra dei nervi : They Called it Shell Shock: published in Italian

We are delighted to announce the publication of this book, translated by Rossana Rizzo, Queen Square Library.

Dr Stefanie Linden has carried out extensive research on the original medical case records at Queen Square and collated the suffering of the First World War soldiers in her They Called It Shell Shock. Now, for the first time, their personal stories and trauma can be relived in Italian.

Librarian Rossana Rizzo has translated a magnificent work that weaves the individual stories into the military backdrop of First World War. Just as the book highlights scientific discoveries that go beyond national boundaries, the realization of this book has been possible thanks to the collective efforts of colleagues located across Europe: first and foremost the author currently living in Maastricht, prof. Antonio Gibelli writing his introductory essay from Genova and Rossana translating from London.

A truly international achievement that will hopefully be enjoyed by an international audience.

La guerra dei nervi can be purchased from Guida Editori at a discounted rate by using the promo code ‘Guida5’.

Book reviews:
Alias Domenica 27th June 2021
Il Secolo XIX 17th June 2021

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Bronze bust of Johanna Chandler by H.O. Wilson in 1875.

This bust and associated plinth has recently been found and relocated to the Archives at 250 Euston Road.

Grandfather clock

A beautiful grandfather clock, held in the UCLH Archives in 250 Euston Road, which features in the December 19th 1939 Board Minutes, referenced in Chapter 5 (Roller-coaster Ride and the National Hospital Rubs Along 1902–1945) of Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology.

Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology a definitive history of both The National Hospital and the Institute from 1860 to 1997. February 2021: We’re delighted to be able to offer a new discounted rate of £44 for staff and alumni at NHNN and the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (full price now £49 - previously £59.99). To claim this discount, please email info@nationalbrainappeal.org.

Film footage of Queen Square staff in 1930s

We are very grateful to Denis Robertson for supplying Queen Square Archives with digitised cine film footage taken by E Graeme Robertson in 1933, and to George Kaim for creating a set of stills, which will be making available on our website.

taking place x

taking place X, a celebration of the enduring legacy of Julia Dwyer in the form of an award for students on the MA Interior and Spatial Design at Camberwell College of Arts. Julia was a member of the Embroidered Minds collaboration whose exhibition was displayed in Queen Square Library in 2016.

International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021

To celebrate this day, we have updated the handout from the exhibition celebrating the centenary of Votes for Women in the UK, to be held in Queen Square Library February-April 2018. Please see also UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences news item

The Making of a Soulful Neurologist The Polyphony, February 2021

Professor Andrew Lees, Professor of Neurology at the National Hospital, Queen Square and at University College London and one of the most highly cited researchers in the world in the field of Parkinson’s disease, reflects movingly on his medical education.

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Brainland: the opera

Brainland is new opera based on true stories from the history of 20th century neuroscience, uncovered during research for two visual art exhibitions, created by artist Ken Barrett for Queen Square Archives:
Manhandling the Brain, 2016 and Wavecraft: Messages from another world 2018.

Design and making remained integral to the creation of the libretto and the testing out ideas. This included drawing, models, dioramas and animations. There is an animation to the short prelude

The website includes an interview with Professor Andrew Lees.

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Bloomsbury’s Squares and Gardens

The Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens has published this book to showcase these diverse squares, trace their history and give a sense of their life today, including Queen Square. The original watercolour illustrations by Nick Andrew bring the modern activities of the squares to life and complement the many photographs, all taken by local residents. All proceeds from the book will go to support their work and that of the Friends groups. Softback. 94 pp. Available at £8.99 from Skoob Books in the Brunswick or online at skoob.com.

A history of the National Hospital: in 10 objects

A short video compilation of images of items held within Queen Square Archives, focusing on the development of Queen Square, and the founding and early days of the National Hospital, including the first hospital buildings and early staff members. Please note that the narration is included in the captions on the video, so audio is not essential. Download transcript

sandbags in Queen square

Recent donations

A collection of materials relating to nursing at the National Hospital. Includes a file of articles, 2 copies of 1970 postgraduate nursing school prospectus, a copy of Lady Superintendent’s report 1902-3, a set of laminated photographs, 3 copies of nursing lectures notes, and exhibition materials on the massage school, and on male nurses and the first nurse at the National Hospital. Donated by Alree Marsh, Matron, Specialist Services, UCLH, December 2019. Please see our donations page for further information.

Older news

Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS
Features Lotte Fuchs who worked at the National Hospital in the 1940s.

Floor cloth incorporating the National Hospital logo
This floor cloth is displayed as part of the Scottish design gallery at the V&A Dundee.

D for Diagnosis series on Radio 4
Friday 12th July 2019: What’s in a Name? Neurasthenia and homosexuality were both once classified as mental illness. Claudia Hammond reports on ever-changing labels and considers how today’s diagnoses will be seen in the future.

From the library of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, revisits original case notes of British soldiers in World War One who had been diagnosed with the newly emerged condition of shellshock. Shellshock affected hundreds of thousands of troops across Europe and Claudia discusses with Simon why this novel diagnosis became the predominant explanation for traumatic suffering at that particular time.

Available on BBC iPlayer(15-21mins)

See also: *Linden et al. Triggers and Clinical Presentations of Functional Neurological Disorders: Lessons from World War 1 Eur Neurol 2020, 83(2) 171-81. 10.1159/000507698
*Linden When war came home: air-raid shock in World War I History of Psychiatry, 9th March 2021.

IMPACT! Brain Injuries and WWI
The Headway Cambridgeshire Research Group have been investigating the types of brain injuries sustained by soldiers in World War One, the treatments they received, the doctors who treated them, and the hospitals where they received treatments, including visiting Queen Square Archives. Visit the Headway Cambridgeshire website for further information.

Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology a definitive history of both The National Hospital and the Institute from 1860 to 1997.