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Benefactors and donated collections: Morgan Thomas

A look at the major benefactors of the State Library of South Australia

Dr Morgan Thomas

About Dr Morgan Thomas

Dr Morgan Thomas (1824-1903) was born in Wales and was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He emigrated to South Australia in 1848 and had medical practices at Guichen Bay and then Nairne. He became house surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital, resident medical officer at the Lunatic Asylum, assistant colonial surgeon in 1856 and then had his own medical practice in Adelaide.

In his later years he lived in Wakefield Street and frequented the Adelaide Circulating Library and the magazine room of the then Public Library of South Australia. Known as somewhat of a recluse he had quietly made a fortune from investments in banking and public utilities. His will left the bulk of his estate of 65,000 pounds to the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery. After some debate the Library received half the bequest and the remainder was divided between the Art Gallery and Museum. Much of this bequest was used to purchase rare books for the State Library.

The laneway between the State Library and the Migration Museum is named Morgan Thomas Lane.

Dr Morgan Thomas : Australian dictionary of biography entry

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