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Biographical entry Campbell, Thomas Draper (1893 - 1967)

24 March 1893
Millicent, South Australia, Australia
8 December 1967
Tusmore, South Australia, Australia
Dentist and Anthropologist


Thomas Campbell was Dental Superintendent, Adelaide Hospital and Honorary Curator in Anthropology, South Australian Museum. He lectured in dentistry 1925-1948, was Director of Dental Studies 1949-1953 and foundation professor 1954-1958 at the University of Adelaide.


Born Millicent, South Australia, 24 March 1893. Died Tusmore, 8 December 1967. Educated Dental Board of South Australia (qualified 1917), Elder Conservatorium of Music 1919 and University of Adelaide (BDS 1921, DDSc 1923). Honorary lieutenant, Australian Army Medical Corps Reserve (Dental) from 1917; house surgeon, Adelaide Hospital dental department 1921-26, superintendent from 1926; lectured in dental anatomy, University of Adelaide from 1925, dean of the faculty of dentistry 1938-58, director of dental studies 1949-54, foundation professor of dentistry from 1954. Interested in anthropology as a result of two excursions to remote parts of South Australia in the early 1920s; organised and accompanied several similar expeditions 1925-39; led a team of scientists to Yuendumu, north-west of Alice Springs 1951; directed several ethnographic films about the crafts and skills of the Yuendumu people 1951-61; investigated archaeological sites for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies 1963-65. His classification of stone tools became the typology used in Australia. Foundation member, Anthropological Society of South Australia 1926, president 1928-29 and 1944; founding member, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide

  • Thomas Draper Campbell - Records, 1925 - 1934, 301.2994/C19; Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details

South Australian Museum Archives

  • Thomas Draper Campbell - Records, 1926 - 1965, AA52; South Australian Museum Archives. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Brown, Tasman; Rogers, Ruth, 'Campbell, Thomas Draper (1893-1967), Professor of Dentistry and Anthropologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1993), pp. 361-362. Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituary: Thomas Draper Campbell [with selcected bibliography]', Records of the South Australian Museum, 15 (4) (1968), 647-670. Details
  • Edwards, R., 'Obituary: Thomas Draper Campbell (1894-1967)', Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 92 (1968), 125. Details


McCarthy, G.J.