Papers of Professor Alexander Low

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers of Professor Alexander Low, relating to his research on human growth, including the original 126 record cards used in his Aberdeen Growth Study, and copies of two research papers based on this work: Alexander Low, Growth of Children: sixty-six boys and sixty girls each measured at three days, and at one, two, three, four, and five years of age (Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen, 1952); and J.M. Tanner and others, Aberdeen Growth Study: I, in Archives of Disease in Childhood, 3, 159 (1956).

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Low was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen, on 7 Apr 1868. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen MA 1891, M.B., C.M. 1894, MD (highest honours), 1912, and received an honorary LL.D. in 1939. He began working for the University in 1894 as assistant and lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, rising to the post of Regius Professor of Anatomy, 1925 - 1939. His early work here, on the development of the lower jaw earned him an international reputation, which was strengthened by later anthropological research, in particular his detailed and meticulous work on human growth. His first work in this field, a study of 450 male and 450 female infants measured at birth, was published in The Annals of Eugenics (1950). This was followed by the post-humous publication of Growth of Children: sixty-six boys and sixty girls each measured at three days, and at one, two, three, four and five years of age (Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen, 1952), the result of research which was undertaken between 1923 and 1927, under the auspices of the Aberdeen Growth Study.

An active member of the medical community, Low served as president of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, president of the Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, director of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and Governor of the Royal Mental Hospital, Aberdeen. He was also a University member on the Board of the Rowett Institute for Research in Animal Nutrition, and dean of the Medical Faculty, University of Aberdeen. His particular interest in archaeological skeletal remains contributed towards strengthening the scope and quality of such collections held in the University's Anthropological Museum (now Marischal Museum). He died in Aberdeen on 15 Nov 1950.

For an appreciation of his life and work see Aberdeen University Review, 34 (1951-1952), 7-10.

Arrangement

None observed - Listing in process.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in 1968, ?by the Department of Anthropology

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

Papers of Robert Douglas Lockhart, (1894 - 1987), Professor of Anatomy, University of Aberdeen (GB 231 MS 3270). Professor Lockhart was one of the authors of J.M. Tanner and others, Aberdeen Growth Study: I, in Archives of Disease in Childhood, 3, 159 (1956); and items amongst his papers relate to this work.

Additional Information

This material is original