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Accessing rich archive collections to support interdisciplinary primary health care and historical studies research

Accessing rich archive collections to support interdisciplinary primary health care and historical studies research

A project exploring the history of primary care and everyday health and illness has been able to identify and access archive collections to underpin new research, thanks to funding awarded via the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network South West Hub Seed Funding Award 2022-23.

The Seed Award Funding Scheme is funded by the British Academy, and led by the GW4 Alliance, in partnership with the Universities of Bath, Bath Spa, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Gloucestershire, Plymouth and UWE. The aim of the scheme is to create new cross-sector research partnerships, with funding offered to support Early Career Researcher (ECR) career development.

The small awards, at up to a maximum of £3,000 per applicant, support the direct costs associated with activities that support new research, the development of new stakeholder relationships, broadening knowledge of a sector, future career options or accessing resources and facilities.

The project, led by Dr Barbara Caddick, a researcher in primary care at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol and a social and culture historian, is part of an interdisciplinary body of work which brings together primary health care and historical studies. Dr Caddick’s work has a particular focus on learning more about the experience of patients and healthcare professionals, with a view to understanding how antibiotics became integrated into public consciousness and exploring people’s attitudes towards common infections.

The Seed Funding Award enabled Dr Caddick to fund several visits to scope out archive collections for underpinning potential future projects in the history of primary care. These visits included:

Being able to access funding from the Seed Fund Award scheme gave Dr Caddick the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of relevant archive collections in order to learn more about the types of information that they contain and the research questions that they can help to address. In addition to this, Dr Caddick was able to make links with archivists which will be maintained and harnessed for future collaborations. Dr Caddick has also been able to use photographs and objects from the Heritage Collection of the Royal College of General Practitioners in a recently funded pilot project: “Remembering everyday healthcare c.1940-1970: Testing a novel interdisciplinary methodology” (University of Bristol Brigstow Institute).


Further information:


The British Academy Early Career Researcher Funding South West Hub Seed Funding Award 2023/24 – apply by 27th September 2023

Applications are currently open for the 2023/24 Seed Funding Award. 

To be eligible to apply you must: 

  • Be associated with the South West Hub 
  • Agree that all spend will be complete by end of February;  
  • Agree to provide a short report on the award by March. 

To apply, and for a full list of eligibility criteria and exclusions, please visit our Seed Funding Award webpages. To find out more about the scheme, please email the GW4 Talent and Skills Team at 

The award scheme is part of a suite of activities being developed by the BA ECRN South West Hub, including the Summit Event (12th September) and Development Fund Awards (on-going applications). To find out more, please visit our latest British Academy update. 

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter