Papers of Professor Arthur Robertson Cushny (1866-1926)

Scope and Content

The papers include notes for lectures on material medica, Edinburgh University, 1918-1926; records of experiments in material medica, University College, London, 1907-1926, and at Edinburgh University; and, records of experiments, 1923-1924.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Robertson Cushny was born at the Manse of Speymouth, Fochabers, Morayshire, on 6 March 1866. He was educated at Milnes Free School in Fochabers and then studied at Aberdeen University. He graduated in 1886 with the degree of M.A., and then in 1889 with the degrees of M.B., C.M. He then spent some time in Berne, Würzburg, and Strasbourg, where in the latter, from 1892 until 1893, he was Assistant to Oswald Schmiedeberg, Professor of Pharmacology. In 1893, Cushny was appointed Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and then in 1905 he became Professor of Pharmacology and Materia Medica at University College, London. During this period, Cushny established himself as the leading British authority in his subject and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1907. In 1918, he was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacology at Edinburgh University and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1919. His publications include the then pioneer work Textbook of pharmacology and therapeutics (eighth edition 1924), The action and uses in medicine of digitalis and its allies (1924), and The secretion of the urine (1917). Cushny was also co-editor of the Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics Professor Arthur Robertson Cushny suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died on 24 February 1926.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Obituary notice. Arthur Robertson Cushny. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Vol.46. 1925-1926. pp.354-356. Edinburgh: Neill and Co., 1927. (2) Who was who 1916-1928. 3rd edition. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1962.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: notebook and miscellaneous correspondence and papers, 1889-1937, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Ref. PP/ARC NRA 24903 Cushny.

Corporate Names