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Sir Geoffrey Jefferson Papers

Date range: 1913–1993

Medium: Archive

Geoffrey Jefferson (1886–1961) was a pioneering neurosurgeon, who played a key role in its development as a clinical specialism.

Jefferson spent most of his career working at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, but also held appointments at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, London. In 1939 Jefferson was appointed to a personal chair of neurosurgery by the University of Manchester, 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 are important source of information for the development of neurosurgery in Britain. 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. The collection includes some papers relating to Jefferson's work on the war wounded after the First World War. In later life, Jefferson wrote and broadcast to a more general audience on issues relating to the relationship between the mind and brain, and this subject is also covered in the archive.

Further information:

  • 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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