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Level Collection
Extent 3 boxes
Extent 1 oversize box
Title Wright (née Lowenfeld), Helena Rosa (1887-1982), birth control pioneer
Date 1908-1982
Ordering Instructions This archive record describes a grouping of orderable items: to order any of them for consultation, order copies or view them if they have been digitised, navigate down the archive hierarchy to Item level.
Name Wright, Helena Rosa, 1887-1982
Description Correspondence, papers and photographs: personal and re family planning movement, 1920s-1970s, and alternative medicine, 1970s.

The papers are arranged by section as follows:

A. Biographical and family [1½ boxes, 1 outsize volume]

B. Career and Family Planning Movement [1 box]

C. Alternative Medicine [½ box]

Historical Background

Helena Wright was born in 1887. She trained at the London School of Medicine for Women, qualifying as MRCS (Eng.) and LRCP (Lond.) in 1914, and MB, BS in 1915. She subsequently worked at the Bethnal Green Hospital, where she met her husband Peter Wright, a Royal Army Medical Corps surgeon. After the First World War she and her husband decided to become medical missionaries in China, working at the Shantung Christian University in Tsinan until 1927.

Following her return to England, Wright became an influential figure in the National Birth Control Association, later the Family Planning Association. She wrote several much reprinted works of popular sex instruction, including The Sex Factor in Marriage (1930). During her later years she became interested in alternative medicine and the paranormal, and there is a small amount of material in this collection which reflects this interest. She died in 1982.

For further details of Wright's life and career see her entry in the Dictionary of National Biography (1996) and Dr Barbara Evans' biography Freedom to Choose: The Life and Work of Dr Helena Wright, Pioneer of Contraception (1984).

Acquisition Details The papers were received from Dr Barbara Evans, author of Freedom to Choose: The Life and Work of Dr Helena Wright, Pioneer of Contraception (1984), with a few items from the surviving family, between 1986 and 1995. It is clear that this collection represents a rather small residue of Dr Wright's papers, and it is known that she destroyed records from her practice on retirement. The papers include some items created or added by Dr Evans, presumably in the process of accumulating material for her biography of Dr Wright.
Copies of publications by Helena Wright received with these papers have been transferred to the Modern Medicine collection of the Wellcome Library.
Accession Number 249
Accession Number 569
Accession Number 870
Access Status Certain restrictions apply
Access Conditions The majority of this material is available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material. However, file PP/HRW/B.8/2 is closed until 1st January 2071 under the Data Protection Act.
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Copies PP/HRW/A.15, Portrait photo of Helena Rosa Wright as young woman, L29694
Related Material In the Wellcome Library: Related collections include the papers of the Family Planning Association (SA/FPA); the Eugenics Society (SA/EUG); the Abortion Law Reform Association (SA/ALR); Marie C Stopes (PP/MCS); and E F Griffith (PP/EFG). The papers of Philip Rainsford and Barbara Evans, PP/PRE/J, contain Barbara Evans's materials for her biography of Wright. At other repositories: The papers of Helena Wright's sister, Margaret Lowenfeld, are held at the Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF,
Subject Abortion, Legal
Subject Family Planning Services
Subject Gynecology
Subject Women in Medicine
Subject Tropical Medicine
Subject Complementary Therapies
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. 3aa0df40-0c1c-430d-aeea-5719cdd9ebde