Catalogue of papers collected by Hugh Sinclair, 1835-1984

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Table of Contents

A    Research files, 1835-1980
B    Photographs, 1880s-1936
C    Printed material, 1886-1980
D    Miscellaneous material, 1884-1984

Catalogue of papers collected by Hugh Sinclair, 1835-1984

Papers relating to the history of medicine at the University of Oxford collected by Hugh Sinclair, nutritionist

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 8049-55, MSS. Eng. d. 4074-5, MS. Photogr. c. 502, fols. 11-32

Extent: 10 shelfmarks
Language of Material: English

Biographical History

Biographical history compiled with reference to Sinclair's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography written by Brian B. Lloyd.

Hugh Macdonald Sinclair was born in Edinburgh on 4 February 1910. He was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford, where he received a first class honours degree in physiology in 1932. Between 1933 and 1936 Sinclair was in London studying clinical medicine at University College Hospital and lecturing in physiology at University College. He returned to Oxford in 1937 when he was appointed demonstrator and lecturer in biochemistry at the University and a fellow of Magdalen College.

Sinclair established the Oxford Nutrition Survey in 1941 and the International Institute of Human Nutrition in 1972 (renamed the International Human Foundation in 1982). He died on 22 June 1990 and his estate was left to the International Human Foundation which funded the establishment of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading.

Scope and Content

The papers comprise correspondence, notes, photographs, drawings and printed material. Included is material relating to Kenneth J. Franklin's article "A short sketch of the history of the Oxford Medical School" which was published in the Annals of Science 1.4 (1936), 431-446. (Franklin was Dean and Acting Dean of the Medical School 1934-1946, and Assistant Director of the Nuffield Institute for Medical Research, 1935-1947.)

Some papers relating to research into the 'plague of Athens' by J.C.F. Poole, of the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, and others, have been listed at the end of the catalogue.


Research files are arranged alphabetically, as they were received. The remaining sections are arranged chronologically. A few items have been moved from their original location. This has been noted in the catalogue.


The papers were donated to the Library by the University of Reading in 2012.

Restrictions on Access

All material is available but prospective readers should contact the Library well in advance of an intended visit as the papers are stored offsite.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 8049, fols. 1-3]

Related Material

Hugh Sinclair Archive, Museum of English Rural Life (University of Reading)

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Sinclair | Hugh Macdonald | 1910-1990 | nutritionist
Franklin | Kenneth James | 1897-1966 | physiologist

Corporate names (NCA Rules)

Oxford University

Place names (NCA Rules)

Oxford | Oxfordshire

Subjects (LCSH)

Medicine | History

A   Research files, 1835-1980

Scope and Content:

Research files relating to Oxford medicine, created by Kenneth J. Franklin and Sinclair, some created by Franklin and continued by Sinclair. Arranged alphabetically, being a mixture of people, places and subjects.

Date: 1874-1951
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8049

Extent: 115 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. 1-72) Acland, Henry (Sir), 1874-1896, comprising:

  • letter from Acland to the Vice Chancellor, "On the scientific and practical studies connected with medicine in the University of Oxford", 1874 (printed)
  • letter from Acland to James Andrew, "Oxford and modern medicine", 1889 (printed 1890)
  • review of Acland's letter to James Andrew by W. Probyn-Nevins, "Oxford, natural science and the Faculty of Medicine", 1890 (printed)
  • letters from Acland to John Scott Haldane and Frederick Augustus Dixey, 1891-1896
  • draft summary of lectures delivered in the subjects of the Faculty of Medicine, academic year 1890-1891
  • press cutting from the Oxford Times about the history of the University museum (includes comments by Acland), 6 Aug. 1892

(fols. 73-111) Anatomy, 1891-1892, [1936], comprising:

  • memoranda and reports discussing the position of medical studies in Oxford and recommendations for changes to examinations, 1891-1892
  • press cutting about the will of John Barclay, Dr. Lee's Reader in Anatomy, [1936]

(fols. 112-15) Botanic Garden and Botany Department, 1951, comprising:

  • "The Oxford Botanic Garden" by Theodore George Bentley Osborn, reprinted from Endeavour, 10 (38), Apr. 1951.

