Fleming, Alexander, Sir, 1881-1955

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Sir Alexander Fleming (b. Aug. 6, 1881, Darvel, Scotland-d. March 11, 1955, London, England) was a Scottish physician and researcher who is best known for discovering the first antibiotic, Penicillin. Fleming enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in London. He served throughout World War I as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was a professor at St Mary's both before and after the war.

During World War I, Fleming witnessed the death of many soldiers from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. In 1928, Fleming returned to his lab after a family holiday and noticed that one culture was contaminated with a fungus, and that the colonies of staphylococci immediately surrounding the fungus had been destroyed, whereas other staphylococci colonies farther away were normal. This accident became the first penicillin. Along with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris, Fleming received the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this research.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. CV. Commonplace book; [1946?].ff. ii + 31. 129 x 82mm. Light green cover of limp card with metal binding. It is a ‘Pif-Paf Apontamentos’ book, made in Sao Paulo. [It may have been used during a visit to Brazil for First Inter-Am..., 1946 British Library
creatorOf Vol. VI. April 1950-March 1955, n.d.ff. 1-202. Papers and correspondents include:American Academy of General PracticeAmerican Research and Education Foundation for Chest DiseaseCommon Cold FoundationOklahoma Medical Research FoundationLecture tour of... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXXVII. Notebook, n.d.ff. iii + 58. Ring binder with hard grey cover. It was advertised as the ‘Eclipse’ ring book.Label inside the front of the notebook is for ‘Isacke, Printer, Stationer, Account Book Maker. 133, Praed Street, ... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XII. May 1947-May 1948.ff. 1-218. Papers and correspondence include:Athenaeum ClubAustria, April 1947British Association for Advancement of ScienceFourth International Congress of Microbiology, July-Aug. 1947Honorary degree, Char... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XVII. 1940-June 1945.ff. 1-264. Volume includes:Linnaean Society American Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association Award of MeritHospital Sunday AppealDyers CompanyCutter Lecture, Harvardincludes:ff. 1-58 South West Medical So... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. X. Nov. 1945-July 1946.ff. 1-239. Papers and correspondence include:Copenhagen, Oct. 1945Freedom of the Burgh of DarvelGlasgow, Dec. 1945Honorary degree, University of LouvainJutland Medical SocietyMembership Pontifical Academy o... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. IX. Jan.-Oct.1945.ff. 1-227. Papers and correspondence include:Belgium, Nov-Dec. 1945Charles Mickle Fellowship Copenhagen, Oct. 1945France, Sept. 1945Freedom of Borough of Paddington Honorary D. Sc, University DurhamInternational... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XVIII. July 1945-1946.ff. 1-321. Volume includes:Nobel Prize Turin Academy of MedicineFreedom of the Burgh of Darvelincludes:ff. 1-15 Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist: Address at Plummers Hall, made during a tour of Americ... British Library
creatorOf [Alexander Fleming, biographical materials]. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. III (ff. 100). Correspondence and papers relating to the Fifth International Congress of Microbiologists held in Rio de Janeiro in 1950; 1948-1950.ff. 1-41. Correspondence with Olympio O. R. de Fonseca, President of the Congress;..., 1948-1950 British Library
creatorOf Vol. V. Dec. 1943-March 1950.ff. 1-229. Papers and correspondents include:American Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ AssociationAmerican tour, May 1945Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association Medal of HonourCitation of Purple HeartFellowship Am... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXVI. 1953 pt.2.ff. 1-257. Volume includes:Order of Carlos FinlayShattuck Lecture, BostonRoyal Institutionincludes:f. 1 Order of Carlos Finlay: Speech by A. Fleming on receiving the honour, [23 April]: [1953].ff. 3-11 St. Jos..., 1953 British Library
creatorOf Vol. CIX. March 1955-June 1956.ff. 1-214. Volume includes:Allison, Victor Douglas Cruickshank, Robert Jackson, James (boy who Fleming ran into and as a result broke his nose)Murray, A Peck, Francis Iincludes:ff. 1-2 M. Léon Binet, of the Universit... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XVI. 1953-1955, n.d.ff. 1-190. Papers and correspondence include:Athens, Sept.-Oct. 1953Bordeaux, Nov. 1954Fifth Middle East Medial AssemblyRome: International Congress and fifth meeting with Pope, Sept. 1953Sixth International C..., 1953-1955 British Library
