- c. 1940s - 1990s (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
16.5 linear metres
Name of creator
Mary Dawson was one of the first female staff at the University of Strathclyde in the newly formed Department of Pharmaceutical Technology.
She had been a student at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow (a University of Strathclyde antecedent institution), taking the Preliminary Scientific Course in 1938, for which she won the Kinninmont Prize for best student of the year. In 1942 she returned to the College to qualify as a member of the Pharmaceutical Society. After working in community pharmacy from 1943 to 1947, she returned once more to the College to complete the ‘Major’ qualification of the Society, gaining the Pereira Medal for the best student of the year in the whole of Britain.
Dawson joined the staff of the Royal Technical College as an assistant lecturer from 1948 to 1950 and as a Wellcome Research Fellow from 1950 to 1952. She obtained her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1954 and was promoted to lecturer in the academic year 1965/1966. She stayed in this position until 1971/1972 when she was made a Senior Lecturer in the department. In the academic year 1978/1979, Dawson was promoted to Reader of the Department of Pharmaceutics. At this time, there was much departmental re-naming within the University and this led to Dawson being made Reader of Pharmaceutics in the Department of Pharmacy in 1980/1981. She stayed in this post until 1987/1988.
While lecturing and researching at the University of Strathclyde, Mary Dawson published several works on her research and presented her work at conferences throughout the UK. She joined the National Association of Women Pharmacists, which was founded in 1905. This society aimed to help gain women recognition for their work and bring married mothers back into employment in this field.
Dr Mary Dawson gained an international reputation for research on replacing drug testing on animals with tissue culture methods which resulted in the award of two prizes: the Felix-Wankel-Tierschutz Forschungspreis in 1983, and the Marschig Animal Welfare Trust Prize in 1990. She shared the latter with Brigitte Bardot. During her long professional career she served on the Pharmaceutical Society’s Scottish Executive Department from 1971 to 1990, acting as chairman in 1979 and 1980. Her many other forms of service to her profession resulted in the award of the Pharmaceutical Society’s Charter Silver Medal in 1987. Dr Mary Dawson died in 1995.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
The estate of Mary Dawson.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Various papers from the life and career of Mary Dawson covering her student life, lecturing, research, and professional awards. Includes:
- student notebooks from Dawson's studies at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow
- lecture notes and papers used for her teaching at the Royal Technical College, later the University of Strathclyde
- reprints of her own and other pharmacy articles
- research notes and data
- conference papers and programmes
- illustrations and captions for scientific posters
- material relating to articles and publications by Dawson
- index of scientific papers about tissue culture
- slide transparencies for publications and lectures
- papers about Dawson's film 'In Your Hands, Tissue Culture Techniques'
- film reels
- meeting notes and papers relating to pharmaceutical professional bodies and groups
- papers and correspondence relating to awards won by Dawson such as the Pharmaceutical Society’s Charter Silver Medal and the Marschig Animal Welfare Trust Prize
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Some papers may be restricted in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
The collection is not yet catalogued. An interim box list is available on request.