Collection RBSC-ARC-1740 - Alexander John Gaspard Marcet collection

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Alexander John Gaspard Marcet collection

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  • Textual record

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  • Variations in title: Previously known as The Alexander John Gaspard Marcet fonds

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28 p. of textual records

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Biographical history

Alexander John Gaspard Marcet, who is most commonly known as Alexander Marcet, was a physician-chemist born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1770. He went to Edinburgh in 1794 and graduated with doctor of medicine from Edinburgh University on June 24, 1797. After graduation he went to London where he was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians in 1799. In 1804 he became a physician at Guy’s Hospital, where he lectured on chemistry between 1805 and 1819. In 1809, after having volunteered his services on behalf of the troops, he was appointed temporary charge of the military hospital at Portsmouth for several months. He then returned to London and his previous position at Guy’s Hospital until 1819, at which point he returned to Geneva. After the death of his father-in-law, Marcet inherited a substantial sum of money which he used in order to focus on science and literature. He returned to Great Britain for a brief visit in 1821 which resulted in him contracting gout in the stomach. He died in London on October 19, 1822, aged 52.

Custodial history

Letters were possibly acquired as part of the Sinclair collection by Woodward Memorial Library. The collection was located at Woodward Memorial Library until 2013 when it was transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections.

Scope and content

Collection consists of letters addressed to Dr. Alexander Marcet, one from William Prout and the remainder from William Chas. Wells. The letters date from 1811 to 1817. The letters discuss various experiments on urine, the research of Professor Prevost on radiant heat, and Mrs. Marcet’s work on political economies.

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This collection is believed to have been once part of the Sinclair collection. The Sinclair collection was subsequently divided into smaller collections while at Woodward Memorial Library. The Alexander Marcet collection is located within the Miscellaneous Autographs and Letters collection. Letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically. Arrangement inherited from Woodward Memorial Library.

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RAD compliant finding aid compiled by M. Hunter, July 2015.

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