Papers of Dr James Finlayson (1840-1906), physician

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Material relating to a Clinical Manual for the Study of Medical Cases, 1878-1910; Papers regarding the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, 1883-1906; manuscript of "Account of the Life and works of Maister Peter Lowe", 1886-1889; list of cases and papers published by James Finlayson MD with notes on his career, c. 1905; material relating to the Western Medical Club, undated; biography of W T Gairdner by James Finlayson, undated.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Finlayson was born in Glasgow on 22 November 1840. He was educated at Glasgow High School. He initially entered Glasgow University to read the arts but changed to medicine and graduated Bachelor of Medicine (MB) in 1867. Two years later, he received the higher degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD). In 1867, he became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and in 1871 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow holding the office of Honorary Librarian for over a quarter of a century. He became a Visitor (Vice-President) in 1899 and President in 1900-1903.

Dr Finlayson began his professional career as a house physician in the Children's Hospital of Manchester. From 1871 to 1874 he acted as an assistant to Sir William Gairdner at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and from 1875 was appointed Physician to the Glasgow Western Infirmary. He held the office of Physician to the Glasgow Royal Hospital for Sick Children from 1883 to 1898 and on retiring was elected Consulting Physician.

Dr Finlayson was a prolific writer. His Clinical Manual for the Study of Medical Cases went through three editions (1878, 1886, 1891) in this country and two, under the title of Clinical Diagnosis, in the United States (1878 and 1886). Dr Finlayson was Honorary Librarian of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons from 1876-1900 and a keen medical historian. He wrote an Account of the Life and Works of Maister Peter Lowe, the Founder of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, 1889, and an Account of the Life and Works of Dr Robert Watt, Author of "Bibliotheca Britannia", 1897. He died in 1906.

For obituaries of James Finlayson, see the British Medical Journal, 1906 (Volume 2) and the Glasgow Medical Journal, 1906 (Series 5 Volume 66).


Arranged chronologically within record series.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to some items may be restricted. Please contact the Archivist at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Acquisition Information

Gift from depositor's family.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. See also NRA(S) Survey 1909.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Archivist. We will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Appraisal Information

Appraised in accordance with GB 250's collection policy.

Custodial History

Held with depositor's family.


Not expected.

Location of Originals

This material is original.


No known publications.


Geographical Names