The collection consists of letters, most of which are addressed to William Sharpey as Secretary of the Royal Society. The main correspondents are Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie (President of the Royal Society, 1858-1861); Sir Edward Sabine (President of the Royal Society, 1861-1871); George Gabriel Stokes (one of the Secretaries, 1854-1884). The numerous other correspondents include many people active in the scientific world.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Sharpey entered Edinburgh University in August 1817, to study the humanities and natural philosophy. In 1818 he commenced medical studies and in 1821 was admitted as a member of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons. He graduated MD of Edinburgh in 1823, and obtained the Fellowship of the College of Surgeons there in 1830. In 1834 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1836 he was appointed to the Chair of Anatomy and Physiology at University College London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1839. He was appointed an Examiner in Anatomy at London University in 1840. In 1844 he was made a member of the Council of the Royal Society and in 1853 was appointed Secretary in place of Thomas Bell. For 15 years from 1861, Sharpey was one of the members appointed by the Crown on the General Council of Medical Education and Registration. In 1871 he retired as Secretary due to failure of eyesight. Sharpey died from bronchitis on 11 April 1880 in London and was buried at Arbroath.
The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.
Found in Flaxman House in November 1972.
Other Finding Aids
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