Date: 1835-1969
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8050

Extent: 292 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols 1-225) British Medical Association, 1835-1936, [1960s], mainly relating to the annual meeting of the B.M.A. held in Oxford in July 1936, including:

  • "The growth and development of the Oxford Medical School" by William Collier, reprinted from the British Medical Journal, ii, 1904
  • souvenir booklet, Oxford Medical Lore, 1936

(fols. 226-292) Burdon-Sanderson, John (Sir), 1891-1905, [1960-1969], comprising:

  • letters from Sir John Burdon-Sanderson to the Vice Chancellor and Frederick Augustus Dixey, 1891-1893 [letter from Burdon-Sanderson, 29 May 1891, was originally in Acland file]
  • letters to Burdon-Sanderson from Bartholomew Price, 1893
  • correspondence between Burdon-Sanderson and Charles Darwin discussing vivisection legislation, 1875 (photocopies)
  • licence granted to Burdon-Sanderson to perform experiments on animals, 1876 (photocopy)
  • "The School of Medical Science in Oxford" by Burdon-Sanderson, 1892
  • "Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson, Bart. 1828-1905" by Francis Gotch, obituary reprinted from the Proceedings of the Royal Society, 79, 1905
  • biographical notes on Burdon-Sanderson, his family and his work, [c.1960s]

Date: 1881-1971
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8051

Extent: 206 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. i-54) Chaplin, Arnold, 1920, comprising:

  • "The history of medical education in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge 1500-1850" by Chaplin, typescript copy of his article published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 13, 1920.

(fols. 55-61) Church, William (Sir), 1892-1893, comprising letters from Church to Sir John Burdon-Sanderson.

(fols. 62-74) Daubeny Buildings and Laboratory, [1882]-1971, comprising:

  • "Magdalen College laboratory register 1869 to 1894", compiled by Edward Chapman, [c.1882] (photocopy)
  • postcard from Sir Godfrey Driver to Hugh Sinclair regarding whether Daubeny was a Wykehamist (pupil at Winchester College), 1971
  • notes on Magdalen College and physiology by Hugh Sinclair (including mention of Charles Daubeny and Edward Chapman), [c.1971]

(fols. 75-101) Dixey, Frederick Augustus, 1892-1936, comprising:

  • letters to Dixey from William Bruce-Clarke, Sir William Church and Sir E. Ray Lankester, 1892
  • letter from Dixey's son to Kenneth Franklin, 1936
  • leaflet about the Millard Mechanical and Engineering Laboratory in Oxford by Reverend Frederick J. Jervis-Smith, 1902
  • notes on the Oxford degrees in medicine
  • "One professor x votes?" by Alfred Denis Godley. Poem about Dixey and Burdon-Sanderson photocopied from Reliquiae, 1, 1926, pp. 26-7 (originally published in the Oxford magazine, 1892-3)

(fols. 102-48) Franklin, Kenneth James, 1936, 1947, comprising:

  • letters to Franklin about his article "A short sketch of the history of the Oxford Medical School", 1936-1947
  • "The personalities of the Oxford Medical School" by Sir Humphry Rolleston, cutting from the Annals of Medical History, 8 (4), July 1936, pp. 277-87; with a letter from Rolleston to Franklin mentioning this article

(fols. 149-206) Lankester, E. Ray (Sir), 1881-1894, comprising:

  • letters from Lankester asking for comments on proposals being put before the board of the Faculty of Natural Science, 1892 (printed)
  • letter from Lankester to Dr. Church proposing changes to medical students' curriculum and examinations, 1892 (printed)
  • letter from Frederick Augustus Dixey in reply to Lankester's letter to Dr. Church, 1892 (handwritten copy by Dixey)
  • "An appeal to the governing bodies of the Colleges within the University of Oxford" by Lankester, 1892, discusses the lack of fellowships and scholarships for natural science subjects, specifically zoology; with related cutting from the Oxford Magazine, 1892
  • letters, report and agenda relating to a meeting of the Delegates of the University Museum to discuss the care of collections and the assignment of space in the Museum, 1894 (printed)
  • "Testimonials presented to the electors for the Linacre Professorship of Anatomy and Physiology" by William Hatchett Jackson, 1881
  • letters and papers relating to the election of a deputy to the Linacre Professorship of Human and Comparative Anatomy, 1888. Lankester was a candidate but the letters and papers here are in support of William Hatchett Jackson

