The BAPRAS Collection

The BAPRAS Collection and Archives chart the history and development of plastic surgery in the UK. It contains artefacts and archive material of outstanding medical, historical and cultural significance relating to the British history of the specialty.

The Archive was started in the 1980s by Antony Wallace, who spent 15 years developing it.  Since then it has continued to be expanded into the Collection and Archive which exists today. Our current Honorary Curator is Martin Coady. He was preceded by Roger Green, Brian Morgan, Phil Sykes and Charles Chapman.

The BAPRAS Collection and Archives are an invaluable resource for research in many areas, such as the development of plastic surgery techniques, changes in medical equipment, World War history, modern warfare and its role in treatment, and physical disfigurement. 

Accessing the Archives

The Collection can be viewed by anyone. Viewings are available by appointment only. No charge is made for visits, but donations to support its preservation are always welcome.  There are some fees associated with reproducing images and material from the Collection. For any enquiries or to arrange a visit, please contact the us on

The BAPRAS Collection and Archive consists of:



BAPRAS holds an extensive collection of photographs, some of which depict staff and treatment procedures from the First World War, others are of plastic surgery personalities from the 1930s, Second World War and later 20th Century. One of the most significant collections were taken by Mr Percy Hennell during the Second World, important because of the method devised for colour photography. It is also home to historical film footage of several operative procedures.

Medical Artefact


The Collection dates from 1900 and contains a wide range of plastic surgery instruments from over 100 years of plastic surgery procedures. Some instruments carry famous surgeons' initials, while others display 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, and Harold Gillies, often thought of as a founding father of Plastic Surgery. The Collection contains artefacts relating to prosthesis, as well as other medical apparatus.

Art Works


BAPRAS holds a number of painted and drawn artworks which depict patients and surgical techniques.  There are also personal artworks painted by Harold Gillies.

Association Archive and Reference Library


Preserving the history of the Association and its activities.  This archive contains a copies of JPRAS from 1970, as well as conference and lecture material.  BAPRAS hold a large reference library relevant to the collection.

Information and images are available to view through our online database.

Can you help? 


We are constantly looking to expand and develop our Collection to ensure it is current, as well as remaining an important resource for learning and engagement. If you have any experience or knowledge of plastic surgery in the past, memories of working with or being a patient of Harold Gillies, his contemporaries, or any other significant Plastic Surgeon. Perhaps you were involved in a pioneering technique, or have some photographs or instruments relating to the specialty.  If this is the case we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

Get in touch