Papers of Thomas Ferguson Rodger, patient case notes

Scope and Content

Rodger examined patients with mental health problems throughout his career and seemed to take great interest in his patients and finding the correct treatment for their problems. He examined patients at the request of other doctors and health professionals, although in some cases the patient or the patient's family contacted him directly to ask for help. He examined patients in the Southern General Hospital where he was based, and in other local hospitals in Glasgow and the surrounding area. In some cases he even invited patients to his home for an examination.

The case notes vary in detail and quantity. For some patients there is a bundle of material from clinical reports, notes, correspondence between doctors and even letters to Rodger from the patient, while for other cases there may only be one report or one letter and no obvious information on the patient's condition and where they were treated. However, for most cases it is possible to gather information such as the patient's full name, sometimes their age or date of birth, home address, an overview of symptoms and problems, names of doctors and health professionals who were involved in the treatment of the patient or who referred the patient to Rodger, names of institutions and clinics where the patient was treated, and where there are detailed case notes or reports following a full psychiatric examination it is possible to find information on the patient's family and background, their work and married life, an analysis of their problems and suggestions for treatment etc.

While there are some notebooks and jotters containing Rodger's manuscript note on patients s the majority of case notes consist of typescript copies of correspondence, reports etc. (although there are some original letters from patients within the files). The reason for this is that the orignal versions would have been kept at the hospitals and clinics where the patients were treated and Rodger probably kept these copies for his own reference should he have to return to a case.


  • Typescript notes and handbooks on examining psychiatric patients;
  • Bundle of blank forms for admitting patients to hospital;
  • Notebooks containing patient case notes;
  • Files of patient case notes, including correspondence between doctors, reports, notes, and letters from pateints;
  • Dream diaries.

This description is part of the main  Thomas Ferguson Rodger collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:  

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Ferguson Rodger was born in Glasgow on 4 November 1907. His father, Thomas, was an insurance agent. He attended North Kelvinside School. He matriculated to study at the University of Glasgow in 1923 at the age of 15 and graduated BSc in 1927 and MB ChB with commendation in 1929. He married Jean Chalmers in 1934 and had three children. His eldest son, Alan Ferguson Rodger, went on to become Baron Rodger of Earsferry, a Scottish lawyer and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

After completing his post-graduate medical training Rodger became assistant to Sir David Henderson at the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital at Gartnavel and to Professor Adolph Meyer at the Department of Psychiatry in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1931-1932). He returned to Gartnavel as the hospital's Deputy Superintendent and also worked as an Assistant Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow (1933-1940). During the Second World War he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1944 and then with the Army Medical Services in India as a consultant in Psychiatry (1944-1945). He became an international authority on the techniques of officer selection and personnel deployment technique and rose to the rank of Brigadier.

Rodger returned to Scotland as Senior Commissioner to the General Board of Control and held this position until 1948. When he was appointed to the new Chair at the University in 1949 his department was based at the Southern General Hospital, and Rodger was instrumental (with the surgeon J Sloan Robertson) in establishing that hospital's reputation as a pioneer in combining Psychological Medicine and Neurological Sciences. An acknowledged leader in his field, Rodger was a consultant psychiatrist to the Southern General and the Glasgow Western Infirmary; Honorary Consulting Psychiatrist to the Army in Scotland; Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatry, and he served on Government and World Health Organisation committees. He was appointed CBE in 1967 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry in 1972.

He retired in 1973 and died in Glasgow in 1978.

Rodger wrote his name in correspondence, publications and lectures as Rodger or T Ferguson Rodger. However he is always described in the administrative records of the University of Glasgow as Professor Rodger and he will be referred to as Rodger throughout this catalogue.


While there are some notebooks (containing Rodger's handwritten notes on patients) the majority of the patient case notes were found as loose pages stapled together and grouped together in folders. These folders of notes have been arranged in chornological order within this section and within each folder the original order has been maintained.

This description is part of the main  Thomas Ferguson Rodger collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:  

Conditions Governing Access

The files in this collection are subject to Data Protection legislation as they identify patients and contain personal and sensitive information. These records will not be fully accessible to the public for 75 years (if the patient was an adult) and 100 years (if the patient was a child) from the date on the file. However, they may be accessible to bona fide researchers and academics. Please contact the Duty Archivist for advice on how to apply for access to these files. Contact details are as follows: Duty Archivist, Archive Services, University of Glasgow, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Related Material

DC 081/4 contains lectures and addresses on related subjects.


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Hannah Westall, Archives assistant, 24 May 2000. Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) May-June 2012. Revised by Adele Redhead, Assistant Archivist, March 2003 and revised and rearranged by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) April to August 2012.

Geographical Names