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

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

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

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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.

Grandfather clock

A beautiful grandfather clock, currently in the medical offices in Queen Square, 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.

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. We are hoping to host an exhibition of these later in 2021.

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

Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS

Features Lotte Fuchs who worked at the National Hospital in the 1940s.

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

Current display

The National Hospital and the Second World War
The display marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Selected images from the display are available online. Please see handout for further information.

Floor cloth incorporating the National Hospital logo

This floor cloth is displayed as part of the Scottish design gallery at the V&A Dundee.

Images from The National Society for Epilepsy archives

Photographs from our recent exhibition The National Society for Epilepsy & the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy: 125 years on have been digitised and added to the website. With many thanks to Nicola Swanborough and her colleagues at the Epilepsy Society for their help and support in curating the exhibition, and to George Kaim for digitising the photographs.

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.

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

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, authored by Simon Shorvon, Alastair Compston, Andrew Lees, Michael Clark, and Martin Rossor.

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