Papers of Thomas Ferguson Rodger, 1907-1978, Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Biographical and personal material;
  • Publications and drafts of papers written by Thomas Ferguson Rodger as well as publications and papers of other academics;
  • Lecture notes, including notes for lectures given to students and to various clubs, societies and associations;
  • Conference papers and hand-outs, including a significant number of papers and related material for a mental health conference Thomas Ferguson Rodger attended in New Zealand in 1961;
  • Circulars and reports, including circulars about the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill and Mental Health Act 1959;
  • Committees and organisations, including papers and minutes for the World Health Organisation, the British Medical Association Psychological Medicine Group, the World Federation for Mental Health and the Royal Medico-Psychological Association;
  • Patient case notes;
  • Presscuttings and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Ferguson Rodger was born in Glasgow on 4 November 1907. His father, Thomas, was an insurance agent. He attended North Kelvinside School. He matriculated to study at the University of Glasgow in 1923 at the age of 15 and graduated BSc in 1927 and MB ChB with commendation in 1929. He married Jean Chalmers in 1934 and had three children. His eldest son, Alan Ferguson Rodger, went on to become Baron Rodger of Earsferry, a Scottish lawyer and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

After completing his post-graduate medical training Rodger became assistant to Sir David Henderson at the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital at Gartnavel and to Professor Adolph Meyer at the Department of Psychiatry in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1931-1932). He returned to Gartnavel as the hospital's Deputy Superintendent and also worked as an Assistant Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow (1933-1940). During the Second World War he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1944 and then with the Army Medical Services in India as a consultant in Psychiatry (1944-1945). He became an international authority on the techniques of officer selection and personnel deployment technique and rose to the rank of Brigadier.

Rodger returned to Scotland as Senior Commissioner to the General Board of Control and held this position until 1948. When he was appointed to the new Chair at the University in 1949 his department was based at the Southern General Hospital, and Rodger was instrumental (with the surgeon J Sloan Robertson) in establishing that hospital's reputation as a pioneer in combining Psychological Medicine and Neurological Sciences. An acknowledged leader in his field, Rodger was a consultant psychiatrist to the Southern General and the Glasgow Western Infirmary; Honorary Consulting Psychiatrist to the Army in Scotland; Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatry, and he served on Government and World Health Organisation committees. Rodger was an important champion of a broad and inclusive approach to the treatment of mental illness and he believed that the proper understanding of mental health was a vital aspect of the training of the general physician and the general practitioner as well as of the psychiatric specialist. He was appointed CBE in 1967 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry in 1972.

He retired in 1973 and died in Glasgow in 1978.

Rodger wrote his name in correspondence, publications and lectures as Rodger or T Ferguson Rodger. However he is always described in the administrative records of the University of Glasgow as Professor Rodger and he will be referred to as Rodger throughout this catalogue.


The Thomas Ferguson Rodger collection has been arranged into the following sections:  

  • DC 081/1, research notes and correspondence, 1942-1962;
  • DC 081/2, circulars and reports, 1936-c1970s;
  • DC 081/3, publications, 1937-1964;
  • DC 081/4, lectures and addresses, 1936-1971;
  • DC 081/5, conferences and symposiums, 1939-1971;
  • DC 081/6, committees and organisations, 1938-c1970s;
  • DC 081/7, patient case notes, 1929-1972;
  • DC 081/8, presscuttings and miscellaneous material, 1937-1960s.

Access Information

Most of the records in this collection will be open.

However patient case notes are subject to Data Protection legislation as they identify patients and contain personal and sensitive information. These records will not be fully accessible to the public for 75 years (if the patient was an adult when the records were created) and 100 years (if the patient was a child when the records were created) from the date on the file. However, they may be accessible to bona fide researchers and academics. Please contact the Duty Archivist for advice on how to apply for access to these files. Contact details are as follows: Duty Archivist, Archive Services, University of Glasgow, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE.

Acquisition Information

Permanent loan: family of Thomas Ferguson Rodger : 1982

Other Finding Aids


Alternative Form Available

No known copies

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 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held with the family prior to deposit in Archive Services.


There may be additional deposits from Rodger's daughter in the coming year.

Related Material


Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and 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.

Collection catalogued by Hannah Westall, Archives assistant, 24 May 2000. Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) May-August 2012 and Stepehn Hall, Club 21 Cataloguing Volunteer, August 2012. Descriptions revised by Adele Redhead, Assistant Archivist, March 2003 and revised and rearranged by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) May to August 2012.

Geographical Names