Correspondence from Joseph Lister to Dr James Finlayson 1883-1899
Correspondence from Joseph Lister, 1927-1912, surgeon, to Dr James Finlayson, 1840-1906, physician
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
When the Regius Professorship of Surgery at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, fell vacant in 1859 , Joseph Lister was selected from 7 candidates. In August 1861 , he was appointed surgeon at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and put in charge of its new surgical building. Due to the high level of death from sepsis (known as hospital disease) in his amputation patients, Lister began to experiment using carbolic acid during surgical procedures. This lessened the death rate from amputation dramatically and marked the development of aseptic surgery. Dr James Finlayson was a student of Joseph Lister. Born in 1840 in Glasgow, James entered the University of Glasgow in 1856 as an arts student. From 1862-1867 he attended classes at Anderson College of Medicine, Glasgow, receiving the degree of MB with honours from the University in 1867 and then his MD in 1869 . In 1899, he received the honorary degree of LLD from the University. In 1867 he became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland and in 1871 was admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow where for a quarter of a century he held the post of Honorary Librarian and was able to indulge his interest in early medical literature. In 1899, he became a Visitor of the Faculty, the equivalent of a vice-president, and from 1900-1903 was the Faculty's president. For most of his career, Finlayson worked in hospitals and from 1871 in clinical teaching. From 1871 until 1874 he acted as assistant to Sir William Tennant Gairdner in his clinic at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and from 1875 he was a physician to the Glasgow Western Infirmary, where, as a recognised lecturer on the subject, he taught clinical medicine until his death. He also held the office of Physician to the Glasgow Royal Hospital for Sick Children from 1883-1898 where he also undertook some clinical teaching. Finlayson also wrote prolifically on the subjects of clinical medicine, physiology and anatomy, and medical history and bibliography. His major work was Clinical Manual for the Study of Medical Cases (1878). He died suddenly in 1906 .
The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received
Gift : April 1965 : ACCN 4245
Other Finding Aids
Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at the University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections website http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/manuscripts/, searching by the call number MS Gen 512/21.
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 02 April 2003.
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