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Witkowski, Gustave Jules Alphonse (1844-1923)

  • Witkowski, Gustave Jules Alphonse, 1844-1923, surgeon, writer and medical historian
MSS.5036-5088 and 8049
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Papers cover Witkowski's writings on medical history (and other areas of history) rather than his medical activities. MSS.5036-5038 comprise press cuttings, publishers' notices, reviews, etc., relating to Witkowski's writings, plus original poems, somephotographs, and some letters to him about his work; they span the bulk of his career (1865-1920).

MSS.5039-5085 consist of material related closely to various published works on medical history and art history by Witkowski: typescript and holograph drafts, annotated published material, etc. Within this block of material, MSS.5057-5062 consist of a detailed critique of Folie de l'Empereur by Augustin Cabanès (1862-1928), consisting of heavily annotated copies of the published work. Also worth noting are MSS.5063-5064, copies of Witkowski's Comment j'ai appris l'Histoire Sainte, a Rabelaisian and satirical anti-clerical history.

MSS.5086-5088, written under the pseudonym "Docteur Clam", comprise travel writings, recording travels in Italy, Turkey, Romania and Hungary, in 1901 (MS.5086); Egypt, in 1901-1902 (MS.5087); and Italy, in 1905 (MS.5088).

MS.8049 comprises a few letters by Witkowski.



Physical description

54 items (volumes, bundles of papers or files) Holograph manuscripts, typescripts and annotated published works, held as volumes and bundles of papers.


Material in the main block of manuscripts is held in chronological order of composition:

MSS.5036-5038 (comprising press cuttings, publishers' notices, reviews, etc., relating to Witkowski's writings) span the bulk of his career (1865-1920).

The remainder of the collection, MSS.5039-5088, comprises items more precisely datedand spans the years c.1905 to 1922. This section of the collection comprises essays and papers on medical history, art history and other matters of historic interest, with the exeception of the final three items (MSS.5086-5088) which comprise travel writings.

MS.8049 comprises correspondence, held in chronological order.

Acquisition note

Purchased from Le François, Paris, June 1930. Moorat's catalogue lists this wrongly as 1929 and gives some items an erroneous accession number of 55161. MS.8049 purchased from Charavay, Paris, 1935 (acc.68515).

Biographical note

Gustave Jules Alphonse Witkowski was born in 1844 and trained as a doctor, presenting his MD thesis in 1872. He also wrote widely on a variety of subjects, chiefly upon medical history but also upon art and history in general. He died in 1923. A little further information may be found in (G.J. Witkowski), Docteur G.J. Witkowski: autobiographie (Paris?: no publisher noted, 1917).

Related material

In the Wellcome Library: MS.7317/103 comprises a letter to Witkowski by Charles Maygrier (b.1849), professor of obstetrics, found in a copy of Witkowski's book Accouchers et sages-femmes célébres: esquisses biographiques (1891 ?) and setting out his relationship to various figures in the book.

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973), and subsequent typesript supplements to that catalogue.


  • French

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