Papers of Sir Arthur Keith (1866 - 1955)

Scope and Content

Anatomical drawings and offprints of articles by Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), connected with his enquiries into posture, and the mechanism of respiration, 1890, c 1905 - 1913; with 2 letters from Sir Edwin Ray Lankester (1847 - 1929), F.R.S. (1875) on the human foot, n.d. (6 Feb and 22 Feb).

Offprints contained in the collection include Arthur Keith, Contributions to the Human Mechanism of Respiration, Proceedings of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (May 1903), 51 - 61; Arthur Keith, Why does Phthisis Attack the Apex of the Lung? A discussion at the Medical Society, London Hospital, opened by Dr Arthur Keith (29th October 1903); Arthur Keith, A Variation that Occurs in the Manubrium Sterni of Higher Primates, Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, 30 (1895-1896), 275 - 279; Arthur Keith, The Nature of the Mammallian Diaphragm and Pleural Cavities, Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, 39 (1905), 244 - 284; Arthur Keith, The Results of an Anthropological Investigation of the External Ear, Proceedings of the Anatomical and Anthropological Society of the University of Aberdeen, 1904 - 1906 (1906), 217 - 239; and C.S. Sherrington, Note on the Knee-jerk and the Correlation of Action of Antagonistic Muscles, Proceedings of the Royal Society, 52 (1893), 556-564.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Keith was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen, on 5 Feb 1866. He graduated from Aberdeen University, MB, CM 1888, MD 1894, and was elected Rector there, 1930 - 1933. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1913 and knight bachelor in 1921. He was joint lecturer on Anatomy at London Hospital Medical School, and later museum conservator and Hunterian Professor, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1908 - 1933, and Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Royal Institution, 1917 - 1923. For further biographical details, including publications and membership of professional bodies see Who Was Who, 1951 - 1960; and obituary in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1955, 1, 145-161


None observed - listing in process

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Date and source not recorded. Possibly deposited in the University by Sir Arthur Keith, c 1933, upon completion of his tenure as University Rector, or after his death in 1955.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

Correspondence, diaries and papers, 1908 - 1933 (Royal College of Surgeons of England: ref. Arthur Keith papers)

Letters (12) (Royal Institution of Great Britain) (list held at National Register of Archives: NRA 9522 Royal Institution)

Misc corresp (Medical Research Council)

Letters (31) to William Hornsby, 1913 - 1930 (photocopies) (West Yorkshire Archive Service, Yorkshire Archaeological Society: ref. MS 1165) (list held at National Register of Archives: NRA 3525 Yorks Arch Soc misc)

Letters to Karl Pearson (London University: University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room: ref. PEARSON) (list held at National Register of Archives: NRA 18115 Pearson)

Correspondence with the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1949 (Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland: ref. RAI Archives/A54) (list held at National Register of Archives:NRA 42561 Royal)

Correspondence with Margaret and Rupert Willis, and JW Nicholson, 1931 - 1954 (Royal College of Surgeons of England: ref. Add Mss 564)


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original