referencedIn Bryner, Ulrich R., 1902-. Ulrich R. Bryner papers, 1928-1954. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Col. CXVII. Memoranda, etc., relating to Fleming collected by André Maurois; 1942, n.d.Chiefly typewritten copies.André Maurois was employed by Amalia Fleming to write a biography about Fleming resulting in The Life of Sir Alexander F..., 1942 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXVIII. [1920]-1945.ff. 1-241. Volume includes articles prepared for publications as indicated:‘Bacteriological Examination of War Wounds’, in H. Bailey, Surgery of Modern Warfare, 1941‘The Use of Paper and Cellophane Discs for ..., 1920-1945 British Library
referencedIn Ulrich R. Bryner papers, 1928-1954 L. Tom Perry Special Collections
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XI. Aug. 1946-April 1947.ff. 1-260. Papers and correspondence include:Albert medalAustria, April 1947Brazilian Academy of SciencesBrussels, Oct. 1946First Inter-American Medical Congress, Rio de JaneiroForeign honorary member, Ro... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. LVII. 10 Oct. 1924-20 Jan.1932.ff. ii + 93. 277 x 218mm. Front and back hard, black covers of a ring binder, spine is missing. It was advertised as a ‘scholastic notebook’.A section of the spine with the label survives, it has ‘Immuni..., 1924-1932 British Library
referencedIn Harold Thomas Swan Papers, 1945-1996, mainly 1986-1996 University of Sheffield Lbrary
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XIX. 1947.ff. 1-227. Volume includes:Pasteur Exhibition at the Science MuseumFourth International Congress of MicrobiologistsInternational Conference of Physiciansincludes:ff. 1-28 Louis Pasteur, French microbiologist: Speech b..., 1947 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. IV (102). Correspondence with American doctors, as follows:ff. 1-28. Elbyrne Grady Gill, of the Gill Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, Virginia; 1949-1950.ff. 29-61. Hugh G. Payne, of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; 1949-1954..., 1949-1954 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXVII. 1954-1955, n.d.ff. 1-312. Volume includes:University of UtahHospital Saturday FundTour of BordeauxWorshipful Company of Barbersincludes:ff. 1-25 American Academy of General Practice: Speech by A. Fleming entitled 'The Ba..., 1954-1955 British Library
referencedIn Prominent Personalities: Fleming, Sir Alexander National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Waksman, Selman A. (Selman Abraham), 1888-1973. Selman A. Waksman papers, 1915-1960. Library of Congress
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXIV. Nov.-Dec. 1952.ff. 1-149. Volume includes:Tour of Greeceincludes:ff. 2-4 Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist: Speech to microbiologists as part of a tour of Greece, [7 October-10 November]: [1952].ff. 5-23 Sir Alexand... British Library
referencedIn Fleming : la pénicilline. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Swan, H. T. (Harold T.). [Swan papers]. University of Sheffield
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XIII. June 1948-Sept. 1949.ff. 1-234. Papers and correspondence include:America, June-July 1949Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association Gold MedalHonorary Freedom Borough of ChelseaIreland, May 1949Membership Royal Soc... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XCVIII. 27 Sept. 1951-15 April 1952.ff. ii + 30. 163 x 99mm. Atholl Series notebook with limp cover of blue paper.Journal has ‘I Paris CCICMS Sept 27. 1951.’ written on the front.See 56106 and 56120 for papers and correspondence ..., 1951-1952 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXX. 1950-1953.ff. 1-273. Volume includes articles prepared for publications as indicated:‘The Morphology and Motility of Proteus Vulgaris and Other Organisms Cultured in the Presence of Penicillin’, (A. Voureka, J. R. H. Kramer ..., 1950-1953 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. LXXXV. 31 May-3 Sept. 1947.ff. ii + 44. 157 x 96mm. Notebook with limp cover of blue patterned design. Journal has ‘West Dean, Copenhagen and Strathpepper 1947’ written on the front.See 56117 for papers and correspondence relatin... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXII. 1950-Feb.1952.ff. 1-291. Volume includes:William Hoffman TrustSecond International Congress on AntibioticsAmerican College Chest Physicians Gold MedalAll Pakistan Medical ConferenceRectorship, University of Edinburghinclude... