Papers of: Witkowski, Gustave Jules Alphonse (1844-1923)

Scope and Content

Papers cover Witkowski's writings on medical history (and other areas of history) rather than his medical activities. MSS.5036-5038 comprise press cuttings, publishers' notices, reviews, etc., relating to Witkowski's writings, plus original poems, some photographs, and some letters to him about his work; they span the bulk of his career (1865-1920). MSS.5039-5085 consist of material related closely to various published works on medical history and art history by Witkowski: typescript and holograph drafts, annotated published material, etc. Within this block of material, MSS.5057-5062 consist of a detailed critique of Folie de l'Empereur by Augustin Caban?s (1862-1928), consisting of heavily annotated copies of the published work. Also worth noting are MSS.5063-5064, copies of Witkowski's Comment j'ai appris l'Histoire Sainte , a Rabelaisian and satirical anti-clerical history. Finally, MSS.5086-5088, written under the pseudonym "Docteur Clam", comprise travel writings, recording travels in Italy, Turkey, Romania and Hungary, in 1901 (MS.5086); Egypt, in 1901-1902 (MS.5087); and Italy, in 1905 (MS.5088).

Administrative / Biographical History

Gustave Jules Alphonse Witkowski was born in 1844 and trained as a doctor, presenting his MD thesis in 1872. He also wrote widely on a variety of subjects, chiefly upon medical history but also upon art and history in general. He died in 1923. A little further information may be found in [G.J. Witkowski], Docteur G.J. Witkowski : autobiographie (Paris?: no publisher noted, 1917).


Material is held in chronological order of composition. MSS.5036-5038 (comprising press cuttings, publishers' notices, reviews, etc., relating to Witkowski's writings) span the bulk of his career (1865-1920). The remainder of the collection, MSS.5039-5088, comprises items more precisely dated and spans the years c.1905 to 1922. This section of the collection comprises essays and papers on medical history, art history and other matters of historic interest, with the exception of the final three items (MSS.5086-5088) which comprise travel writings.

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

Purchased from Le Fran?ois, Paris, June 1930 (accession number 55101). Moorat's catalogue lists this wrongly as 1929 and gives some items an erroneous accession number of 55161.

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). Detailed catalogue available at

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

holograph manuscripts, typescripts and annotated published works, held as volumes and bundles of papers.

Archivist's Note

description compiled by Christopher Hilton based upon those in the Library's published finding aid by S.A.J. Moorat.

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

MS.7317/103 comprises a letter to Witkowski by Charles Maygrier (b.1849), professor of obstetrics, found in a copy of Witkowski's book Accouchers et sages-femmes c?l?bres: esquisses biographiques (1891?) and setting out his relationship to various figures in the book.