Epidemic Belfast

Stories of Belfast’s medical past from the 19th century to the present day. A podcast and website from Ulster University’s School of History that raises challenging and difficult questions about Northern Ireland’s medical history.

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Latest Episode

In a brand new episode, Megan Kelly (Open University) explores emotional labour and well-being of nurses during the Troubles. 

Explore Medical Belfast

To use in Google maps, visit: tinyurl.com/2p98m8z3 

Images courtesy of National Museums NI.

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The Story Behind Epidemic Belfast.

Epidemic Belfast is a medical history learning resource developed by researchers from Ulster University’s School of History.

During the COVID pandemic, the team set out to uncover Belfast’s medical past, hoping to gain a better understanding of how disease (physical and mental) has been experienced and managed in the city since the 19th century.

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What People Say

In my class “Great Cities: Belfast,” taught in Spring 2022 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, United States, my students listened to 8 different podcast episodes after listening to multiple lectures on the social and economic history of 19th century industrial Belfast. In pairs, they prepared presentations on their respective podcast episode topics and shared them with me and the class. The Epidemic Belfast Podcast was an invaluable resource for my students as they were able to learn a part of urban and economic history of which they had no prior knowledge. Additionally, many students drew connections between what they learned in the podcasts in terms of vaccinations, quarantines, and other public health measures to their own lived experiences as students during the COVID-19 Epidemic. Later in the semester, students listened to the episodes on polio and thalidomide. Hearing the actual voices of survivors made this history more real and more moving than any reading I could have assigned. I 100% will use Epidemic Belfast in my future classes and its creators and contributors should be congratulated for making such a resource available to researchers and educators around the world.

Daniella McCahey, Assistant Professor in Modern British History
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, United States

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