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. VIII. 1924-1944.ff. 1-257. Papers and correspondence include:Emergency Public Health Laboratory ServiceInternational Society for MicrobiologyJohn Scott MedalKnighthoodMedical Research CouncilMinistry of HealthRoyal Institute of P..., 1924-1944 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XIV. Oct. 1949-Dec. 1950.ff. 1-233. Papers and correspondence include:Addingham MedalDublin, Jan. and July 1950Fiftieth Anniversary of the Nobel PrizeHonorary degree, University of IrelandJules Bordet Jubilee CommitteeMilan, June... British Library
referencedIn Selman A. Waksman Papers, 1915-1960 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Vol. CXCVI (ff. 379). 7-19 Apr. 1825.includes:f. 1 Lieutenant Charles Blood, RN: Letters to Sir R. Peel: 1822, 1825.f. 3 Francis Atterbury Goulden: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1824-1825.f. 4 Herbert Taylor, Lieutenant -General 1825; GCB 18... British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXIX. 1946-1949.ff. 1-257. Volume includes articles prepared for publications as indicated:‘The Assay of Penicillin in the days before it was Concentrated’, Bulletin of the Health Organisation, League of Nations, 12 (1946)Interna..., 1946-1949 British Library
referencedIn Payne, Hugh G. Hugh G. Payne/Alexander Fleming papers, 1950-1971. Museum of the Great Plains
referencedIn PAPERS RELATING TO PENICILLIN. Letters collected by Dr Harold T. Swan from former colleagues and students of Alexander Fleming, together with his notes on the correspondence; 1987-1995. Also included are lectures notes from 1938-1939 taken by Dr Geo..., 1987-1995 British Library
creatorOf Fleming, Alexander, 1881-1955. Letter. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Sir Alexander Fleming photograph collection, 1949-1954. Museum of the Great Plains
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XX. 1948.ff. 1-201. Volume includes:Académie SeptrentrionaleAcademy of Medicine, BarcelonaRoyal Academy of Medicine, SevilleGrand Cross of Alphonso X el Sabioincludes:ff. 1-3 Association of Clinical Pathologists: Reply to guest..., 1948 British Library
referencedIn Hand, Augustus Noble, 1869-1954. Autograph letters, 1909-1953. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERSCorrespondence, notebooks and papers of Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist and discoverer of penicillin (d. 1955); 1901-1957. The papers consist of correspondence, journals, scientific notebooks, publications, lectures, speeches and..., 1901-1957 British Library
creatorOf FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XXXI. 1954-1955, n.d.ff. 1-172. Volume includes articles prepared for publications as indicated:SulphonamidesStreptothrixWright Fleming InstituteChemotherapyincludes:ff. 1-6 John Ramsbottom, mycologist: A. Fleming's review of '..., 1954-1955 British Library
referencedIn FLEMING PAPERS. Vol. XV. 1951-1952.ff. 1-233. Papers and correspondence include:All Pakistan Medical Conference, April 1951Council for the Coordination of International Congresses of Medical Sciences (CCICMS)Greece, Nov. 1952Rectorship, University of..., 1951-1952 British Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bryner, Ulrich R., 1902- person
associatedWith Chain, Ernst Boris, 1906-1979 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
spouseOf Fleming, Amalia Voureka, active 1901-1957, wife of Sir Alexander Fleming person
associatedWith Florey, Howard, Baron Florey, 1898-1968 person
memberOf Great Britain. Army. Royal Army Medical Corps corporateBody
associatedWith Hand, Augustus Noble, 1869-1954. person
associatedWith Harold Thomas Swan person
associatedWith Payne, Hugh G. person
honoredBy Royal college of surgeons of England corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf St Mary's Hospital Medical School corporateBody
employeeOf St Mary's Hospital Medical School corporateBody
employeeOf St Mary's Hospital, Paddington corporateBody
honoredBy St Mary's Hospital, Paddington corporateBody
associatedWith Swan, H. T. (Harold T.) person
employeeOf University of Edinburgh. corporateBody
employeeOf University of London. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf University of Westminster corporateBody
correspondedWith Waksman, Selman A. (Selman Abraham), 1888-1973. person
associatedWith Wright, Almroth, 1861-1947 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Darvel SCT GB
London ENG GB


Birth 1881-08-06

Death 1955-03-11




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