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Grafton Elliot Smith Papers

Date range: c.1900-1969

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Sir Grafton Elliot Smith (1871-1937) was a highly-influential anatomist, whose interests extended to Egyptology, anthropology and human evolution. He controversially argued that many aspects of human civilisation had emerged in ancient Egypt, and spread to other parts of the world by a process of cultural diffusion.

Smith was Professor of Anatomy at the University of Manchester from 1909 to 1919. His interest in human evolution brought him to public attention when he became involved in the Piltdown Man affair in 1912, and this small collection of his papers includes a revealing letter from Smith to Sir Arthur Keith concerning Piltdown Man, dated September 1913. There are also manuscript drafts of lectures and articles, and some of Smith's anatomical illustrations, used in his publications.

The George Campion Papers are also held by the Library. Campion (1862-1946) was a Manchester dentist who had a long-running correspondence with Grafton Elliot Smith about issues relating to neurophysiology and consciousness.

See also:

Further Information:

  • Catalogue of Elliot Smith Papers available online via ELGAR.

  • Catalogue of Campion Papers available online via ELGAR.

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