Napier Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of John Napier including professional correspondence, 1955-1983; biographical material including curriculum vitae and obituaries; typescript drafts of publications by Napier including 'Natural History of Primates', 'Primates and Their Adaptations', 'New World Monkeys' and 'Hands'; reviews by Napier; research material and notes on topics including yeti, structure of hands and feet, fingerprints, hands of primates and primates and early man; reviews of publications by Napier; offprints of articles by Napier and others; notebooks; notes for lectures including 'Elephants and other land giants' and photographs of hands, primates and skulls.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, 1917; educated, Canford and Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital, -1943; House Surgeon, Senior House Surgeon and Chief Assistant to the Orthopaedic Unit, Hill End Hospital (St Bartholomew's Hospital), 1943-1946; Registrar to the Peripheral Nerve Injury Unit, Hill End Hospital, 1946-; demonstrator , Anatomy Department of the London School of Medicine for Women (now the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine), 1946; Visiting Professor at Iowa State University; Reader, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine; helped set up the Unit of Primatology at Royal Free Hospital; Director of the Primate Biology Program of the US National Museum, Smithsonian Institution; Director of a similar unit at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London; Visiting Professorship of Primate Biology at Birkbeck College, University of London; founder of the Primate Society of Great Britain; died, 1987.


Original order.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Part of this collection was received from the Primate Society of Great Britain, Jun 2002. Acquisition of the other material is unknown

Other Finding Aids

A basic box list is available. Please contact Special Collections for further information.