Papers of Liverpool Medical & Literary Society, 1884-1934

Scope and Content

  • Minute books 1884-1906, 1912-1934
  • Calendars and agenda papers 1898-1905
  • Manuscripts, typescripts and notes of papers read at meetings (4 items)
  • Miscellaneous notes, accounts, receipts, menus
  • Correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

The Society was founded on 13 November 1884, as a forum for young doctors to improve their public speaking and debating skills. Originally called LiverpoolJunior Medical Society, the Society's name was changed to Liverpool Medical & Literary Society in May 1887, when a new constitution was adopted. Until 1897 membership of the Society was not restricted to medical practitioners, but also included members of other professions.

The Society met weekly, except during the summer months, and a wide variety of subjects were debated. Apart from lectures and debates, the Society also held various social events, such as dinners and golf competitions.


The papers have been arranged into nine series:

  • Minute books
  • Calendars
  • Agenda papers
  • Lecture papers and notes
  • Notes
  • Balance sheet, bills etc.
  • Material re. the annual dinner
  • Correspondence
  • Advertisement (1 item)

Access Information

Open for consultation, by prior appointment.

Acquisition Information

The papers are thought to have been donated to Liverpool Medical Institution in the 1930's, probably by Dr. Charles J. Macalister.


The minute book(s) for the period 1906-1912 are missing.

Description compiled by R. Myring, with reference to A Physician's Retrospect by Charles J. Macalister (unpublished typescript held by Liverpool Medical Institution).

Other Finding Aids

Word-processed catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Most of the material is believed to be in copyright.

Custodial History

While still current the papers were held by the Secretary of the Society. From c.1906 onwards the early papers were in the possession of Dr. Charles J. Macalister. The papers were catalogued in 2003, by R. Myring.


No accruals are expected.

Related Material

A history of Liverpool Medical & Literary Society can be found in the memoir A Physician's Retrospect by Dr. Charles J. Macalister (1937), an unpublished typescript held at Liverpool Medical Institution.


J.A. Shepherd's A History of the Liverpool Medical Institution contains a section on medical societies, based largely on the records of Liverpool Medical & Literary Society.

Additional Information

Liverpool Medical Institution.