Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 4 Mar 2022

Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy was the first radiology scientific journal in the world with its first edition issued in May 1896. This is only six months after the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen on 8th November 1895. 

In 1897 Archives of Skiagraphy was renamed Archives of the Roentgen Ray. After several further name changes it became the British Journal of Radiology.


Its founder and editor was Sydney D Rowland (1872-1917), a 24-year old medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London 1. The first issue comprised 16 pages with a prefacing editorial, an article by Rowland on the basic methodology of taking a radiograph, or skiagram as he called it, and six photographic plates of radiographs. A final page had advertisements for x-ray equipment 3.

The journal appeared as issue two in June 1896, and issue three in December 1896, before the word clinical was dropped and it became simply Archives of Skiagraphy, for a single issue (issue 4 of volume 1), published in May 1897 3.

In the first article of the first issue Sydney Rowland set out in an editorial his hopes for the new discipline "The object of this publication is to put on record in permanent form some of the most striking applications of the New Photography to the needs of Medicine and Surgery" 2.

Ironically Sydney Rowland did not become a radiologist, but after graduating from St Bartholomew's he worked as a bacteriologist. He tragically died from meningitis in the First World War 1.

The new journal was published and also owned by the Rebman Publishing Company. The owners F J Rebman and A J Rebman, originally established their business to promote English translations of European medical textbooks 5. The Rebmans went on to become two of the founders of the Roentgen Society 5.

  1. Sydney Rowland 1896-1897

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy
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