BAPRAS Archive

The BAPRAS Archives chart the history and development of plastic surgery in the UK.

The Archives were started in the 1980s by Antony Wallace, and are known as the Antony Wallace Archive. Our current Honorary Archivist is Roger Green, who follows Brian Morgan who retired from the post in 2014 having spent fifteen years overseeing and expanding the archive. Mr Morgan followed Phil Sykes and Charles Chapman in this role.

Plastic surgery records go back to at least 500 BC. The modern discipline as we know it, however, has its origins in the First World War, and there are no extant artefacts predating this period.

Accessing the Archives

The BAPRAS archives are visited by people from all over the world and anyone is welcome to view our collection. Viewings are available by appointment only. To arrange a visit, please contact the Secretariat to make an appointment with the Association archivist

The BAPRAS Archives consist of:


BAPRAS holds a number of photographs, some of which depict staff and treatment procedures from the First World War, although the majority are of plastic surgery personalities from the 1930s and the Second World War. There are some clinical photographs, and a collection of photographs taken by Mr Percy Hennell during the Second World War. The latter are of great interest due to the system of colour photography used by Hennell which helps to achieve minimal image fading. The archives are also home to a 16mm cine film from the 1930s which contains footage of several operative procedures.


BAPRAS has a collection of plastic surgery instruments, including a variety of grafting knives. Some instruments carry famous surgeons' initials, while others display various developmental designs. Notably, BAPRAS owns a set of instruments that once belonged to the German surgeon Professor Joseph, who was the pioneer of cosmetic rhinoplasty. Read more about Professor Joseph's instruments

All BAPRAS-archived instruments are available for viewing and can be accessed online here

Can you help? 

If you have any experiences or knowledge of plastic surgery in the past, memories of working with or being a patient of Harold Gillies and his contempories, we would love to hear from you- please email the Secretariat