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

MACDONALD, George (1903-1967)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0809 Macdonald
Held at: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: MACDONALD, George (1903-1967)
Date(s): 1937-1940s
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 boxes
Name of creator(s): Macdonald | George | 1903-1967 | Professor, Director of the Ross Institute
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Macdonald was born in Sheffield in 1903, the son of J Smyth Macdonald, Professor of Physiology. George Macdonald graduated MB, Ch.B. at Liverpool in 1924, and adding the DPH in the same year; research assistant at the Sir Alfred Lewis Jones Laboratories in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1925-1929, followed by 2 years as research officer to the Malaria Survey of India. He returned to England in 1931 to take his MD (Liverpool) and the DPH (London) in 1932; he then moved back to India as Principal Medical Officer to the tea estates of the Mariani Medical Association in Assam. His work there caught the attention of Sir Malcolm Watson, who recruited him as Assistant Director of the Ross Institute in 1937, an appointment which involved serving in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as malariologist to the Malaria Control Scheme of the tea and rubber estates. He undertook a tour of Malaya with Watson to inspect anti-malaria measures there.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 his commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps led to command of the 1st Malaria Field Laboratory in the Middle East. Later he was advisor to Montgomery during the Allied armies' advance through North Africa and Sicily into Italy. In 1945 he returned to teach tropical hygiene at the Ross Institute, where in 1947 he succeeded Watson (who had retired in 1942) as Director. At the same time he was appointed the first Professor of Tropical Hygiene (University of London) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was made Honorary Consultant in Malaria to the Army and in 1955 he was awarded the Darling prize for Malaria.

A member of the World Health Organization expert panel on malaria, Macdonald's strong character and convictions made him an uncompromising opponent in scientific discussion, and he had his enemies within the School; but he was internationally respected and commanded affection as well as loyalty from his own staff. Even during his last year of advancing illness he carried on with research and teaching until his death in December 1967.

Publications: Epidemiology and Control of Malaria (Oxford University Press, London, 1957)


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of George Macdonald consist of a diary and photograph albums of malaria eradication work in Malaysia, Singapore and Ceylon with Sir Malcolm Watson, 1937; diaries of his work in Italy and Sicily during World War Two; photographs of malaria control measures during World War Two in the Middle East, Egypt, Algiers, Crete, Sicily, Cyprus and Greece and a personnel file relating to his appointment to the Ross Institute, his overseas visits and his death.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged into two series: diaries (Macdonald/01); photograph albums (Macdonald/02). The collection also includes two additional items: set of photographs relating to malaria control measures during the war (Macdonald/03)and a personnel file of Macdonald (Macdonald/04).

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:

Photograph albums donated by Professor David Bradley, Ross Professor of Tropical Medicine Emeritus in July 2002 and personnel file retrieved from Personnel Store in May 2005 as part of project to retrieve files of individuals of historical importance to the School from this store.

Allied Materials

Related material:

At LSHTM: Ross Institute collection; Barton collection: tapes of Macdonald's lectures.

Papers at the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Victoria Killick, LSHTM Archivist and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer. Sources: Prevention and Cure. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, A 20th Century Quest for Global Public Health Lise Wilkinson and Anne Hardy (Kegan Paul Limited, 2001) and History of the School of Tropical Medicine in London (1899-1949) by Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, (H K Lewis and Co Ltd, 1956, London).

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

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"