There are only two volumes in this series, both commencing in October 1888, one for the patients of Dr Michael Ulick O’Sullivan and the other for those of Dr John William Dunbar Hooper, two of the four new Honorary Physicians appointed to the Midwifery Department at that time
Following a complete separation and reorganisation of the Infirmary and Midwifery Departments in 1888 the hospital changed its Midwifery Department record keeping system from one record (Midwifery Books, Series 47) to two by introducing Birth Registers (Series 158) and the more detailed Labour Ward Case Books (Series 156). Unlike the Honorary Physicians Case Books which usually have only the patients of one doctor, these volumes were for all the patients of the department.
There seems to have been a transition stage when individual doctors maintained their own midwifery case books, as was done in the Infirmary Department, as there are two extant Honorary Physicians' Case Books. It is not known if the other Honorary Physicians also had their own Case Books at this time and how complete this series is, or indeed how complete the record in "Labour Ward Book No 2", or the other early Labour Ward Case Books is.
There is considerable duplication of cases between the Honorary Physicians Case Books and the Labour Ward Case Books. Some of the cases recorded in "Labour Book No 2" are duplicates of cases recorded in the two Honorary Physicians' Case Books. There are however many more cases in the Honorary Physicians' Case Books which are not in "Labour Book No 2”.
These two volumes are very large leather bound volumes, the same as the Labour Ward Case Books from the same period. They have both been microfilmed (Series 152).
Michael Ulick O’Sullivan, L and LMRCS, LRCP, Ed, LM, Coombe Hospital Dublin.
Dr O’Sullivan was first elected to the staff of the Lying in Hospital as an Honorary Physician in the Midwifery Department in 1888, a position he held until l891/92 when he moved to the Infirmary Department. He continued in that position until his retirement in 1914 when he was appointed Honorary Consulting Physician. He died in 1917. He was Chairman of the Honorary Infirmary Staff from 1903 to 1910.
John William Dunbar Hooper, LRCS, LRCP, Fellow Obstetrical Society, Edinburgh
Dr Hooper had been a Resident Surgeon in the Infirmary Department in 1885-86. Following the reorganisation of the Hospital he was appointed Honorary Physician to the Midwifery Department in 1888, and like O’Sullivan remained there until 1891/92 when he also transferred to the Infirmary Department. He continued there until 1898.
Care must be taken in relying on the details found in records from the 19th and early 20th centuries, as there are many discrepancies between this information and that given in Birth Certificates and other hospital records of the same period - for example, names are spelled differently, mothers’ ages vary and even birth dates are inconsistent. In some instances births are recorded in Labour Ward Case Books, but not in the Birth Register.
Patient histories are recorded chronologically and are not indexed. It is necessary to know the date of a birth (or more specifically, date of admission) to find a particular entry.
Access Conditions: Strict patient confidentiality provisions apply. Refer to to the Archivist or the Freedom of Information Officer in Health Information Services.
Microfilm is always to be used for reference in preference to the originals, except to clarify illegible text on the film. Access to the originals will be under supervision of the Archivist.