Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

  • Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Administrative records relating to the foundation of the Society, its premises and individual members, 1906-1979, including correspondence, diaries, notebooks, obituaries and photographs.

Papers of members, formerly held by the Society, including Sir Patrick Manson (1844-1922), Sir David Bruce (1855-1931), and Sir Philip Manson-Bahr (1881-1966).



Physical description

24 boxes, 2 o/s boxes, 3 o/s folders 2 o/s boxes 2 o/s folders 1 o/s folder Paper


Arranged by section as follows:

A History, policy and administration

B Premises: Manson House, 26 Portland Place

C Individuals

D Other bodies

E Miscellaneous matters and memorabilia

F Sir Patrick Manson, GCMG, FRS (1844-1922)

G Sir David Bruce, KCB, FRS, FRCP (1855-1931) and Mary, Lady Bruce, OBE (d.1931)

H Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, CMG, DSO, FRCP(1881-1966)

Acquisition note

These archives were inherited by the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (now the library at Wellcome Collection Archive and Manuscript department) in 1989 from the defunct Wellcome Tropical Institute which had taken deposit of them c. 1985. Besides records of the Society itself the collection includes the papers of several eminent tropical medicine specialists formerly held by the Society: Sir Patrick Manson, Sir David and Lady Bruce and Sir Philip Manson-Bahr.

Several items strayed from the Society's archives were found among the papers of Sir Patrick Manson received from the Society. The volumes of Council minutes are retained by the Society at its premises at Manson House, Portland Place, but even apart from this the archive of the Society does not appear to be comprehensive.

The press-cutting album, WTI/RST/E.28, was received separately in Jun 2002 on its discovery. The files relating to the Chalmers Medal (WTI/RST/E.29) were found by the Society's administrator in October 2003 and handed over then. The file relating to the Medical Entomology Centenary Symposium, 1977 (WTI/RST/E.30), was received from its organiser, Professor Mike W. Service, in October 2003. A file of correspondence relating to Royal patronage of the Society (WTI/RST/A.37) was received in May 2005 from the Society's administrator.

Biographical note

1907: foundation of the Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, with Sir Patrick Manson (then Dr.) as President and Ronald Ross as Vice-President, by James Cantlie (later Sir James Cantlie) and George Carmichael Low. The objectives of the Society, which have remained vitually unchanged since, were the ' ... study and discussion of diseases met with in tropical [warm] countries involving ... medical men with tropical experience [and] every medical man engaged in the practice of medicine wherever his lot may be cast'.

1920: permssion granted by George V for the Society to call itself the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

1931: RSTMH moved to its current premises, Manson House, 26 Portland Place (designed by Robert Adam in 1778)

Jan 1932: first ordinary meeting held in new building

Mar 1932: formal opening of the new building by HRH the Prince of Wales

Related material

Material retained by the Society:

Volumes of Council minutes

Location of duplicates

Photographs of the following are held by Wellcome Images: WTI/RST/E.18/7, Portrait of Charles Wilberforce Daniels, L20883 WTI/RST/E.18/13, Signed photograph of Professor RT Leiper, 1938, L30171


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Accession number

  • WTI/21
  • 1061
  • 1191
  • 1194
  • 1340