Date: 1891-1955
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8052

Extent: 181 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. 1-119) Medicine, Regius Professor of, 1903-1904, 1941-1942, comprising:

  • Letters and papers relating to the election of the Regius Professor of Medicine in 1904 and 1942 following the retirements of Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson and Sir E. Farquhar Buzzard. Correspondents include Samuel West and Frederick Augustus Dixey (1904), and Sir E. Farquhar Buzzard (1943).

(fols. 120-23) Natural science, 1891-[1902], comprising:

  • notice from the Vice Chancellor and the Proctors regarding exam regulations, [1902] (printed)
  • notice from Sir E. Ray Lankester, Sydney H. Vines and A.H. Green regarding possible alterations to the statutes/regulations relating to the final examination in the subjects of animal morphology, botany, and geology, 1891 (printed)
  • press cutting about a resolution recommending that natural science form part of the first public examination, "in short, that there should be honour mods. in natural science"
  • handwritten notes about examinations by [Frederick Augustus Dixey], 1891

(fols. 124-51) Nuffield (Lord), 1936, 1955, comprising:

  • papers relating to Lord Nuffield's benefactions to Oxford University for the Medical School and medical research, 1936
  • press cuttings about new departments of the Medical School at the Radcliffe Infirmary, 1955
  • agenda for a special meeting of the board of the Faculty of Medicine, 1936; with forms proposing that Ernest William Ainley-Walker and Alexander Macdougall Cooke become members

(fols. 152-81) Osler, William (Sir), 1905-1952, comprising:

  • menus from meetings and dinners of the Osler Society, 1935-1952
  • printed photograph of Osler in 1905 (publication unknown)
  • biographical notes about Osler with a list of his publications

Date: 1927-1961
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8053

Extent: 252 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. 1-208) Oxford Medical School, 1951-1961, comprising:

  • letters to Hugh Sinclair from I.D. Ferguson requesting information about the development of physiology and biochemistry in Oxford, 1951
  • memorandum, addressed to members of congregation, from John R. Baker, W. Holmes and Nikolaas Tinbergen about the "resolution on allocation of site for a zoology building", 1962
  • biographical notes on medical people at Oxford, [1950-1970]

(fols. 209-52) Oxford medicine, 1927-1948, comprising:

  • letters to Kenneth Franklin from David Nabarro, Kingsley Sanders and Hugh Sinclair, 1946-1948. Sinclair's letter suggests that they discuss further the question of a history of the Oxford Medical School as a companion to Rolleston's one of Cambridge
  • biographical notes on medical people at Oxford, [1950-1970]
  • commemorative booklet marking the opening of the School of Biochemistry, 1927
  • order of proceedings for the opening of the Radcliffe Science Library extension, 1936, with invitation and ticket in Kenneth Franklin's name

Date: 1886-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8054

Extent: 201 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. 1-48) Pathology, 1904-[1923], comprising:

  • notes from meetings/conferences with Ernest William Ainley-Walker's name written on the front, [1922-1923]
  • extract from 1924 statute relating to a gift from Sir William Dunn's Trustees for the establishment of a new School of Pathology, 1922
  • letters, address to the Vice Chancellor, and a list of committee members, relating to the Oxford Medical Graduates Club, 1904-1905 (printed)
  • syllabus of lectures on general pathology, undated
  • "Georges Dreyer: his scientific work at Oxford" by Ainley-Walker. Text of his public lecture to the School of Pathology, 1934
  • "In memoriam: Georges Dreyer, 1873-1934" by Ainley-Walker, reprinted from the Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology, 39, 1934
  • "Twenty years after" by A. Elliot-Smith, cutting from unknown publication, [1941]

(fols. 49-51) Pharmacology, 1891, comprising:

  • letters to Frederick Augustus Dixey from J.H. Dauber regarding examination papers for materia medica

(fols. 52-185) Physiology, 1886-1976, comprising:

