DRI Patient Records

Dundee Royal Infirmary had its origins in the Voluntary Dispensary founded in the city by public subscription in 1782. This proved so beneficial to the community that in 1793 Dr. Small proposed that an Infirmary for indoor patients should be founded. His proposal was realised in 1798, when the first 56-bed Dundee Infirmary was erected at King Street. Only the central portion was built at that time, the wings being erected in 1825-27.

The Infirmary was granted a Royal Charter by George III in 1819, establishing it into a Body Corporate and Politic, called the "Dundee Royal Infirmary and Asylum". In 1820 the Asylum was formally established as a separate entity, in premises in Albert Street, Dundee.

By the mid nineteenth century the King Street premises were no longer adequate and, in 1852, building started on a new site in Barrack Road, near Dudhope Castle. Designed by Messrs. Coe & Godwin of London, it was completed and opened in February 1855, when patients were transferred from King Street. Originally constructed to accommodate 220 patients, later additions were made and the hospital began to diversify its services with new children's, ear and eye, ear nose and throat wards and an outpatient clinic.

The infirmary was granted further Royal Charters in 1877 and 1898 - the former on the occasion of the opening of a convalescent home at Barnhill and the latter providing for the addition of a maternity hospital. In July 1948 the running of the Infirmary was transferred to the National Health Service in accordance with the 1947 National Health Service (Scotland) Act. The hospital closed in 1998.


THB1/1/1a – Charter granted by King George III, establishing the Infirmary as the Dundee Royal Infirmary and Asylum. Sealed at Edinburgh, 28 May 1819. Thb1/1/1a


THB1/1/1b – Charter granted by King George III, establishing the Infirmary as the Dundee Royal Infirmary and Asylum. Sealed at Edinburgh, 28 May 1819.
THB1/2/1/8 – Statistical table of patients under treatment in the Dundee Royal Infirmary – Year ending 15th May, 1898. Thb1/2/1/8


THB1/2/7/19 – Nurses and patients in one of the surgical wards of Dundee Royal Infirmary - c. 1898.
THB1/2/1/9b - Nurses and new mothers in one of the maternity wards – c. 1906. Thb1/2/1/9b


THB1/2/1/9c – ‘Preparation for a modern aseptic surgical operation’ – c. 1909.
THB1/15/8/2 – Dundee Royal Infirmary – Plan of Sidlaw Sanatorium Auchterhouse. Thb1/15/8/2


THB1/14/1 – Photograph of sketch drawing of Dundee Royal Infirmary.
THB1/14/5 - Ward 18 Theatre, surgeon and nurses undertaking a surgical operation. Thb1/14/5


THB1/14/4 – Interior of Ward XVIII – Taken March 5th 1923.

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