Bell, Professor Sir Charles

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Journals of Sir Charles Bell's tour of Italy in 1840. Volumes contain notes and watercolour sketches.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Bell was born at Edinburgh in November 1774. He received his medical education from the University of Edinburgh. In 1799 he was elected a fellow of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and practised at the Edinburgh Infirmary. In 1804 he left Edinburgh for London to practise and to teach (1812-1836) at the William Hunter's School of Anatomy which was linked to the Middlesex Hospital. In 1828, he became the first Professor of Surgery at the University of London but was disappointed that there was no affiliation between the Middlesex Hospital and the University and resigned from the University in order to establish the medical school at the Middlesex. He continued to write on different aspects of anatomy. After spending the years 1821 to 1829 investigating the nervous system, Bell published The Nervous System of the Human Body in 1830. In 1838, he returned to Edinburgh where he became Professor of Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. In 1840, he made a three month tour of Italy. Bell became ill with heart disease and died on 28 April 1842.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Archivist's Note

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Geographical Names