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Royal College of Surgeons of England

Langstaff, George (c1780-1846)


Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0056

Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England

Title: Langstaff, George (c1780-1846)

Date(s): 1799-1842

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 11 boxes

Name of creator(s): Langstaff | George | c1780-1846 | surgeon and anatomist


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Langstaff was born in Richmond, Yorkshire, in c 1780. He studied medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He travelled to the East and West Indies and became a naturalist and zoologist, collecting specimens which would become his museum. He became Surgeon to the workhouse of St Giles's Cripplegate where he had abundant opportunities of studying both pathology and practical anatomy. He became a Fellow of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society, in 1814. He published the catalogue of his museum, Catalogue of the Preparations illustrative of normal, abnormal, and morbid structure, human and comparative, constituting the Anatomical Museum of George Langstaff in 1842. Part of the collection was bought by the Hunterian Museum, and the remainder bought by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He died in 1846.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of George Langstaff, 1799-1842, comprising 2 volumes of commonplace books, 1818-c 1838; correspondence concerning preparations purchased by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1842; Diurnal remarks of a voyage from Calcutta to old England, by G Langstaff, Surgeon, Ship Phoenix (1799) including a transcript by S Wood, 1799-1801; catalogue of the anatomical preparations forming the George Langstaff Museum, 1820; manuscript of miscellaneous preparations, 1799-1842; catalogue of the Langstaff Museum titled Heart, early 19th century; manuscript list of preparations titled Abridged History of the Museum, early 19th century; lecture notes, 1785-1816; and an explanation of John Abernethy's paintings of Lithotomy, 1804.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1928) by Victor G Plarr.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The provenance of the collection is not known.


Related material:

A sale catalogue of George Langstaff's Museum is kept in the Library. This catalogue includes manuscript notes of prices and purchasers. 'A catalogue of the very extensive and valuable museum of morbid, human and comparative anatomy, formed by G. Langstaff, Esq. : which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. J.C. and S. Stevens, at their great room, 38, King Street, Covent Garden, on Thursday, 22d of September, 1842, and six following days (Sunday excepted), commencing at one o'clock precisely', RCS Library, CS8/SAL.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Anya Turner.
Source: The Lives of the Fellows of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, Volume 1: A-MCD, page 679.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Aug 2008

Cardiovascular systems | Anatomy | Biology
Catalogues | Secondary documents
Inventories | Secondary documents
Museum collections | Museum facilities
Specialized museums | Museums
Surgery | Medical sciences

Personal names
Abernethy | John | 1764-1831 | surgeon
Langstaff | George | c1780-1846 | surgeon and anatomist

Corporate names

Calcutta | West Bengal | India | South Asia