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Alston, Charles: Lectures

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MS.MSL.98 (A-C)
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Alston, Charles: Lectures
Date(s): [1720]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 volumes: Vol. i (98A) 227 folios; Vol. ii (98B) 237 folios; Vol. iii (98C) 284 folios.
Name of creator(s): Alston | Charles | 1683-1760 | physician and botanist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Charles Alston was born at Eddlewood (now part of Hamilton, just to the west of Chatelherault). He was educated in Glasgow, but on the death of his father the Duchess of Hamilton became his patron and wished him to study law. Alston however wanted to study medicine and went to Leyden to study under Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738). In Leyden, he met Dr. Alexander Monro, primus (1697-1767). On their return to Edinburgh he revived medical lectures at the University with Alston being appointed Lecturer in Botany and Materia Medica. He also became Superintendent of the Botanic Garden. Alston published various medical papers and an index to the plants in the Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. In his Tirocinium Botanicum Edinburgense (1753), he attacked the Linnaean system of classification. Charles Alston died on 22 November 1760.


Scope and content/abstract:

The three volumes, which are paged continuously from 1 to 1497 are throughout written in the autograph of Charles Alston (1683-1760), Professor of Botany from 1720-1760. The heading is "Lectures on the Materia Medica. Begun in November 1720 and since several times revised, corrected and enlarg'd. By C. A." Wide margins have been left throughout, in which later additions have been inserted. The latest date is 1754.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

By volume.

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:

Described in: Warren R. Dawson, Manuscripta medica. A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Medical Society of London (London, 1932).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

For a student's abregée of these lectures, see MS. No. 101.

Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections (Ref: Gen 659-97; Dc 8 12; La III 375); Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh; Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: The Archives Hub

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:
Jul 2008

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