Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Collection of the month: Sir Patrick Manson

Sir Patrick Manson's name on the frieze above the entrance to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

This month we are focusing on the collection of Sir Patrick Manson (1844-1922), who founded the School in 1899 and is known as the ‘father of tropical medicine’.

Sir Patrick was born in Scotland in 1844 and studied medicine at Aberdeen University. In 1866, he moved to China where he became Medical Officer for the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs in Formosa (Taiwan) and later in Amoy. It was whilst working in Amoy in 1878 that Sir Patrick discovered filarial worms, which can cause elephantiasis, in the tissues of mosquitoes. In 1883, he move to Hong Kong and with the doctor James Cantlie he established a medical school in 1887. The medical school later developed into the Medical Faculty of the University of Hong Kong.

Sir Patrick moved to London in 1889 and became a doctor at the Seamen’s Hospital Society in 1892. In 1897, he was appointed Medical Advisor to the Colonial Office and played an important role in the development of tropical medicine as a discipline and in the founding of the London School of Tropical Medicine in 1899. He worked at the School until 1912 when he retired due to poor health.

Sir Patrick is perhaps best known as the person who introduced and encouraged Sir Ronald Ross to investigate the theory that malaria was transmitted between humans by mosquitoes, which Sir Ronald proved in 1897 (see collection of the month for April 2010).

The School’s Archives hold a fascinating collection of papers relating to Manson’s career, including: his dairies which contain notes on mosquitoes as carriers of malaria and his discovery of filaria in mosquitoes; correspondence with Charles Wilberforce Daniels, Herbert Edward Durham and James Michelli on tropical medicine; photographs; research papers; medical examination forms for candidates working in British colonies and protectorates and scientific artifacts and medals.

If you would like to find out more about the records of Sir Patrick Manson or any of the collections in our archive visit our webpage here or email us at

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Library closure

The Library will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday (29th August). We will re-open on Tuesday at 8:30 am as usual.

Open House London 2011

The School is participating in Open House London on Saturday 17th September. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn more about the history and architecture of the Keppel Street building. Visitors will be taken on a tour of the building which will include the reception, exterior of the School, North and South Courtyard buildings and the Library. These tours will run on the hour, from 10am to 4pm, and will be on a first come first served basis.

Visitors will also be able to view an exhibition on the history of the Keppel Street building. A leaflet on the history of the building has also been produced for visitors to take away.

For further information on participation in Open House London and on the history of the School and the building, please contact the Archives Service at

For information on the Open House London initiative, please see the Open House London website.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sir Ronald Ross Exhibition

Page 107 from Sir Ronald Ross'notebook showing his discovery of the mosquito transmission of malaria, 20 August 1897

If the recent postings and events concerning World Mosquito Day have left you wanting to know more about Sir Ronald Ross, who discovered the mosquito transmission of malaria in man, why not view our latest exhibition which covers his life and work.

The exhibition contains material from the Ross and Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases archive collections, including: the page from Ross’ notebook where he made his discovery of the transmission of malaria in man by mosquitoes; photographs of Ross and the Ross Institute; documents relating to Ross' mosquito research across the world, including during the First World war and examples of Ross' artistic and literary work.

The exhibition will be on display in the Library exhibition area for the next three weeks. More information about the Ross and Ross Institute archive collections is available on the Archive Services website here.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tea, scones and mosquitoes

Over a 100 people celebrated Mosquito Day at the 1930's style tea dance and Tiffin extravaganza in LSHTM Library on 19th August.

Much fun was had by all, including a mass Charleston, and many thanks are due to everyone who contributed time, energy and effort to create an afternoon of entertainment that had 'just enough eccentricity'!

Write-ups and comments on the event can be found on the New Scientist and Gates Foundation blogs.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mosquito Day "Tiffin" and afternoon tea dance

The Library will be closed from 12 pm on Firday 19th August as part of the Malaria Centre celebrations of Mosquito day. This event, incorporating afternoon tea and dancing has now SOLD OUT. However, a number of the exhibits used in this event will be put on display in the Library over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Government reponse to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property

The Government has responded to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property -

Monday, 1 August 2011

Collection of the month: Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases

Luncheon at the Ross Institue for the 34th Mosquito Day celebration , 20 August 1931

The 20 August is World Mosquito Day, which marks the day in 1897 that Sir Ronald Ross made the discovery of the mosquito transmission of malaria in man. With the commemoration of Ross’ work in mind we have chosen the Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases as our collection of the month.

The Ross Institute was opened in 1926 on Putney Heath as a memorial to and in recognition of the work of Sir Ronald Ross. The main focus of the Institute was the study of the nature and treatment, propagation and prevention of tropical disease. Due to financial problems arising after Ross' death in 1932, the Institute was incorporated into the London School in 1934, eventually to become the School's Department of Tropical Hygiene.

The Ross Institute collection includes: correspondence, minutes, press cuttings and papers concerning the foundation and history of the Institute; volumes of manuscripts and published articles on tropical medicine; records of Ross Institute branches in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and East Africa; papers of George MacDonald, Director of the Ross Institute, 1947-1967 and photographs of buildings, expeditions, staff members and mosquito day celebrations (see above photograph).

If you would like to find out more about the Ross Institute or any other collections in our archive visit our webpage here or email us at

LSHTM Malaria Centre will be celebrating World Mosquito Day with afternoon tea and dancing in the Library on Friday 19 August, for more information click here.