TitleCollection of William Alister Alexander
DescriptionAlexander was born in 1890 at Wick, Scotland, the son of a doctor, and educated at John Watson's Institution and George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He graduated in medicine at Edinburgh University in 1912. After junior hospital appointments in the Royal Infirmary and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children he served in the RAMC [Royal Army Medical Corps] during the First World War, including almost a year in Malta and two years in the North-west Frontier. After demobilisation he became assistant in 1920 in the department of pathology under Professor Lorain Smith and subsequently lecturer in morbid anatomy. Throughout his later clinical career he retained his initial interest in pathology and was a member of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. When he decided to switch to clinical work he held for a time simultaneous appointments at Leith Hospital, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, a combination which remained unique in Edinburgh. Later, as was the custom in those days, he worked solely in the Royal Infirmary, becoming assistant physician in 1927 and physician in charge of wards in 1936. He retired from his hospital post in 1955.

He served as councillor and vice-president to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and succeeded Sir David Henderson as president in 1951. After demitting office in 1953, he became honorary librarian of the college. His integrity and skilled chairmanship led to many other appointments, including those relating to the Southern Group of Hospitals board of management, Family Doctor Centre, and the executive committee of the Blood Transfusion Service.

He died on 26th October 1976.
[Source: British Medical Journal obituary]

There were a number of reprints with the collection which were not retained.

Contents: articles and speeches, 1924-1966; correspondence, 1912-c1972; papers relating to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 1925-1972; personal papers, 1908-1977; photographs, 1912-1960s; histology slides, 1930s; medical instruments
Extent177 items
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