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).
Papers of Professor Alexander Low
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 231 MS 2629
- Dates of Creation1923 - 1956
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description1file No physical characteristics affecting use of collection
Scope and Content
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.
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Deposited in the University in 1968, ?by the Department of Anthropology
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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); J.M. Tanner and others, Aberdeen Growth Study: I, in Archives of Disease in Childhood, 3, 159 (1956)
This material is original