Papers of James Gray Duncanson, 1871-1933, medical graduate, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Library/matriculation cards, 1887-1890;
  • Admittance cards and class ticket, 1887-1891;
  • Merit certificates, 1888-1891;
  • Examination records, 1887-1891;
  • Testimonials, 1892-1894.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Gray Duncanson was born in  1871 , the younger son of Rev Peter Duncanson. He was educated at Hamilton, and the Glasgow Academy, before studying medicine at the  University of Glasgow between 1887-1891. In his first session he took classes in Junior Anatomy, Systematic Chemistry and Zoology. Between 1888-1889 he studied Senior Anatomy, Practical Chemistry, Botany, Practical Botany, Surgery, Clinical Surgery and Institutes of Medicine. He then went on to take classes in Senior Anatomy, Practical Physiology, Materia Medica, Practical Pharmacy, Practice of Medicine and Clinical Medicine. In 1890-1891 he studied Surgery, Operative Surgery, Clinical Surgery, Midwifery, Practice of Medicine, Clinical Medicine and Forensic Medicine. In his final year he took classes in Operative Surgery, Clinical Surgery, and Diseases of Women. He received a commendation for the MB CM in 1891, when he was 20, and graduated in  1892 . He gained a number of awards throughout his time at University: a high commendation in Clinical Surgery, 1888-1889; a second class merit certificate in Therapeutics and Materia Medica, 1889-1890; a second class distinction in Clinical Medicine, 1890-1891; a second class merit certificate in Lectures (partly clinical) on the Diseases of Women, summer session 1891; a high commendation in the Surgery Class, session 1890-1891; a certificate for reporting cases connected with the class, Clinical Surgery Class, session 1891.

He first worked as Surgeon for the City Line Ltd shipping company; then acted as Assistant to Dr Gowans in South Shields, where he was also the Assistant Medical Officer on the HMS Wellesley Tyne training ship for boys and Green's Home. On returning to Glasgow he was appointed Senior Assistant Resident Medical Officer in the Victoria Infirmary in  1893  where he also acted as Medical Superintendent for one month while the Superintendent was on leave. He then paid an extensive visit to the East and in 1894 joined his elder brother, Dr John Cunningham Duncanson, carrying on a large General Practice in the Woolwich, Shooter's Hill and Blackheath district of London. During this period he was also Medical Advisor to the Borough Council, Woolwich.

In 1914 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, whereupon he acted as Officer-in-Charge of the Medical Division in the Auxiliary Hospital, Woolwich and the Royal Herbert Hospital. In France he became Registrar of the No.72 General Hospital, Deauville then rose to the rank of Major and was twice mentioned in dispatches.

From 1920 until his death he held the appointment of Regional Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health. Dr Duncanson had been Secretary and Vice-President of the Therapeutical Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and for some years he was a member of the National Formulary Subcommittee of the Insurance Acts Committee. He was also a medical referee for the Miners' Phthisis Board Union South Africa. He died on 24 June  1933 .

Sources: Glasgow University student records; The Medical Directory; obituary in The British Medical Journal.


Arranged chronologically within record series.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gifts : Miss Duncanson : 2006 : ACCN 2853 and 2014 : ACCN 3827

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

None known

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

In the custody of the creator's family before gifting to GUAS


None expected

Related Material

GB 0248 ACCN 3827, Papers of Dr John Cunningham Duncanson.

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level compiled by MD Abraham, Archive Volunteer, 22 May 2006; lower levels compiled by M D Abraham, Archive Volunteer, May 2006 and Sarah Beckinsale, Archive Assistant, 01 March 2007. Revisions to EAD by Alma Topen, Senior Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), June 2014. Amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (cataloguing), 30 June 2014.