Papers of: Dutton, Joseph Everett (1874-1905), and Todd, John Lancelot (1876-1949)

Scope and Content

Much of the collection is made up of diaries and notebooks relating to expeditions sent to Africa by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to study diseases such as malaria and trypanosomiasis. From Todd's subsequent career there is also material on journeys to Western Canada to study Swamp Fever in horses and to Poland to study Typhus, some general notes on tropical diseases, a laboratory notebook on experiments with fever ticks and a paper on the Congo Free State as a political unit. The dates covered are 1901-1920. A final block of material consists of letters and loose papers including sketches, covering 1890-1949.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Everett Dutton was born in Higher Bebington in Cheshire. His date of birth is given as 1874 by the Dictionary of National Biography , although his obituary notices suggest a slightly later date. He studied at Liverpool University, graduating M.D. and C.M. John Lancelot Todd was born in Canada in 1876 and graduated B.A., M.D. and C.M. at McGill University, Montreal. Both men, singly or together, were members of expeditions sent by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to West and Central Africa to investigate particular tropical diseases. Dutton was a member of the Third Expedition, to Nigeria in 1900 (studying malaria); the Sixth and Tenth Expeditions, to Gambia in 1901 and 1902 respectively (studying malaria and trypanosomiasis); and the Twelfth Expedition, to the Congo Free State in 1904-1905 (studying trypanosomiasis). He is notable for identifying, during the Sixth Expedition, a trypanosome parasitic upon human beings rather than animals. Todd accompanied him on the Tenth and Twelfth Expeditions (and was subsequently a member of the Twenty-Seventh, sent to Gambia in January 1911, in which he was accompanied by Dr. Simeon Burt Wolbach (1880-1954)). On the Twelfth Expedition both contracted Spirillum Fever. Todd recovered but Dutton died in February 1905 and was buried at Kosongo, Congo. Todd in his subsequent career was Director, during the years 1905-1907, of the Runcorn Research Laboratory established by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to maintain the various strains of typanosomes and spirochaetes collected during African expeditions; in 1907 he returned to Canada and from 1907 to 1926 served as Professor of Parasitology at McGill University. He served as a Major in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in France during the First World War and in 1920 was a member of the Typhus Research Commission sent out by the American Red Cross. He died in Canada in 1949.


MSS.2248-2252 comprise diaries and notebooks by Dutton alone, covering the years 1901-1905 and held in chronological order of composition. MSS.2253-2268 comprise diaries and notebooks by Dutton and Todd in collaboration, covering the years 1902-1905 and held in chronological order of composition. MSS.4790-4807 comprise diaries and notebooks by Todd alone, covering the years 1902-1920 and held in chronological order of composition with the exception of the final item, MS.4807, which is a laboratory notebook in various hands documenting work under Todd's supervision, and which is placed last as a reflection of its different authorship. MSS.5690-5691 comprise letters and other papers by Dutton and Todd: MS.5690 is made up of letters, sketches etc. by Dutton, spanning the years 1901-1904, while MS.5591 consists of copies of letters by Todd dating from 1890-1949, brought together and copied for private distribution in 1977.

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

Presented by the daughter of John Lancelot Todd, Mrs. Bridget Todd Fialkowski, in 1967 (acc.314522).

Other Finding Aids

Described in: S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973) and Richard Palmer, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244 (London: The Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine, 1999). Detailed catalogue available at

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

holograph volumes and papers.

Archivist's Note

description compiled by Christopher Hilton based upon those in the Library's published finding aids by S.A.J. Moorat and Richard Palmer. Biographical information from the Dictionary of National Biography.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Related Material

The Wellcome Library holds MSS.3353-3355, papers of Robert Ernest McConnell (1877-c.1929), which were originally among the papers of John Lancelot Todd and deal with related subjects.