Journal Article

Sources in the History of Occupational Health: The Turner & Newall Archive

GEOFFREY TWEEDALE

in Social History of Medicine

Published on behalf of Society for the Social History of Medicine

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 515-533
Published in print December 2000 | ISSN: 0951-631X
Published online December 2000 | e-ISSN: 1477-4666 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/shm/13.3.515
Sources in the History of Occupational Health: The Turner & Newall Archive

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SUMMARY

Sources in the history of occupational health are scanty—reflection perhaps of the contentious nature of the documentation. In the UK, asbestos company records have until recently been unavailable and consequently historians and policy-makers have been hindered from exploring a major public health issue. In 1995, however, Chase Manhattan Bank in New York sued the leading British asbestos producer, Turner & Newall, in a property-damage claim. During pre-trial discovery, Chase had copied a large proportion of Turner & Newall's vast archive and under American law was able to put the records in the public domain. This article describes how this collection of records—perhaps the largest anywhere on the history of an occupational health hazard—was generated. It also suggests ways of navigating the documents; discusses the nature of the material; and the archive's uses to medical and industrial historians.

Keywords: asbestos; asbestosis; mesothelioma; archives; Turner & Newall

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History ; History of Medicine

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