Draper, Dr Christopher Charles Gawler (1921-2006)

Scope and Content

Papers of Dr Christopher Draper, 1949-2006, includes correspondence, research papers, notebooks, photographs, slides, articles, publications, teaching material, data tables and graphs concerning Christopher Draper's career as a medical officer, researcher and lecturer in tropical medicine. The collection relates to many of Draper's research projects overseas such as malaria studies in East Africa, particularly the Pare-Taveta and Mara regions. Material also relates to other short-term projects abroad on behalf of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, World Health Organization or Overseas Development Administration. Research papers concern important work carried out in seroepidemiology, ELISA tests and malaria and teaching material includes slides for lectures, handouts and correspondence with students. Most of the papers stem from Draper's time at the LSHTM although photographs of Draper's posting as medical officer in the Middle East for the Red Cross are included.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Christopher Charles Gawler Draper was born in Malaysia in 1921; educated at Sherbourne and read Medicine at New College Oxford, graduating in 1945. During his time in Oxford he was involved with the trials of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary as part of the war effort and then spent a year as a resident junior doctor before being posted to Japan with the ANZACs for 18 months as a medical officer.

Draper undertook a six month posting in the Middle East with the International Red Cross, 1949 during which he worked at a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan and was the first medical officer in the camp. Following his return to the UK, he took the Diploma in Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and became a member of staff at the School and worked at LSHTM as a junior lecturer under Professor George MacDonald for 3 years. During this period he travelled to West Africa for research trips; was recruited by the East African Medical Research Service to take charge of the Pare-Taveta scheme to control malaria and worked on methods of measuring the impact of the disease on the broader health status of the people living in the region. In particular, he carried out a famous study concerning the growth of children, 1954-1960, funded by the British government. The study was written up for Draper's doctoral thesis which he completed in 1963.

Draper returned to LSHTM in 1959 and spent a year learning the techniques needed to study viruses and was appointed deputy director of the West African Council Unit in Lagos, 1960, where he and his wife Katharine stayed for 3 years and whilst in West Africa, isolated a new virus in the Cameroons. Draper worked for the Wellcome Foundation as a medical virologist in Kent, 1964-1968 and returned to LSHTM as a senior lecturer in the Department of Tropical Hygiene, 1969 and throughout the 1970s and 1980s carried out numerous research projects abroad which covered a huge range of topics. In 1970 he returned to East Africa to study the Pare-Taveta region. He made visits to Brazil, Salvador, the United States, Mauritius, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, the Caribbean, Panama, India, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Greece, Zambia, Cameroon, Nepal and China. His work mainly concerned malaria as well as rabies, bilharzias (schistosomiasis), Burkitt's lymphoma and leprosy.

Draper was a member of the WHO advisory committee on malaria and the tropical medicine research board and travelled to make inspection visits to various countries and was a pioneer of the ELISA tests and research in sero-epidemiology. After retirement he peer reviewed books and wrote several journal articles and still travelled on behalf of the WHO.


Material has been kept in its original order as maintained by Draper and was arranged and sorted by Richard Meunier.

Access Information

This collection is open for consultation. Please contact the Archivist to arrange an appointment. All researchers must complete and sign a user registration form which signifies their agreement to abide by the archive rules. All researchers are required to provide proof of identity bearing your signature (for example, a passport or debit card) when registering. Please see website for further information at www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/archives

Acquisition Information

Material donated by Alizon Draper, daughter of Dr Draper in June 2007.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptions at lower levels are available.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Richard Meunier, Assistant Archivist at LSHTM and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Custodial History

Papers appraised, arranged and described by Richard Meunier, Assistant Archivist from September to November 2007.


None expected.