Papers of Morris Myer Datnow, 1919-1961

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the professional career of obstetrician and gynaecologists, Morris Datnow reflecting his close association with Professor William Blair-Bell, his private and hospital practice in Liverpool, his role in research for cancer treatments, and his membership of the British (later Royal) College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, including patient correspondence, correspondence with his peers, testimonials, research notes, and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Morris Myer Datnow (1901-1962) was born in South Africa and trained at Cape Town University. He completed his medical training in Liverpool, where he became a member of the Liverpool university staff in 1925. There he served successively as Ethel Boyce research fellow, Samuels memorial scholar, demonstrator and sub-curator of the museum and lecturer in clinical obstetrics and gynaecology. He was appointed to the staff of the Women’s Hospital, Liverpool, the Liverpool Maternity Hospital and the Royal Southern Hospital. He was married with two children.

Morris Datnow became closely associated with William Blair-Bell in the research work which was going on at that time in the department, and was one of the team undertaking basic research into the nature of cancer and the place of chemotherapy in its treatment. He was to become a close friend of Blair-Bell’s and was elected to deliver the third Blair-Bell Memorial Lecture in 1940 at the RCOG (bibliography: see Sir John Peel, Lives of the Fellows, pp 124-125)


The original arrangements has been retained as far as possible, although this was not always apparent.

Access Information

Open to researchers by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. mailto:

Acquisition Information

External permanent loan from the Morris Datnow Trust in 1990 and 2011

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Penny Hutchins, Archivist, August 2013

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is vested in the estate of Morris Myer Datnow.

Reproductions are available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Custodial History

When the records in S10 were deposited by the trustees of Morris Datnow's will settlement it was agreed that any papers relating to the Datnow family that were found among Blair-Bell's papers would be returned to the family. The papers now forming S21 fell into this category and the trustees of the Morris Datnow will settlement agreed that they might be deposited in the College on permanent loan for the benefit of archival research. The original deposit at reference S21/1-10 were retained because they had not survived in the College's official papers; a later transfer of material at reference S21/11 relating to both Datnow and Blair-Bell by the Trustees in 2011 was accepted under a new Collections Development Policy.

Related Material

Related material held at the RCOG may be found at the following reference:

S10 Personal and professional papers of William Blair-Bell (the 'Datnow Papers')