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Lister, Joseph, 1st Baron (1827-1912), and the Lister family

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.3298-3303, 6182-6200 and 6961-6989
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Lister, Joseph, 1st Baron (1827-1912), and the Lister family
Date(s): 1737-1967
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 24 volumes and 37 files
Name of creator(s): Lister | Joseph | 1827-1912 | 1st Baron Lister | surgeon x Lister | 1st Baron
Lister family
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1827; educated University of London, MB, 1852; Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS), 1852; moved to Edinburgh 1853; Chair of Clinical Surgery at University of Glasgow, 1860-1869 where he developed antiseptic surgery by using carbolic acid as the antiseptic agent and heat sterilization of instruments; also developed absorbable ligatures and the drainage tube; Fellow of Royal Society, 1860; Chair of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, 1869-1877; Chair of Clinical Surgery, King's College, London, 1877-1892; Surgeon in Ordinary to Queen Victoria, 1878; Honorary Doctorate, University of Cambridge and Honorary Doctorate, University of Oxford, 1880; Boudet Prize, 1881; Baronetcy of Lyme Regis, 1883; retired 1893, Foreign Secretary, Royal Society, 1893; President of the Royal Society, 1894-1900; President, British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1896; Order of Merit, 1902, died 1912.


Scope and content/abstract:

Notes of Lister's lectures, personal material and juvenilia, 1737-1967. Detail of the types of material found in different areas of the collection can be found in the Arrangement field. MSS.6961-6989 include material relating to other members of the Lister family, including Sir Joseph's father Joseph Jackson Lister.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MSS.3298-3299 and 3303 comprise personalia.
MSS.3300-3302 comprise notes of Lister's lectures.
MSS.6182-6186 comprise correspondence and papers.
MSS.6187-6189 comprise letters patent granting Lister his baronetcy and barony, and a grant of arms.
MSS.6190-6200 comprise letters by Lister, and other papers.
MSS.6961-6989 comprise correspondence and papers of the Lister family, including Sir Joseph's father Joseph Jackson Lister.

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.

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:

Purchased or presented from various different sources, 1926-1981.

Allied Materials

Related material:

In the Wellcome Library: Papers of the microscopist Joseph Jackson Lister, represented in this collection, are also held as MSS.6178-6181. A diary by Agnes Lister, who is represented in this collection, is held as MS.3297. Various members of the Lister family are represented in the correspondence of the Hodgkin and Howard families, held as PP/HO. MS.8310 comprises two anonymous essays commenting on Lister's work.

In other repositories: The principal repository of Lister papers outside the Wellcome Library is the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS), which holds the bulk of his surviving scientific manuscripts. There were presented by Sir Rickman Godlee and include Lister's important commonplace books. The RCS also holds most of Lister's ward journals from King's College Hospital, and lecture notes by his students. The Wellcome Library's Medical Archives and Manuscripts Survey, MAMS, which can be consulted from the Library website, has an entry summarising RCS holdings.

Other Lister material is held in various locations: the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Royal Infirmary ward journals 1854-55, 1870-72; letters to Sir Hector Cameron 1879-1911); Glasgow Royal Infirmary (ward journals, 1861-68 with gaps); Bodleian Library (letters to Sir Henry Wentworth Acland, 1878-99). For other material see The Manuscript Papers of British Scientists 1600-1940, HMSO 1956, p.56.

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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