AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Mellanby, Sir Edward

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/MEL
Held at: Wellcome Library
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Mellanby, Sir Edward
Date(s): 1896-1974
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 52 boxes, 3 folders and 4 o/s folders
Name of creator(s): Mellanby | Sir | Edward | 1884-1955 | Knight | physiologist
Mellanby | Lady | May | 1882-1978 | nee Tweedy | medical researcher
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1884; Educated at Barnard Castle School, 1898-1902; Emmanuel College Cambridge, 1902; Research student, Emmanuel, working under Gowland Hopkins, 1906; Demonstrator in Department of Physiology, St Thomas's Hospital, 1909-1911; MA,MB(Cantab), 1910; Beit Memorial Fellowship, 1910-1912; Chair of Physiology of the University of London in the King's (subsequently Queen Elizabeth's) College for Women, 1913-1920; Married May Tweedy, 1914; MD (Cantab), 1915; Work on the absorption of alcohol, under the MRC for the Liquor Control Board, c 1918; Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Sheffield, 1920-1933; FRS, 1925, FRCP, 1928; Chairman, League of Nations Nutrition and Vitamins Standardisation Commission, 1931; Appointed Secretary to the Medical Research Council, 1933; Fullerian Professor of the Royal Institution, 1936-1937; KCB, 1937; Honorary Physician to King George VI , 1937-1941; Chairman of the Advisory Medical Panel of the British Council, 1942; Work on the role of agene in flour in the causation of canine hysteria, 1946; Visited South Africa to advise on medical research, 1948; Attended African Scientific Regional Congress, 1949; Retired as Secretary to the Medical Research Council, 1949; Visited India to advise on medical research policy, 1950-1951; Visit to Australia and New Zealand to advise on medical research, 1951; died, 1955.

May Tweedy was born in 1882, educated at Hampstead and Bromley High Schools, and then went to Girton College, Cambridge, where she pursued the Natural Science Tripos, Parts I and II, 1902-1905. She then held the post of Research Scholar and Lecturer at Bedford College London, 1906-1914. She married Edward Mellanby in 1914 and collaborated in his research throughout the rest of their lives together. Besides all the work she carried out with her husband on nutrition, she also conducted independently research into the physiology of dentition and the causes of dental disease, and was involved with a number of bodies making policy in this field. She died in 1978.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Edward Mellanby, 1896-1974, notably relating to his research interests in vitamins, nutrition and deficiency and material on his activities subsequent to his retirement as an advisor on questions of research and medical administration. May Tweedy married Edward Mellanby in 1914 and collaborated in his research throughout the rest of their lives together, as well as working independently. It can thus be seen that it is not altogether easy to differentiate between the papers of this couple; for example in Section C of Sir Edward's papers are included a number of files and volumes relating to his wife's work as his associate, while her diaries in Section E contain details of her husband's activities as well as her own. Although Lady Mellanby was Sir Edward's collaborator throughout the course of his career, her papers are on the whole distinct from his and concentrate on her work in research into dentition and dental problems. They are therefore listed separately, and the list annotated at relevant points where there is an overlap. It is clear that these papers are not a complete record of the Mellanbys' careers. It is likely that following Sir Edward Mellanby's death, when the material underwent various moves, some items were lost. However, as for 16 years he was Secretary of the Medical Research Council, the record of those years is to be found among the files of the MRC, although details of the relevant files at the MRC are not yet available.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

A-D Papers of Sir Edward Mellanby:

A. Personal and biographical: A.1-11 Diaries; A.12 CV; A.13 Letters of condolence on death of brother; A.14 "Ted's Illness"; A.15-37 Awards, Appointments, Honours etc; A.38-57 Posthumous; A.58-59 Biographical miscellaneous; A.60-63 Presscuttings and ephemera.

B. Scientific and miscellaneous correspondence: B.1-8 Early career 1913-1933; B.9-15 Correspondence 1934-1949; B.16-41 Correspondence 1949-1955.

C. Research: C.1-5 Animal experimentation licences; C.6-41 Notebooks and summaries of dog diet experiments [c.1918-c.1955]; C.42 Fairbank Kirby Ltd; C.43-51 Alcohol Research; C.52-71 Osteomalacia; C.72 Vitamin A, C, D and E: letters; C.73-78 Pro-rachitic action of cereals (phytate); C.79 Cancer; C.80-94 Vitamin A deficiency; C.95 Nutrition Building Mill Hill; C.96-116 Agene and Canine Hysteria; C.117 Creatin and Creatinine; C.118-130 LMS (methionine sulphoximine); C.131 Fluorine; C.132 Tissue Culture; C.133 Notebook; C.134 Visual Aids.

D. Lectures and writings: D.1-7 Early papers; D.8-70 Notes and Lectures 1922-1954; D.71-96 Undated Lectures; D.97 Short articles and reviews; D.98 MRC reports and memoranda.

E-L Papers of Lady Mellanby

E Personal
F Correspondence: mainly on dental matters
G Scientific research
H Surveys of children's teeth
J Medical Research Council
K Dental Bodies
L Writings
M Films (held by the Wellcome Library Moving Image and Sound Collection)

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Films in Section M are held by the Moving Image and Sound Collection (MISC) of the Wellcome Library and must be requested online via the MISC catalogue. They can be viewed either in the main Library or, by appointment, in the MISC.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

The catalogue to this collection has not yet been fully converted to electronic form: for detail, and to order material, see hard-copy list available in the Wellcome Library. Copies of the catalogue are available on request. Hard-copy finding aid available at the Wellcome Library. To further facilitate the use of the papers, certain files, marked with an asterisk in the list, have been indexed (see pp 40-82). The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).

Collection level description available on-line on the Wellcome Library website.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers were received by the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre in October 1984 from Dr G.M. Little, Sir Edward's nephew, with the consent of Mrs Joan Kingdon, Lady Mellanby's executor.

Allied Materials

Related material:

In the Wellcome Library: Sir Walter M. Fletcher and his son Sir Charles M. Fletcher, both represented as correspondents in the Mellanby papers, also have collections of personal papers in the Library in their own right (PP/WMF and PP/CMF respectively).

At other repositories: There are files at the National Institute of Medical Research, Mill Hill. There is some correspondence between Mellanby and A. Webb Johnson at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Publication note:

A bibliography of Mellanby's publications can be found appended to Dale's memoir in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1955, Vol I.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"