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DRAPER, Christopher Charles Gawler (1921-2006)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0809 Draper
Held at: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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Full title: DRAPER, Christopher Charles Gawler (1921-2006)
Date(s): 1949-1997
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 22 boxes
Name of creator(s): Draper | Dr Christopher Charles Gawler | 1921-2006 | Senior Lecturer in Department of Tropical Hygiene
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Dr Christopher Charles Gawler Draper was born in Malaysia in 1921; educated at Sherbourne and read Medicine at New College Oxford, graduating 1945. During his time in Oxford he was involved with the trials of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary as part of the war effort and then spent a year as a resident junior doctor before being posted to Japan with the ANZACs for 18 months as a medical officer.

Undertook a 6 month posting in the Middle East with the International Red Cross, 1949; worked at a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan and was the first medical officer in the camp. Following his return to the UK, he took the Diploma in Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and became a member of staff at the School and worked at LSHTM as a junior lecturer under Professor George MacDonald for 3 years. During this period he travelled to West Africa for research trips; was recruited by the East African Medical Research Service to take charge of the Pare-Taveta scheme to control malaria and worked on methods of measuring the impact of the disease on the broader health status of the people living in the region. In particular, he carried out a famous study concerning the growth of children, 1954-1960, funded by the British government. The study was written up for Draper's doctoral thesis which he completed in 1963.

Draper returned to LSHTM in 1959 and spent a year learning the techniques needed to study viruses and was appointed deputy director of the West African Council Unit in Lagos, 1960, he where he and his wife Katharine stayed for 3 years and whilst in West Africa, isolated a new virus in the Cameroons. Draper worked for the Wellcome Foundation as a medical virologist in Kent, 1964-1968; returned to LSHTM as a senior lecturer in the Department of Tropical Hygiene, 1969 and throughout the 1970s and 1980s carried out numerous research projects abroad which covered a huge range of topics. In 1970 he returned to East Africa to study the Pare-Taveta. He made visits to Brazil, Salvador, the United States, Mauritius, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, the Caribbean, Panama, India, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Greece, Zambia, Cameroon, Nepal and China. His work mainly concerned malaria as well as rabies, bilharzias (schistosomiasis), Burkitt's lymphoma and leprosy.

Draper was a member of the WHO advisory committee on malaria and the tropical medicine research board and travelled to make inspection visits to various countries and was a pioneer of the ELISA tests and research in sero-epidemiology. After retirement he peer reviewed books and wrote several journal articles and still travelled on behalf of the WHO.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Dr Christopher Draper, 1949-1997, includes correspondence, research papers, notebooks, photographs, slides, articles, publications, teaching material, data tables and graphs concerning Christopher Draper's career as a medical officer, researcher and lecturer in tropical medicine. The collection relates to many of Draper's research projects overseas such as malaria studies in East Africa, particularly the Pare-Taveta and Mara regions and material also relates to other short-term projects abroad on behalf of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, World Health Organization or Overseas Development Administration. Research papers concern important work carried out in seroepidemiology, ELISA tests and malaria and teaching material includes slides for lectures, handouts and correspondence with students. Most of the papers stem from Draper's time at the LSHTM although photographs of Draper's posting as medical officer in the Middle East for the Red Cross are included.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Material has been kept in its original order as maintained by Draper and was arranged and sorted by Richard Meunier.

Conditions governing access:

This collection is open for consultation. Please contact the Archivist to arrange an appointment. All researchers must complete and sign a user registration form which signifies their agreement to abide by the archive rules. All researchers are required to provide proof of identity bearing your signature (for example, a passport or debit card) when registering. Please see website for further information at

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Material donated by Alizon Draper, daughter of Dr Draper in June 2007.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Richard Meunier, Assistant Archivist at LSHTM and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

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:
February 2008

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