Papers of Allen Thomson, 1809-1884, Professor of Anatomy, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1848-1877

Scope and Content

  • Medical papers 19th century
  • Lecture notes 19th century
  • Drawings 19th century
  • Correspondence 19th century
  • Uncatalogued material is arranged temporarily as follows: Boxes C-E: Papers of John Thomson; Box F: Paper by John Allen read to the Royal Medical Society, along with other papers and notes, 1799; Box G: Papers and lectures of David Fyfe and George Kellie; Letters on smallpox; Medical notes in Greek and Latin, 17th century; Box H: Correspondence of Dr Dickson; Box I: Papers on yellow fever and Dr Brown's theory; Box J: Papers of McIntosh and Cooper; Boxes K-L: Papers of Turner.

Administrative / Biographical History

Allen Thomson, born in  1809 , was the son of Dr  John Thomson (1765-1846 ), an eminent medic, who held various medical chairs at the  University of Edinburgh, including that of Professor of Military Surgery. Allen Thomson studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating MD in  1830 . Following several years as an extra-academical lecturer on Anatomy and as a physician in Edinburgh (interspersed by several tours on the Continent), he became Professor of Anatomy at  University of Aberdeen in  1839 . He resigned from this post in  1841  and resumed his teaching of Anatomy in the extra-mural school at Edinburgh. In  1842  he became Professor of the Institutes of Medicine at Edinburgh, and in  1848  was appointed as Chair of Anatomy at the  University of Glasgow. He spent 29 years at Glasgow, distinguished both as a Professor and as a contributor to scientific literature, especially in the field of Embryology. Amongst his many achievements, he remodelled the Glasgow medical school (including banning smoking in the anatomy classroom) and - as chairman of the buildings committee - was a key player in ensuring the success of the University's relocation from the high Street to Gilmorehill in the 1870s. He died in  1884 .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated by John Millar Thomson, 1920. Augmented by additional material from Thomson's estate, 1973.


Some of the material is still uncatalogued.

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at the University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, searching by the call number MS Gen 1476 and 170.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by John Millar Thomson


None expected

Related Material

GB 247 MS Gen 170, Lectures on Physiology, 1832. For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page, at the Historical Manuscripts Commission

Location of Originals

This material is original


A Tale of Three Cities: the correspondence of William Sharpey and Allen Thomson, edited by Jacyna, L S, London, 1989.

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 04 March 2005