Papers of Thomas Ferguson Rodger, lectures and addresses

Scope and Content

Rodger taught at the University of Glasgow from 1949 to 1973 and it is clear that he had a passion for teaching students about developments in psychological medicine. He believed that the proper understanding of mental health was a vital aspect of the training of the general physician and the general practitioner as well as of the psychiatric specialist. During this time he taught and was said to be a major influence on R D Laing, (who later became a popular psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and a controversial figure in the "counter-culture" of the 1960s). As well as teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students Rodger also addressed students and medical professionals on other training courses and also spent a significant amount of time giving lectures to local clubs and societies.

  • University of Glasgow undergraduate and postgraduate lecture notes for the psychological medicine course on a variety of topics such, as Freud, psychosomatics, depression, social psychiatry, psychiatry and the law, the doctor-patient relationship and many more;
  • Lecture notes for other mental health/psychological medicine courses and training sessions given by Professor Rodger to students and medical health professionals;
  • Lectures and addresses given to clubs, societies and associations on a variety of mental health topics;
  • Lectures given by Rodger for specific events or lecture series'
  • Papers and addresses for meetings and conferences;
  • Miscellaneous and unidentified lectures and addresses;
  • Lecture hand-outs and information sheets.

This description is part of the main  Thomas Ferguson Rodger collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:  

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Ferguson Rodger was born in Glasgow on 4 November 1907. His father, Thomas, was an insurance agent. He attended North Kelvinside School. He matriculated to study at the University of Glasgow in 1923 at the age of 15 and graduated BSc in 1927 and MB ChB with commendation in 1929. He married Jean Chalmers in 1934 and had three children. His eldest son, Alan Ferguson Rodger, went on to become Baron Rodger of Earsferry, a Scottish lawyer and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

After completing his post-graduate medical training Rodger became assistant to Sir David Henderson at the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital at Gartnavel and to Professor Adolph Meyer at the Department of Psychiatry in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1931-1932). He returned to Gartnavel as the hospital's Deputy Superintendent and also worked as an Assistant Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow (1933-1940). During the Second World War he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1944 and then with the Army Medical Services in India as a consultant in Psychiatry (1944-1945). He became an international authority on the techniques of officer selection and personnel deployment technique and rose to the rank of Brigadier.

Rodger returned to Scotland as Senior Commissioner to the General Board of Control and held this position until 1948. When he was appointed to the new Chair at the University in 1949 his department was based at the Southern General Hospital, and Rodger was instrumental (with the surgeon J Sloan Robertson) in establishing that hospital's reputation as a pioneer in combining Psychological Medicine and Neurological Sciences. An acknowledged leader in his field, Rodger was a consultant psychiatrist to the Southern General and the Glasgow Western Infirmary; Honorary Consulting Psychiatrist to the Army in Scotland; Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatry, and he served on Government and World Health Organisation committees. He was appointed CBE in 1967 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry in 1972.

He retired in 1973 and died in Glasgow in 1978.

Rodger wrote his name in correspondence, publications and lectures as Rodger or T Ferguson Rodger. However he is always described in the administrative records of the University of Glasgow as Professor Rodger and he will be referred to as Rodger throughout this catalogue.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Although patient case notes will be closed for 100 years as they contain sensitive and personal information.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

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

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Related Material



No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Hannah Westall, Archives assistant, 24 May 2000. Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) May-June 2012. Revised by Adele Redhead, Assistant Archivist, March 2003 and revised and rearranged by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) April to June 2012.

Geographical Names