Notes by Attendees at the Lectures of Sir Alexander Russell Simpson (1835-1916), sometimes supplemented with Notes from Tutorials and Lessons given by others

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: notes from lectures on midwifery and diseases of women, 1873-1874, at Dc.10.35/1-2; notes of lectures on midwifery, 1883-1884, at Dk.3.18-19; lectures on midwifery, 1886-1887, and on gynaecology, at Gen.828; lectures on midwifery, 1890-1891, at Dk4.5; lectures on gynaecology, 1890-1891, at Dk.4.6; lectures on midwifery and diseases of women and children, early 1890s, at Gen.1912-1913; notes on midwifery, 1892-1893, at Gen.2113-2114D; lectures on diseases of women, 1895-1896, at Gen.2115D; and, lectures on midwifery and gynaecology, 1897-1898, at MSS 2641-2642.

Material at E2007.17 is a volume of lectures on obstetrics and gynaecology, given by Simpson, and with notes from tutorials on gynaecology by Dr. J. C. Webster, and notes from lessons on practical gynaecology given by Dr. N. J. Brewis. The notes were written 1891-1892. There is an index. Also illustrations pasted in.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Russell Simpson was born in Bathgate, West Lothian on 30 April 1835. He was the nephew of Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870). He was educated at Bathgate Academy and he studied at Edinburgh University. Simpson was apprenticed to Professor John Goodsir and while he was still a student he was elected as one of the Presidents of the Royal Medical Society. He also studied at the University of Montpelier and in Berlin. Simpson was an Assistant to his uncle for seven years and he spent five years in private practice in Glasgow. Between 1870 and 1905 he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Edinburgh University and Emeritus Professor of Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children. He edited the Lectures on diseases of women by Sir James Young Simpson, and published Contributions to obstetrics and gynaecology and with Dr. Berry Hart the Atlas of the frozen section of a cadaver in the genu-pectoral position. Sir Alexander Russell Simpson died on 6 April 1916.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Brown lectures transferred from CML, January 1966, Accession no. E66.1. Easterbrook lectures purchased June 1972, Accession no. E72.26. Johnston lectures purchased, October 1980, Accession no. E80.225; Hughes lectures acquired April 1986, Accession no. E86.18. Volume of Simpson, Webster, and Brewis notes purchased March 2007, Accession no: E2007.17.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who 1916-1928. 3rd edition. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1962.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other references to Simpson related material (check the Indexes for more details): testimonial in favour of A. Wilson, 1879, at Dc.4.98/2, ff.62-63; and portrait, c.d.v photograph, at Phot.Ill.157/20; and, portrait photograph, in JY 1202. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: casebook and lecture notes, 1857-1871, Royal College of Physician of Edinburgh, Ref. Simpson NRA 16015 Coll of Physicians; case books, 1874-1875, Private, Ref. NRA(S)0343 NRA 11626 Edinburgh Royal; papers, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Ref. S51; and lecture notes, Dundee University Archives, Ref. MS 126.

Corporate Names