University of Manchester, Department of Pathology Archive

Scope and Content

Fragmentary archive of the Department of Pathology. No major accumulation of records has survived for this department, and the present archive comprises only miscellaneous documents, mainly dating from Professor's Campbell's headship of the department.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1876, Owens College, which had recently established a medical school, appointed Julius Dreschfeld (1846-1907) as lecturer in pathology (and curator of the College's pathological museum). In 1881, Dreschfeld was promoted to a chair in pathology, and he occupied this post until 1891, when he became the College's professor of medicine. He was succeeded by Sheridan Delépine (1855-1921), a distinguished bacteriologist. Delépine developed a new course in bacteriology for medical students and set up the bacteriological laboratories at the Medical School. Delépine gave up his chair in 1904, becoming professor of comparative pathology and bacteriology (in a separate department). James Lorrain Smith (1862-1931) then became professor of pathology; he was noted for introducing the case method approach to teaching medical students.

After Smith resigned in 1912, he was followed successively by Arthur Boycott (1912-1914), Henry Dean, an immunologist, (1915-1922) and J. Shaw Dunn (1922-1931). Stephen Baker was the long-serving head of department between 1931 and 1950; he did much to promote research into rheumatism, and he switched to become the University's first professor of rheumatology in 1950. Colin Campbell (1908-1996) became professor in 1951, serving until 1973. A second chair was instituted in 1966, when Peter Yates became professor of neuropathology. By the 1970s and 1980s, several other chairs in pathology had been created, and headship of the department circulated between these professors.

The Department's teaching was mainly confined to medical and dental students, although it also taught non-degree courses for medical laboratory technicians. In 1966 the chemical pathology section of the department, which had been built up during the post-war period, separated to form part of the new department of medical biochemistry. The Department of Pathology moved to the University Hospital of South Manchester, Withington site in 1970, and remained there until the 1990s; thereafter it was based at the University Medical School and MRI. The Department later became part of the Laboratory Medicine Academic Group within the Faculty of Medicine.


As the archive contains few and disparate items, it has not been arranged into series.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The archive was previously held by the Manchester Museum of Medicine and Health, who received it from the Medical School in November 2003. (acc. 2003.134). The archive was transferred to the University Library in April 2016 along with other Medical Museum archive collections.


Accruals are possible, but unlikely.

Related Material

Given that this archive only provides a patchy record of the Department's activities, supplementary material can be found in the Vice-Chancellor's files on the Department: See VCA/7/107, VCA/7/430, VCA/7/622 and VCA/7/70 for chair files for Baker and Campbell; these often include memoranda composited by the head of the department on its current and future work. The Faculty of Medicine archive (FME) includes records relating to matters of the curriculum for medical degrees, and may contain material relevant for this department. Members of the Department were active in the Pathological Society of Manchester (PSM), which became part of the Manchester Medical Society in 1951. The Stirland Public Health Collection (SPH) includes material relating to Sheridan Delépine.

Geographical Names