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Category: FS – Frederick Smith Papers

These papers illustrate the career of Frederick Smith, covering his days as a student at the Royal Veterinary College (1873-1876), as a veterinary officer for the cavalry in India (1879-1885), as professor at the Army Veterinary School, Aldershot, and then returning to service, rising through the ranks during the Second Anglo-Boer War until joining the War Office during the First World War. Papers relating to this work include official correspondence, case notes, diaries and research data. Smith contributed a great deal of literature to the veterinary profession, with papers regularly published in journals from 1876 until the year of his death. The papers include research notes and data, extracts from other sources, drafts and proofs, and published copies of the articles.
Smith’s research and publications covered a broad scope, but there were particular interests in horse anatomy and physiology; stable hygiene and nutrition; saddlery; the loss of horses in war; and the eye and foot of the horse. Smith was also concerned with veterinary education and the reputation and status of the veterinary profession as a whole, and this is reflected in his correspondence with his peers.
There is very little information regarding Smith’s personal and family life within the collection. Some mention is made in Smith’s autobiography, but these papers are wholly concerned with Smith’s professional life and activities.

We currently have digitised parts of the correspondence series of this collection, they are available below. We will be adding to this periodically so follow us on social media or check this space again to find out what new content has been added. For more information on the Frederick Smith papers please click on the archive catalogue link at the bottom of this page.

5 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 5 Jan 1898

In this letter Galton writes with feedback for Smith’s draft paper ‘Relation between the Weight of a Horse and its Weight-carrying Power’. Galton suggests that if Smith wants to submit it to the Royal Society, it will need to be shorter. He also mentions that his own article ‘Measurements of Horses by Photography’ will soon appear in ‘Nature’,…

6 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 7 Jan 1898

In this letter Galton sends Smith a copy of his article ‘Photographic Measurement of Horses and other animals’, which was published in ‘Nature’ 6 Jan 1898. The article is enclosed.

7 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 13 Jan 1898

In this letter Galton thanks Smith, and returns his results from measurements. He comments on his method, and mentions learning from Captain Hayes about a possible improvement for measuring ‘fidgety’ horses…

8 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 18 Jan 1898

In this letter Galton writes in response to Smith asking about the height of the brisket (chest) of the horse. He also writes about the suggestion from a friend that…

9 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 26 Jan 1898

In this letter, Galton writes regarding Smith’s paper submitted to the Royal Society. He also asks about the use of a rope stretched across in front of a horse when photographed to aid measurement. Galton has made illustrative sketches in the letter…

10 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 28 Jan 1898

In this letter Galton writes to congratulate Smith on his medal. He mentions that he is ill in bed, and will write further when back at work.

11 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 12 Feb 1898

In this letter, Galton writes that he is well enough to continue work, and suggests alterations to the method of photographing horses for measurement…

12 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 15 Feb 1898

In this letter Galton sends some enclosed notes on Smith’s paper on the weight-carrying power of the horse. He writes that he is not an expert on the subject, but suspects the paper is not suitable for the Royal Society…

13 – Postcard to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 16 Feb 1898

On this postcard, Galton writes to clarify a point he made in his last letter.

14 – Postcard to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 17 Feb 1898

On this postcard, Galton writes with suggestions for Smith’s paper. He thanks Smith for his help, and writes that he has more photographs made by a friend.