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Singer, Charles Joseph and Singer, Dorothea Waley

  • Singer, Charles Joseph (1876-1960)
Date
1878-1964
Reference
PP/CJS
  • Archives and manuscripts
  • Online

About this work

Description

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence: the Singers were clearly vigorous letter writers and both Charles and Dorothea had an enormous number of family, friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately many of their letters were hand written and very few carbon copies survive. Very occasionally an attempt at methodical selection and arrangement is evident: on the whole correspondence had been kept in alphabetical order, and this has been retained in the arrangement of the collection. Dorothea and Charles’ correspondence was fairly mixed (reflecting their working life together) with the exception of two distinct groups: correspondence about Dorothea’s research on alchemical manuscripts, and later correspondence about her hearing aids.

The main part of the collection centres on the correspondence; this has been grouped together in a self-evident sequence: writings and biographical personal papers follow. Certain of Dorothea’s papers remained clearly distinct and these have been kept together. Section E contains a variety of material relating to Jewish refugees, which had been placed on one side by Dorothea after the war for permanent preservation. It has not been listed in detail but sorted into three broad categories. The last section, comprising additional correspondence of the Singers with Sir Zachary Cope, Sir Arthur Salusbury MacNalty and Dr F.N.L. Poynter, is not strictly part of the collection, but these groups of correspondence were given to the Institute to be placed alongside the Singer papers.

Publication/Creation

1878-1964

Physical description

21 boxes 2 o/s boxes

Arrangement

By section as follows:

A. Correspondence (A.1-20 Individuals A-Z, 1911-1957; A.21-40 1958-60 A-Z, 1958-1960; A.41-51 Named files, 1941-1960; A.52-71 Organizations, 1922-1961; A.72-82 Publications and research, c.1937-1960);

B. Charles Singer: writings (B.1-8 Published articles, 1914-1961, n.d.; B.9-23 Typescript lectures and notes, 1913-1960, n.d.);

C. Biographical/personal (C.1-4 Miscellaneous biographical notes, lists of publications, obituaries, 1936, n.d.; C.5-10 Correspondence received after death and about library, 1958-1965; C.11 Address books, n.d.; C.12-29 Newspaper cuttings, 1911-1949; C.30 Photographs, 1904; C.31 Drawings, c.1878-1893);

D. Dorothea Singer: papers (D.1-12 Correspondence about writings, 1918-1954; D.13-21 Correspondence about deafness, 1945-1964; D22 Miscellaneous drafts and writings, 1918-1957; D.23 Correspondence, general, c.1917-1939);

E.Jewish Refugees: circulars, pamphlets and related material, 1939-1948;

F. Correspondence of Sir Zachary Cope, Sir Arthur Salusbury MacNalty and Dr F.N.L. Poynter, 1945-1961.

Acquisition note

The records were transferred to the Wellcome Library in October 1980 (acc. 26).

Biographical note

Charles Joseph Singer was born on 2 November 1876 in London. He studied at University College London, and from 1896-99 he studied zoology at Oxford, graduating BA, BCh. In 1903 he qualified from St Mary's Hospital Medical School MRCS LRCP. He gained other degrees honours during his career: MA MD; FRCP; Honorary DSc. From 1904-1908 Singer held various hospital posts in England and abroad, including Sussex County Hospital; Brighton; Government House, Singapore; Abyssinia (Medical Officer to expedition); Malta and Salonica, where he returned during the First World War when he served with the RAMC.

Singer held various posts throughout his career: Registrar to the Cancer Hospital, London; Physician to Dreadnought Hospital; Lecturer in history of medicine at University College London, as well as work abroad, including Visiting Professor at University of California, Berkley.

He married Dorothea Waley Cohen, eldest daughter of Nathaniel L Cohen and Julia M Waley in 1910, with whom he was awarded the Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society of America.

He held a number of secretaryships and presidential posts, including Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Medicine (Historical Section), 1916-1919; President RSM (Historical Section), 1920-1922; President of Third International Congress of History of Medicine, 1922 and President of Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. He retired in 1942

Charles Singer died on 10 June, 1960 at home in Par, Cornwall. Dorothea Singer died on 24 June, 1964.

Related material

Material held by Archives and Manuscripts, Wellcome Library:

See Sources Leaflets No. 7 War Medicine and Health Post 1920; No. 21 Eyes, Ears, Teeth, Feet; No. 27 Drawings, Paintings, Prints and Posters; No. 28 Refugee Scientists and Medical Practitioners

For correspondence with EA Underwood, 1944-1959, see PP/EAU/22-28.

The papers of Robina Addis, who acted as the Singers' research assistant in the 1920s, are held as PP/ADD.

Material held elsewhere:

British Library, Manuscript Collections: correspondence with Society of Authors, 1925-1960 (Add MS 56809).

Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts: letters to OGS Crawford, 1940-1957 (MSS Crawford); correspondence with CD Darlington, 1938-1948 (CSAC103/3/85).

Oxford University, Museum of the History of Science: correspondence, 1915-1919 (MS Royal Microscopical Society 9).

Rice University: Woodson Research Center: correspondence with Sir Julian Huxley, 1922-1959 (Julian S Huxley papers).

Rockefeller University Archives: correspondence 1930-1952.

Southampton University Library: papers relating to German anti-Semitism (MS 94); correspondence with James Parkes, 1940-1957 (MS 60/16/717);: correspondence with Cecil Roth, 1939-1958 (MS 156).

Sussex University Library Special Collections: letters to J G Crowther, 1936-1942 (SxMs29).

Copyright note

Copyright is held by Andrew Singer (son) and Nancy Underwood (daughter), who should be acknowledged with thanks for any copies published. Persons wishing to reproduce anything of a personal nature should contact them for permission first.

Ownership note

The records were given to the Wellcome Institute by Edgar Ashworth Underwood, the Singers’ son-in-law, after Dorothea Singer’s death in 1964.

Languages

  • English

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