The Global Project on the History of Leprosy is the initiative of the International Leprosy Association. The project is fully funded by the Nippon Foundation and it is based at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford. The Project is developing a database of leprosy archives around the world, as a working tool for researchers who are interested in the modern history of leprosy, dating from 1847, when Danielssen and Boeck published Om Spedalskhed. It will also be of interest to those connected with leprosy and its impact.

The collections mentioned on the database have a wide range of organisational, policy, scientific and medical archives as well as leprosaria records, museums and libraries. Also included are private collections of those who have worked in the field and collections of testimonies from people affected by the disease. The project does not hold any of these records, but provides information of their existence and whereabouts. While the database creates pathways for researchers, the project will both encourage the preservation of archives and establish a network of researchers.

The project also aims to ensure that the voices of people affected by leprosy are heard, and now through the efforts of Anwei Law and IDEA, the project also has an Oral History Project. These webpages "bring life" to the archival aspects of the project by testifying to the expereinces of people who have been affected by the disease.

If you would like to be in touch with other researchers or people interested in the history of leprosy, please email us at

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