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Donovan, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles and Skelland, Amy Anna Caroline

  • Donovan, C. (Charles), 1863-1951.
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Papers of Colonel Donovan:

Correspondence with Sir Ronald Ross 1903, Letters and telegram re investigation and confirmation of the newly-discovered leishmania donovani 1903-1904, Donovan's published works 1904-1909, later correspondence with Raghavendra Row 1912-1914, material on the subject of herbal medicine 1895-1922 and Biographical material.

Papers of Mrs A A C Skelland:

Personal certificates, etc, 1909-1934, Job references 1910-1928, drawings and watercolours 1917-1921



Physical description

1 box


A. Papers of Colonel Donovan

1 Correspondence with Sir Ronald Ross 1903

2 Letters and telegram re investigation and confirmation of the newly-discovered leishmania donovani 1903-1904

3 Published works 1904-1909

4 Later correspondence with Raghavendra Row 1912-1914

5 Interest in herbal medicine 1895-1922

6 Biographical material, etc

B. Papers of Mrs A A C Skelland

1 Certificates, etc, 1909-1934

2 References 1910-1928

3 Drawings and watercolours 1917-1921

Acquisition note

These papers came to the Wellcome Tropical Institute by several routes:

those in section A.1 appear to have been handed over to the curator of the Wellcome Museum of Medical Science by Professor L J Bruce Chwatt;

those in A/2-6 were 'found 18/11/88 amongst the general administrative papers of WMMS', apparently deposited by Colonel Donovan's daughter Mrs H E O'Neil, MBE, FSA;

and those in Section B were given to the Tropical Institute in 1988 by Mr Geoffrey Twine, to whom they had been given by Mrs Skelland's brother.

The Wellcome Tropical Institute collections were accessioned by the Wellcome Library's Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (CMAC) in 1989; following reorganisation this now forms part of the Library's Archives and Manuscripts Department.

Biographical note

Charles Donovan obtained his MD at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1889 and was commissioned into the Indian Medical Service in 1891. After service in Burma, he was posted in 1898 to Madras to take up an appointment in the Surgeon-General's Office. He was Second Physician at the Government General Hospital until 1910 and then Superintendent at the Royapetta Hospital until his retirement in 1919. He was also Professor of Physiology at the Madras Medical School, studying at King's College, London, during his leave in 1901, and visiting colleagues in the field of tropical medicine in Paris, Edinburgh and Liverpool. His research came to concentrate on Kala-azar, which was prevalent in Blacktown, a densely-populated part of Madras, and in June 1903 he identified the parasite now known as Leishmania donovani.

Amy Skelland was widowed in 1907. She qualified as a nurse in 1909, having trained at the Government General Hospital at Madras, and she was matron of the Royapetta Hospital at the time that Donovan was Superintendent. His reference for her (B.2/4) mentions her "very good knowledge of microscopical work" and the "great help" she had been in "the record keeping of special cases that interested [him]".

Related material

In the Wellcome Library:

Research notes and lecture notes, etc., by Colonel Donovan are held as MSS. 2208-2216 and 5692-5697.

Location of duplicates

Photographs of WTI/DON/B.3/22 & 45 (watercolour drawings of leishmania by Mrs Skelland) are held by Wellcome Images at L32727C and L32728C.

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