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Archie Cochrane Archive

The Cochrane Archive is a comprehensive record of the life, work and achievements of Archibald Leman Cochrane CBE FRCP FFCM (1909-1988).

The Archive includes photographs, personal items and professional papers providing a rich resource for research on Archie Cochrane’s life and professional career. Its contents range in date from the late nineteenth century to the mid-1980s, including early drafts of his ground-breaking work, Effectiveness and Efficiency, see:


The Archive serves as a valuable reference source for students to the ideas that were to become the foundations of evidence-based medicine.

Archie Cochrane
Archie Cochrane

Archie Cochrane was born in Kirklands, Galashiels, Scotland in 1909. He qualified in 1938 at University College Hospital, London and joined the Medical Research Council's Pneumoconiosis Unit at Llandough Hospital, near Cardiff, in 1948. Here he began a series of studies on the health of the population of Rhondda Fach - studies which pioneered the use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Archie Cochrane Lecture Posters

Archie Cochrane’s experiences during the Spanish Civil War, where he served as a member of a British Ambulance Unit, and later during World War II as Medical Officer at a number of PoW camps, had a profound and lasting effect on his future practice of medicine.

International Brigade Members
Group of Spanish partisans, circa 1939.


His autobiography One Man’s Medicine graphically describes this formative period of his life:


In 1960 he was appointed David Davies Professor of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases at the Welsh National School of Medicine (now School of Medicine, Cardiff University), and nine years later became Director of the new Medical Research Council’s Epidemiology Research Unit at 4 Richmond Road, Cardiff. 

His ideas eventually led to the development of the Cochrane Library database of systematic reviews, the establishment of the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford and the international Cochrane Collaboration.

The Cochrane Archive contains over 180 entries and has evolved from files and media deposited at the Pneumoconiosis and Epidemiology Units in Cardiff, and generously donated to the Archie Cochrane Library at University Hospital Llandough, Penarth, by Professor Peter Elwood and Dr Hugh Thomas of the MRC Epidemiology Unit. Other items have been kindly donated and the Honorary Curator is always interested in acquiring further memorabilia. All the material was originally catalogued by a professional archivist, Miss Hilary Thomas, and can be viewed by appointment*.

(*To visit the Cochrane Archive collection, please contact the Honorary Curator, Ms Rosemary Soper, The Archie Cochrane Library at University Hospital Llandough, Penarth, CF64 2XX.
Tel: (029) 2071 5497 or e-mail: cochraneliby@cardiff.ac.uk)

Archive access information and conditions.