GD1/53 Jessie MacLaren MacGregor, medical practitioner

Collection Summary

Reference Code: GB239 GD1/53
Title: MacGregor, Jessie MacLaren
Dates of Creation of Material: 1863-1906
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent and Medium of the Unit of Description: 0.03 shelf metres: papers, photographic material

Name of creator(s): Jessie MacLaren MacGregor (1863-1906), medical practitioner
Biographical History: Jessie MacLaren MacGregor (7 May 1863 - 22 March 1906) was a pioneering Edinburgh medical woman at a time when prejudices against female medical education abounded. Born the daughter of a Newington builder, she studied art before registering as a medical student at Sophia Jex Blake's Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women in 1888. After intensive and distinguished prize-winning studies there, she gained the Triple Qualification of the Scottish Royal Colleges of Physicians in 1892. Thereafter she was able to take advantage of new University regulations (Ordinance No.18 of 1892), which permitted women to graduate in medicine. She eventually graduated MB,CM in 1896 and, although not amongst the earliest women medical graduates, she was the first to gain an MD in 1899 with her thesis "On the comparative anatomy of the eighth nerve". She held posts in Edinburgh's Sick Children's and Bruntsfield hospitals and went into private practice with Elsie Englis, subsequently the leading light of the First World War Scottish Women's Hospitals movement. Jessie, like most medical women of this era, took posts in women's and children's medicine. More unusually, however, she was drawn to the anatomical, histological and pathological aspects. She published a book on the pathology of the endometrium in 1905, which made extensive use of micro-photography in this area, possibly for the first time. Thereafter her life took a sudden, unexpected and unexplained turn when she emigrated to Denver, Colorado early in 1906 to live with one of her married sisters. After only a few months there she contracted "Rocky Mountain spotted fever", a bacterial infection (Rickettsi ricketsii) transmitted to humans by ixodid ticks, and died. Ironically the disease was first recognised in 1896, the year Jessie graduated at Edinburgh.
Archival History: Papers held within family
Immediate Source of Acquisition or Transfer: Sheila Hugh, California, September 1991

Scope and Content: Birth certificate of J. M. MacGregor 1863; certificates 1881-1895; correspondence 1893-1897; photocopies of newspaper reports of death 1906; photographs; prints of watercolours
Accruals: No further accessions are expected
System of Arrangement: Chronological within record class

Conditions Governing Access: None
Conditions Governing Reproduction: Reproduction is subject to closure periods and physical condition
Language/Scripts of Material: English

Archivists' Notes: Compiled by Mike Barfoot and Jenny McDermott using existing handlists
Rules or Conventions: Description based on ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description International Council on Archives (2nd edition), 2000
Date(s) of Description: May 2000; revised June 2002