Wellcome Collection Makes Papers of the UK Health Education Council and Health Education Authority Available for Research

A remarkable archive that richly documents British health promotion campaigns in the late twentieth century is now available for researchers at Wellcome Collection. The papers of the Health Education Council (HEC) and its successor, the Health Education Authority (HEA), have been fully catalogued recently and can now be ordered and viewed on site at the library at Wellcome Collection in London.
The HEA was established in 1968 by the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Services. Although an independent body and registered charity, it was funded by the UK central government. 
The HEC was established as a special health authority of the National Health Service, concerned with the planning and promotion of health education and with commissioning research into health education at a national level in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Council has changed hands many times over the years, but has been operating as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence since 2013, and continues to provide national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.
This extensive 500 box collection was presented to Wellcome by the Lord Chancellor. Covering the period between 1976 to 1990, the archive richly documents the early responses to HIV and AIDS, smoking, alcohol, heart disease, antenatal care, health education in schools, Tuberculosis, nutrition, sex education, contraception and family planning. Campaign material includes an anti-smoking comic of Superman fighting the evil ‘Nick-O-Teen’, sexual health information such as a Spiderman comic on condoms, and leaflets for young students bridging the gap between what they need to know about sexual health and what parents are comfortable with them being told, and drink awareness material to stop people drinking during work hours. 
By making this exceptional material available to researchers, Wellcome Collection hopes to increase awareness of and interest in the history of British health promotion campaigns and public health initiatives during the latter part of the twentieth century. For more information on the papers of the Health Education Council and Health Education Authority, please see the Wellcome Library Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.