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Beit Memorial Fellowships for Medical Research Trust

  • Beit Memorial Fellowships for Medical Research Trust
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Founded 1909 to promote the advancement of medical science through the award of research fellowships by Otto Beit (later Sir Otto) in memory of his brother Alfred, who had died in 1906, from whom Otto, as residual legatee, inherited a large fortune. The purpose of the Fellowships was to promote the advancement of medical science at a time when research scholarships were few. The bulk of the archive is made up of the files of Beit fellows. The first Fellowships were awarded in 1910 and the lists in Section B.1 cover all the Fellows, 1910-1994. The Fellows' files in A.2 date from 1912-1990. Other records include minutes of the Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board (Fuller sets of minutes remain in the hands of the Trustees), correspondence, handbooks, some financial records and Directors' Reports and a newscuttings album. There is also a printed history of the Fellowships in section G.2. Initially the Fellowships were for a period of three years, with the only condition on application being that the candidate was of European descent by both parents, although the Deed of Foundation was altered in 1945 to open up the field to applicants with a degree from any university in the British Empire. In 1922 it was decided that Fellows could extend their period of study to four years in exceptional circumstances. At the same time a Senior Fellowship was established, also for a period of three years, for those who had held both a Junior and a Fourth Year Fellowship, allowing research to be carried out for total of seven years. The Fellowships are governed by a Board of Trustees and an Advisory Boar, the Trustees being men involved in public affairs, and the Advisory Board made up of eminent medics and scientists. The Principal of the University of London is always ex-officio a member of the Board of Trustees.



Physical description

56 boxes


With the exception of the Fellowship files, the record keeping policy of the Trust has not been consistent, consequently no series of records has survived intact from the establishment of the Fellowships in 1910. There are some gaps among the Fellowship files, especially for the earlier years. Much of the correspondence was routine and has been weeded, leaving information regarding changes in the Trustees and the Advisory Board, as well as any changes which have been made to the Deed of Foundation. A great deal of the correspondence on individual subjects survives from TR Elliott's time as Honorary Secretary. The series of Withdrawn and Unsuccessful Candidates in section A.3 and A.4 has been randomly sampled to give a representative example of the extant files.

A. Fellowship Records

A.1 Register, 1910-1938

A.2 Successful Applicants, 1912-1990

A.3 Withdrawn Candidates, 1936-1970

A.4 Unsuccessful Applicants, 1938-1967

B. Handbooks

B.1 Handbooks, 1922-1994

B.2 Information for Applicants, 1938

C. Director's Papers

C.1 Director's Reports, 1932-1939

C.2 Annual Financial Statements, 1910-1953

D. Board of Trustees

D.1 Agendas, 1959-1962

D.2 Minutes, 1959-1963

D.3 Correspondence, 1928-1953

E. Advisory board

E.1 Agendas, 1953-1963

E.2 Minutes, 1952-1963

E.3 Correspondence, 1939-1944

F. Secretary's correspondence

F.1 Individual Subjects, 1919-1980

F.2 General Correspondence, 1913-1992

G. Newscuttings album and Commemorative Book

G.1 Newscuttings album, 1904-1974

G.2 Commemorative Book, 1960

Acquisition note

The records of the Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research were given to the CMAC by the Trustees in two accessions (nos.215 and 558). The first was in 1985, with the second in 1995. Previously, they had been in the care of the Administrative Secretary.

Related material

In Wellcome:

The personal papers of several former Beit Fellows:

Abercrombie, Professor Michael (A.2/210) PP/MLA*;

Black, Sir Douglas (A.2/211) GC/45;

Bywaters, Professor Eric George Lapthorne (A.2/202) PP/BYW*;

Daly, Professor Ivan de Burgh (A.2/55) PP/DBD;

Elliott, Professor Thomas Renton (A.2/11) GC/42;

Fell, Dame Honor Bridget (A.2/92) PP/HBF;

Himsworth, Sir Harold Percival (A.2/143) PP/HPH;

Lewis, Sir Thomas (A.2/1) GC/110;

McMichael, Sir John (A.2/132) PP/JMM;

Mann, Thaddeus Robert Rudolph (A.2/186) GC/64;

Mellanby, Sir Edward (A.2/9) PP/MEL;

Myers, George Norman (A.2/136) GC/155;

Parkes,Sir Alan Sterling (A.2/94) PP/ASP;

Richter, Derek (A.2/188) GC/175;

Robson, Professor John Michael (A.2/150) GC/43;

Vaughan, Dame Janet Maria (A.2//142) GC/186;

Verney, Ernest Basil (A.2/79) PP/EBV;

West, Robert John Ranyard (A.2/147) PP/RRW.

* = Uncatalogued collection. Owing to the constraints posed by Data Protection legislation, the Library is unable to allow access to uncatalogued material.

See also collections relating to the Physiological Society (SA/PHY), and to Strangeways Research Laboratory (SA/SRL).

Material held elsewhere: Fuller sets of minutes held by Trustees.

Terms of use

This collection has been partially catalogued and the catalogued part is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact for more details.

Finding aids

Hard-copy catalogue available in Wellcome Library.

Accruals note

The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:

9 boxes and 1 CD received July 2012 (acc. 1916), consisting of: meeting papers, correspondence and accounts relating to the Beit Memorial Fellowship from its foundation in 1910 until it was taken over by the Wellcome Trust in 2009 and became the Wellcome-Beit Prize. Includes early minute books which were retained by the Trustees when earlier accessions were presented to the Library, plus a CD labelled "Beit database", 1910-2011..


  • English

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