Laura Adam Collection

Scope and Content

Research and personal correspondence of Laura Adam, including papers relating to Adam's medical career. The bulk of the collection relates to Adam's research into David Kinloch, a 16th century Dundonian medic who was put on trial during the Spanish Inquisition. University of Dundee medical student Adam Yagüi-Beltrán also contributed to this research.

Administrative / Biographical History

Laura Adam nee Fleming came to the University of Dundee in 1962 to work in the new and exciting research area of renal failure and its causes and consequences. Initially she was based at Maryfield Hospital and then at Ninewells working mainly with Dr W.K. Stewart and latterly with Dr I. Henderson. Her initial training was in chemistry/biochemistry and she developed a major interest in the problems of patients with renal impairment and subsequently renal failure. As the management of renal failure improved she became an authority on the complications patients suffered. In particular the team made major advances in the problems of handling of aluminium, iron and magnesium. These studies resulted in many practical improvements in long term care. Her interest in and research with erythropoietin resulted in major gains in patient physical and mental well-being in the long term.

Adams developed and stimulated many other interests for the University and the hospital. Particularly, she had a passion for medical history and was responsible for setting up a Medical History Museum committee mainly composed of renal services staff members. Using this committee she brought together artefacts from all the Departments in Ninewells and assiduously catalogued them for future display. She obtained funds for the purchase of glass cases and set up the display facilities in the medical school foyer, in the main hall of the Ninewells hospital and in the hospital library. Rotation of her well-documented displays occurred every few months and was a highlight of the calendar year. Adams was the First Honorary Curator of the Medical History Museum.

In addition, Adams developed a major interest in medical related art, organising special displays and encouraging the donation of art to enliven the walls and public areas of Ninewells hospital. Perhaps her most important contribution was the tapestry hanging in the medical school foyer, designed in collaboration with the Dundee & East of Scotland Embroiderers Guild and depicting the medicines and therapies of yesteryear. She also planned and executed various plantings in the grounds of several of the local hospitals.

Her last work related to the life and times of Dundee doctor David Kinloch and his capture and imprisonment by the Spanish inquisition. The results were published in The Innes Review in 2002.Source:


Arranged in three series: personal and professional papers, Kinloch research and correspondence, and publication of the Kinloch article

Access Information

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy descriptive list available

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Andrea Thompson, Archive volunteer, 2015

Appraisal Information

Duplicate photocopies disposed of

Custodial History

After Adam's death, collected and held in the garage of her colleague


Not expected

Geographical Names