Papers of Sister Monica Taylor, 1877-1968, biologist, senior lecturer in Science, Notre Dame Training College, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • The collection comprises published volumes and papers on a variety of medical and zoological subjects, in English, French, German and Italian 1897-1957

Administrative / Biographical History

Sister Monica Taylor was born in  1877  at St Helen's, Lancashire, England. The key influences in her development as a scientist were her father, a science teacher, her uncle, an industrial chemist, and her cousin, Sir Hugh Taylor, at one time Dean of Princeton Graduate School. She trained as a teacher at Mount Pleasant Teacher Training College in Liverpool, England  from 1896 until 1898  , before entering the noviciate of the religious  Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Belgium. In  1900,  she made her full religious profession and returned to England, before being transferred to  Notre Dame College of Education , Dowanhill, Glasgow in  1901  . Permission to attend classes at the University of Glasgow was not granted and so Sister Monica began study towards an external degree of the University of London, but was unable to progress further than the intermediate stage due to inadequate laboratory facilities at Dowanhill. She was eventually granted permission to do laboratory work in the Zoology Department of the University of Glasgow, provided she did not attend lectures and was chaperoned by another Sister at all times. However, impressed by Sister Monica's intellectual abilities, Professor Graham Kerr urged that she be permitted to attend lectures, accompanied by her chaperon, and permission for this was eventually granted. After obtaining her degree, Professor Kerr also encouraged her to combine research towards a higher degree with the teaching of science at the college.  Sister Monica was awarded a DSc by the University of Glasgow in  1917  , and held the position of Head of the Science Department at Notre Dame College until her retiral in  1946  . Throughout her career, and after her retiral, she combined teaching with serious research, making a particularly significant contribution in the field of amoebic zoology, for which she gained a number of honours. The University of Glasgow conferred an honorary LLD in  1953  , in recognition of her eminence in science, being recognised as "a protozoologist of international distinction".  Sister Monica died on  12 June 1968  .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Received prior to the introduction of formal accessioning procedures

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

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

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

No related material


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Compiled by Virginia Russell, Archives Assistant, 10 November 2000

Alterations made by Lesley Richmond, 14 February 2003