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John Archibald (Archie) Donaldson OBE (1914-1993)

Abstract

Archie Donaldson was a dentist with a great intellect. He was an outstanding editor of the British Dental Journal and honourary curator of the British Dental Association Museum for many years. He was well known in the history of medicine circles, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. His papers on the historical use of gold and electricity in the surgery are highly thought of, as is his definitive history of the National Dental Hospital.

Key points

  • Each era needs someone to take a lead and to show the way to excellence and discovery. Archie Donaldson was one such person.

  • It was a time when journals had to change, immediately after World War II. He was the right man in the right place.

  • The paper discusses an intellectual giant in the medical history and museums world.

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References

  1. Cohen R A, Cohen M E, Naylor T M. Obituary: J Archie Donaldson OBE BA FDS. Br Dent J 1993; 174: 303-304.

  2. Cohen R A, Cohen E M. J. A. Donaldson, 1914-1993. Dent Hist 1993; 25: 5-12.

  3. Gelbier S. Editors of the British Dental Journal (1880-2020) Part 2: The post-war years. Br Dent J 2020; 228: 551-556.

  4. McAuley J E. Archie as I remember him. Dent Hist 1993; 25: 13-14.

  5. Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. Vignette: Lilian Lindsay. 2010. Available at https://www.mddus.com/resources/publications/publications-library/insight/summer-2010/vignette-lilian-lindsay (accessed November 2022).

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  7. National Dental Hospital. Minutes of Medical Committee, 29 February 1912. 1912.

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  9. Donaldson J A. Development of the application of electricity to dental surgery up to 1900. Br Dent J 1960; 109: 121-31.

  10. British Dental Association. The Association and dental legislation. In Cohen R A (ed) The Advance of the Dental Profession. A Centenary History 1880-1980. pp 37. London: British Dental Association, 1980.

  11. Donaldson J A. A Rowlandson caricature. Br Dent J 1958; 104: 6.

  12. Donaldson J A. Some historic drills. Br Dent J 1958; 105: 421.

  13. Donaldson J A. Battlefield teeth. Br Dent J 1959; 106: 33.

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Acknowledgements

Helen Nield, Head of Library and Knowledge Services, sourced many leads to sources. Rachel Bairsto, Head of BDA Museum Services, provided information and the photographs. Carolyn Nield located invaluable information on Census returns and Baptism notices.

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Correspondence to Stanley Gelbier.

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Gelbier, S. John Archibald (Archie) Donaldson OBE (1914-1993). Br Dent J 233, 957–960 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-022-5258-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-022-5258-7

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