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Lewis, Sir Thomas (1881-1945)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/LEW
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Lewis, Sir Thomas (1881-1945)
Date(s): 1907-1982
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 13 boxes, 1 o/s
Name of creator(s): Lewis | Sir | Thomas | 1881-1945 | Knight | cardiologist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Thomas Lewis was an eminent cardiologist, and a founder of what is now recognised as clinical research. Born, 1881; Entered University College Cardiff, 1898; BSc pass degree double honours, 1901; MB BS London (Gold Medal), 1902; Entered University College Hospital Medical School, 1902; Elected member of Physiological Society, 1904; DSc Wales, 1905; House Surgeon to Thomas Barlow, 1905-1906; Period in Berlin, 1906; Work in EH Starling's Laboratory, University College London, 1907-1908; Medical Registrar, Seamen's Hospital, Greenwich, 1907-1912; Out-Patient Physician, City of London Hospital, 1907-1913; Private practice, Wimpole Street, 1909-1916; Founded journal Heart, 1909; Appointed first Beit Memorial Fellow, 1910; Lecturer in Cardiac Pathology University College Hospital Medical School, 1911; Assistant Physician, University College Hospital (UCH), 1912; Elected FRCP, 1913; Visited USA, 1914; Appointed Physician Medical Research Committee, 1916; Directed clinical services of Military Heart Hospitals at Hampstead and Colchester, work on 'effort syndrome', 1916-1919; Croonian Lecturer, Royal Society, 1917; FRS, 1918; Consulting Physician to Eastern Command, 1918; Consulting Physician to Ministry of Pensions, 1919; Appointed full Physician at UCH, 1919; Founded Medical Research Society, 1930; First Aid Commandant, Rickmansworth, 1939-1944; died, 1945.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Thomas Lewis, 1907-1982. The papers contain little concerning Lewis' work before 1914, and no clinical research notes, except for a few odd items in section F, which is largely composed of abstracts and notes on journal articles. However, there is extensive correspondence with colleagues internationally about cardiac research 1910-1944 (sections A, B), and material relating to his wartime work at the military heart hospitals at Colchester and Hampstead and with the Ministry of Pensions (section C).

The papers contain much to do with the establishment of Lewis's department as the first MRC clinical research department, in 1919, and his subsequent support for the establishment of other such departments and for the expansion of clinical research in general, through the Medical Research Club, which he founded in 1930. Reviews of, and correspondence concerning, Lewis's publications, including Heart and Clinical Science Incorporating Heart, can be found in section E. Reprints of many of Lewis's publications can be found in the publication collections of the Wellcome Library.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In 1994 it was decided to amalgamate all the separate accessions and to catalogue them as one unit, because there was no logical reason why some material had remained at Lewis's home and the rest at the Medical Research Council - for example, correspondence series were split between accessions, as were papers to do with medical research and Lewis's wartime work. This list includes a concordance of the old and new reference numbers [Appendix A] and correspondents are indexed.

Arrangement is as follows:

Conditions governing access:

The majority of the papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Please note that file PP/LEW/N.8 is missing (Memoranda Part I ?A preamble on present needs in medical education? Part II 'Principle in educational reforms' submitted to Inter Deptl Cttee Dec 4 1942. Marked 'Confidential').

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. The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS). Acc 1050 uncatalogued.

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

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers came to the CMAC in four accessions, which were initially listed separately. They were recatalogued as one entity in 1995.

Accession 56 was acquired by the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine on long loan from the Medical Research Council in April 1977. In 1977 a brief list of these papers had been made by Sir Edward Pochin, and they were subsequently rearranged and catalogued by the CMAC after its establishment in 1979.

Accession 109 was presented by Sir Edward Pochin in February 1982, and consisted of one file of Lewis's correspondence with Sir George Pickering. Accession 88 was presented by Lewis's widow, Lady Lewis, in February 1981, who also gave some books from Lewis's library to the WIHM Library. The papers comprised 11 box files, apparently untouched since Lewis's death, and underwent little rearrangement when catalogued by the CMAC.

Accession 319 was presented by Mr RS Lewis, the executor of Lady Lewis, in July 1989, and consisted of a small quantity of miscellaneous items, including notes, correspondence and press cuttings, which had presumably become separated from the rest of the material held by Lady Lewis.

In 1995 Dr A Hollman gave a few letters and an article about birds, which he had received from the Lewis family. He also lent further items to be photocopied. These have been amalgamated with the rest of the collection. Acc.1540: received in Sep 2007 and catalogued as B.12 (pocket diaries of Lewis)

Allied Materials

Related material:

Much material is held elsewhere: Reprints of articles mainly on cardiology, collected by Lewis, and oral history tapes held in the Library; correspondence with Sir Edward Pochin in PP/EEP; some Lewis material in PP/EJW and PP/GWP; 2 boxes of Lewis material held by UCL archives including photographs; papers and notes of Lewis's assistant held by Science Museum; ts 'recollections of my father' donated by Lewis's son Dr Christopher Lewis to the Library of the Royal College of Physicians. See also appendices of PP/LEW catalogue.

Publication note:

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

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