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Sir Geoffrey Jefferson Papers

Date range: 1913–93.

Geoffrey Jefferson (1886–1961) was a pioneer in neurosurgery, but also had expertise in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.

Early in his career he held a number of surgical positions in the Manchester area. In 1920 he was appointed lecturer in applied anatomy (neurology) at the University of Manchester and in 1939 the University gave Jefferson a personal chair in neurosurgery in the Manchester Royal Infirmary, the first such position in Britain.

Jefferson was a founding member of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons and served two terms as president. In 1947 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, a rare distinction for a surgeon.

The papers of Geoffrey Jefferson contain valuable material for research in a number of areas, especially the early development of neurosurgery in Britain and overseas. They include significant research papers, drafts of lectures and papers, important correspondence relating to all aspects of neurosurgery and material relating to Jefferson’s work for a military hospital in Russia in 1916–17.

This material is complemented by papers collected by Antony Jefferson after Sir Geoffrey’s death, including letters from Jefferson to his colleagues G.F. Rowbotham and James Hardman.1

1For information on James Hardman see Sotheby’s, Catalogue of an Important Collection of Medical Books, the Property of the late James Hardman (15-17 June 1981).

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Stella V.F. Butler, ‘Academic medicine in Manchester: the careers of Geoffrey Jefferson, Harry Platt and John Stopford, 1914–39’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 87, no. 1 (2005), pp. 133–66.


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