  • physiology examination paper, 1886
  • letter from Sir Henry Hallett Dale to J.C. Eccles, 1937. Dale wishes Eccles well on his move to Sydney and says that Buchtal has asked him to pass on some comments about acetylcholine to the Oxford meeting [of the British Medical Association]
  • order of service for the memorial service for Howard Florey, 1968
  • volume of honours physiology lecture notes kept by Kenneth Franklin, with his name on the front cover, 1920
  • menu for a dinner of the Physiological Society, 1976; includes a reprint of the minutes of the meeting held on 5 May 1876 [originally in Franklin file]
  • "Waynflete Professorship of Physiology. Letter of application and testimonials of John Scott Haldane", 1895 [originally in anatomy file]

(fols. 186-88) Psychology, [c.1890], 1936, comprising:

  • letter to the Vice Chancellor from Thomas Fowler, William Wallace, J. Cook Wilson, F.H. Bradley, Thomas Case, John Burdon-Sanderson, E. Ray Lankester and Edward Caird, discussing the establishment of a readership or university lectureship in experimental psychology, [c.1891]
  • "Psychology at Oxford" by William Brown, reprinted from the British Medical Journal, i, 30 May 1936 [originally in BMA file]

(fols. 189-201) Robb-Smith, A. H. T., 1962-1980, comprising:

  • correspondence between Robb-Smith and Sinclair regarding papers written by them; includes a section from Robb-Smith's history of Oxford medicine

B   Photographs, 1880s-1936

Date: 1880s-1936
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. c. 502, fols. 11-32

Extent: 18 items

Scope and Content:

Photographs, many of which were used in Kenneth Franklin's article, "A short sketch of the Oxford Medical School"

  • (fol. 11) George Rolleston (1829-1881), physiologist, photograph of a sketch, endorsed, 'Fig 1', for above article [originally in Acland file]
  • (fol. 12) 'The "tin shed" etc' in which Arthur Thomson taught anatomy until 1893, with the Physiological Laboratory in the background, endorsed, 'Fig 2' for above article [originally in Anatomy file]
  • (fol. 13) Arthur Thomson at work in the "tin shed", anatomy classrooms; endorsed, 'Fig 3', for above article
  • (fols. 14-15) two photographs of Arthur Thomson and others in the ?anatomy classrooms, [1890s]
  • (fols. 16-18) a group of students and lecturers outside the Physiology Laboratory, 1894, including Sir Henry Acland, Burdon-Sanderson, John Scott Haldane, M.S. Pembrey, E. Farquhar Buzzard and Ernest William Ainley-Walker, endorsed, 'Fig 4', for above article; with key to the photograph and related postcard from Sir E. Farquhar Buzzard to Franklin in which Buzzard identifies himself in the photograph, 8 Aug 1936
  • (fol. 19) John Burdon-Sanderson (1828-1905), pathologist, taken by Miss Acland, Oxford, 1894; endorsed, 'Fig 5', for above article
  • (fols. 20-1) John Burdon-Sanderson, cabinet print, probably taken by Miss Acland, Oxford, 1894
  • (fols. 22-3) John Burdon-Sanderson, cabinet print, Elliott and Fry, London, [?1880s]
  • (fols. 24-5) John Burdon-Sanderson, cabinet print, Russell & Sons, London, [1890s]
  • (fols. 26-7) John Burdon-Sanderson, cabinet print, photographer unknown, n.d.
  • (fol. 28) James Ritchie (1864-1923), pathologist, endorsed, 'Fig 6', for above article [originally in Pathology file]
  • (fol. 29) The Nuffield Institute for Medical Research, formerly the Radcliffe Observatory, endorsed, 'Fig 7', for above article
  • (fol. 30) Arthur Thomson (1858-1935), anatomist, in later life, sketching outdoors, n.d. [originally in Anatomy file]
  • (fol. 31) 'Henry Acland's Library, Broad Street, Oxford'
  • (fol. 32) 'Leper Hospital of St. Bartholomew, Oxford' (modern photograph of a drawing), n.d. [originally in Oxford Medicine file]

C   Printed material, 1886-1980

Printed material
Date: 1886-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 4074

Extent: 23 items

Scope and Content:

Booklets, pamphlets and articles relating to medicine in Oxford. Includes:

