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Parkes Weber, Frederick (1863-1962)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/FPW
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Parkes Weber, Frederick (1863-1962)
Date(s): 1886-1962
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 179 boxes, 17 o/s items
Name of creator(s): Weber | Frederick Parkes | 1863-1962 | physician
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Frederick Parkes Weber (1863-1962): born in London, son of Sir Hermann Weber MD FRCP and his wife Matilda, May 8 1863; attends Temple Grove School, East Sheen, 1874-1877; educated at Charterhouse School, 1877-1881; enters Trinity College Cambridge, 1882; BA (Cantab) Medical education at St Bartholomew's, 1886; MB BCh (Cantab), 1889; MRCP, 1890; MD (Cantab), 1892; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, 1891; Appointed Physician at the German Hospital, Dalston Becomes member of Pathological Society of London, 1894; FRCP, 1898; Physician to Mount Vernon Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, 1899-1911; First edition of Aspects of Death and correlated aspects of life in art, epigram and poetry, 1910; First Mitchell Lecturer, RCP, 1921; Marries Dr Hedwig Unger-Laissle; Fourth edition of Aspects of Death, 1933; Awarded the Moxon Gold Medal of the RCP for 'distinguished observation and research in clinical medicine', 1930; Some thoughts of a doctor, 1935; More thoughts of a doctor, 1938-1947; Gives his papers to the Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1958; Elected to the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine; Gives 5000 to the Royal College of Physicians to promote advance in dermatology, 1959; dies aged 99 on 2 June 1962.

There are obituaries in the British Medical Journal, 1962, i, 1630-1, and The Lancet, 1962, i, 1308-9, and an entry in Munk's Roll of Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians. Frederick Parkes Weber's collected writings in celebration of his 80th birthday and 50th anniversary as physician to the German Hospital London, edited by the Medical Staff, 1943, is held in the Wellcome Library and includes a complete bibliography of his publications to that date (update to 1958 in PP/FPW/D.10), a list of the societies and organisations of which he was a member, and tributes from colleagues.


Scope and content/abstract:

The papers of Frederick Parkes Weber, 1886-1962, consist of case notes from his Harley Street and German Hospital practices, some very fine annotated clinical photographs, and (the bulk of the collection) a large number of volumes and bundles dealing with a vast array of diseases and medical conditions, usually accreted around an original paper by Parkes Weber himself. He described how these 'small collections and bundles around kernels of my earliest writings on the subject' evolved in a letter to the Librarian, Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 27 Feb 1958: "I was in the habit of surrounding my own writings with manuscript and printed correspondence, and all kinds of cuttings and small articles bearing on the subject. Many interesting autograph letters and small essays have in this way become buried and practically altogether lost." These had become 'gradually very extensive, and many of them have become dislocated and unmanageable'. On examination they have been found to include reprints and cuttings of articles, case notes, notes and annotations, correspondence, and photographs. There is also material on more general philosophical questions, and relating to his book Aspects of Death and other publications, and a little personalia and correspondence. Diaries apparently received with the papers were returned to Parkes Weber late in 1958 to assist in the preparation of the notes published as Miscellaneous Notes (see PP/FPW/D.11) and seem never to have been returned to the Wellcome Library (Parkes Weber to Dr Poynter, Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 24 Dec 1958 and 11 Feb 1959). This is a collection of major importance for the medical historian.

Parkes Weber had a very active life during a period of unprecedented developments in medicine. He produced well over 1000 articles, and was particularly interested in rare diseases and conditions: conditions with which he is eponymously associated are Rendu-Osler-Weber disease (familial telangiectasis), Weber's diseases (localised epidermolysis bullosa), Weber-Klippel syndrome (haemangiectatic hypertrophy of limbs), Weber-Christian disease (relapsing febrile nodular non-suppurative panniculitis) and Sturge-Weber-Kalischer disease (angioma of brain revealed by radiography). His papers also include much on more common ailments and phenomena, on balneological and climatological treatment, healthy life-style and the promotion of longevity, social medicine, etc. His associates and colleagues included many of the great names in medicine of his day.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collections is divided into sections as follows: A. Case notes and related material B. Subject collections (medical) C. Non-medical subject collections D. Aspects of Death and other writings E. Personalia and correspondence.

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. In addition, access is restricted to material in section A which is less than 100 years old. The Archivist may allow access to this material on submission of an application form for access to restricted material.

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:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in 1958 by Dr Parkes Weber.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Material relating to Parkes Weber's numismatic interests has been accepted by the British Museum, which already holds his coin and medal collections.

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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