  • "Statutes and decrees in relation to the Faculty of Medicine, and to examinations for degrees in medicine and surgery", 1886
  • "Information respecting medical study, examinations, and degrees, at Oxford", 1887
  • "Objections to the proposed statute for admitting women to the examinations for the degree of bachelor of medicine" by Thomas Case, 1890
  • "The unveiling of the statue of Sydenham in the Oxford the Marquess of Salisbury...with an address by Sir Henry W. Acland", 1894
  • "The Oxford Medical School", reprinted from the British Medical Journal, 23 June 1906
  • "Dr. Thomas Clayton" by R. O. Scheibner, 1943
  • "Bibliotheca Radcliviana 1749-1949. Catalogue of an exhibition commemorate the bicentenary of the opening of the Radcliffe Library on 13 April 1749", 1949
  • "Orthopaedics at Oxford: past, present and future" by J. Trueta, 1960
  • "Relief of the sick and lame: two hundred years of nursing at the Radcliffe Infirmary" by Mary Bone, 1970

D   Miscellaneous material, 1884-1984

'Oxford School Medical Dinners'
Date: 1899-1914
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. d. 4075

Extent: i + 57 leaves

Scope and Content:

Notebook of the organising committee, containing names of committee members, ticket prices, venues, lists of people who have bought tickets, draft seating plans, draft programmes, accounts. Loose items removed to MS. Eng. c. 8055, fols. 1-83.

Oxford Medical School dinners and miscellaneous material
Date: 1884-1984
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 8055

Extent: 101 leaves

Scope and Content:

(fols. 1-83) Oxford Medical School dinners, loose items, mostly invoices and receipts, with some menus and invitations, all removed from the above volume [MS. Eng. d. 4075], including a few items relating to dinners organised by the Oxford Medical Graduates Club, 1901-1914, 1949-1951, comprising:

  • (fols. 1-5) receipts, 1901, originally located in fol. 25 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 6-17) invitation and receipts, 1902, originally located between folios 30 and 31 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 18-27) receipts, 1903, originally located in fol. 38 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 28-34) receipts, 1904, originally located in fol. 41 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 35-9) menu and invitation list, 1904, originally located between folios 39 and 40 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 40-4) receipts, 1905, originally located in fol. 42 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 45-51) receipts and letter, 1906, originally located in fol. 48 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 52-61) menu, invitations, list of toasts, balance of accounts, 1907, originally located between fols. 51 and 52 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 62-7) receipts, 1908, originally located in fol. 55 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fol. 68) letter from Herbert Hunt, 1908, originally located between fols. 55 and 56 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 69-76) menu, notice, receipts, balance of account, letter regarding a donation, 1914, originally located between fols. 57 and 58 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fol. 77) menu, 1949, originally located between fols. 57 and 58 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fols. 78-82) invitation and menu, 1950, originally located between fols. 57 and 58 of MS. Eng. d. 4075
  • (fol. 83) letter cancelling the dinner, 1951, originally located between fols. 57 and 58 of MS. Eng. d. 4075

(fols. 84-96) papers relating to research into the plague of Athens by J.C.F. Poole [of the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology] and others, 1978-1984, comprising:

  • three letters relating to the article "Thucydides and the plague of Athens" by J.C.F. Poole and A.J. Halliday, 1978. The article was later published in Classical Quarterly, 29 (1979), 282-300
  • Clifford H. Eby and Harold D. Evjen, "The plague of Athens: a new oar in muddied waters", Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 17 (1962), 258-63
  • J.C.F. Poole and A.J. Halliday, "Thucydides and the plague: a further footnote", Classical Quarterly 34.2 (1984), 483-85, in response to an article by J.A.H. Wylie and H.W. Stubbs

(fols. 97-101) caricatures of Professor John Scott Burdon-Sanderson and other Oxford medical figures, 1884-1898, comprising:

  • "Bodley vivisection" by 'Tommy', showing Burdon-Sanderson vivisecting Bodley's Librarian [E.W.B. Nicholson, a strong opponent of vivisection], 1884
  • "The inquisition", showing the examination of a medical candidate, 1897
  • menus for Oxford Medical School dinners by C. W. Pilcher, 1896, 1898

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16 September 2013