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Guide to the manuscript papers of British scientists: N, O

 

ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS

The collections described in this guide have been catalogued by the CSAC at Oxford and the NCUACS at the University of Bath, and subsequently deposited in libraries and archives throughout the UK.  Inclusion in this guide does not imply that collections will be available for research. There are restrictions on access to items in a number of the collections and researchers should always consult the appropriate repository before planning a visit.  

 

New.  Most of the catalogues compiled by the Unit can now be viewed online through the Access to Archives website at the Public Record Office.  Direct links to the catalogues are being (gradually) added from this Guide.  To view the full-text catalogue, please click on the link under Finding Aid.  Note, some catalogues are very extensive and may take a few moments to download.  An indication of the size of the file is provided.

 

NEEDHAM, Dorothy Mary Moyle (1896-1987), biochemist.

NEEDHAM, Joseph (1900-1995), biochemist and historian of science.   

NEEDHAM, Joseph (1900-1995), biochemist and historian of science. Papers and correspondence relating to chemical and biological warfare.

NORRISH, Ronald George Wreyford (1887-1978), chemist.

OGSTON, Alexander George (1911-1996), physical biochemist.

OWEN, Sir William Leonard (1897-1971), civil and mechanical engineer.

OXFORD ENZYME GROUP (1968-1990)

 

Needham, Dorothy Mary Moyle, 1896-1987. Biochemist.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0271 GCPP Needham

Repository:

Library, Girton College, Cambridge.

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Dorothy Mary Moyle Needham, 1896-1987.

Dates of creation of material:

1907-1988.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

36 boxes

CONTEXT

Biographical history:

Dorothy Mary Moyle was born in London on 22 September 1896. She was educated at Claremont College, Stockport, St Hilary's School, Alderley Edge and Girton College, Cambridge. She passed Part II of the Natural Sciences Tripos, specialising in chemistry, in 1919 and began research with F.G. Hopkins at the Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry, Cambridge. In 1924 Dorothy Moyle married Joseph Needham, a fellow worker in Hopkins's laboratory. She continued research, undertaking important work on carbohydrate metabolism in muscle. From 1930 to 1940 she was involved in pioneering work on the part played by ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) in the contraction of muscle. In 1940 Dorothy Needham joined the chemical defence research group led by Malcolm Dixon and this was followed by a period in China where Joseph Needham was Scientific Counsellor at the British Embassy in Chungking. After the war she returned to Cambridge to research on enzyme biochemistry, retiring from active research in 1963 to work on her book Machina Carnis: the biochemistry of muscular contraction in its historical development, published in 1971. In recognition of her work in Cambridge she was elected to the Fellowship of three Cambridge colleges: Girton, Lucy Cavendish and Gonville and Caius, where she was the first woman to be admitted to the Fellowship.

Needham was elected FRS in 1948. She died in 1987.

Custodial history:

Original material received for cataloguing in 1990 from Dr Joseph Needham via Girton College, Cambridge.

CONTENT HISTORY

Scope and content summary:

Original material: Although by no means comprehensive, the papers provide documentation of many aspects of her life and career. There are extensive personal and biographical records, especially correspondence from friends and relatives, including a sequence of letters from her husband during his visits abroad, 1967-1986, and material documenting Dorothy Needham's involvement with a wide range of charitable, humanitarian and political causes. There is also correspondence relating to the terms and conditions of support for her work in Cambridge, 1949-1955. Other items of personal interest include a hand-written and illustrated poem by F.G. Hopkins celebrating her marriage to Joseph Needham in 1924. There is little research material but Dorothy Needham's lectures in Cambridge (and wartime China) are represented and there is very substantial documentation for Machina Carnis and for a ¡®Sourcebook for the history of biochemistry¡¯ unfinished at her death. Scientific correspondence is not extensive and Dorothy Needham's own letters are often only represented by rough manuscript drafts.

First supplementary material: Documentation relating to the foundation of two Cambridge women's colleges - New Hall in 1954 and Lucy Cavendish in 1965. Needham was closely involved in the establishment of both through her membership of the Third Foundation Association and the Society of Women Members of the Regent House who are not Fellows of Colleges. There is a sequence of notebooks covering the period 1914-1962 which includes many undergraduate notebooks from her studies for the Natural Sciences Tripos at Girton College, Cambridge, 1915-1919. There is also further material relating to her book Machina Carnis.

Second supplementary material: The papers include biographical and personal material from Dorothy Needham's time in China, 1944-1945, with the Sino-British Science Cooperation Office, of which her husband Joseph Needham was Director. There is also a little personal correspondence, material relating to a number of the appeals and campaigns with which she was associated, and photographs. There are very slight additions to the material in the earlier deposits relating to Cambridge University and publications and lectures. Visits and conferences material is principally a sequence of travel diaries spanning the period 1944-1977. They are in the form of notebooks - or loose pages from same - used for recording, usually in some detail, travel, institutions visited, contacts made and personal observations on food, social activities etc. There is also a little additional material relating to other visits and conferences 1948-1972. Scientific correspondence is chiefly the contents of Needham's folder of ¡®Notes concerning published papers and letters¡¯ which includes correspondence from L. H. Stickland, Jean Hanson and Lou[?is Rapkine].

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Biographical and personal, Cambridge University, Notebooks, Lectures and publications, Visits and conferences, Correspondence, Non-print material. Index of correspondents.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE

Access:

Most of the College's collections are available for consultation by scholars, free of charge.  There are some restrictions in force among the personal papers where people are still living. Other material may have limited access as a condition of bequest or in deference to the interests of concerned third parties.

Intending readers must make an appointment with the Archivist before visiting Girton College and should bring with them proof of identity and a letter of introduction.

Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. The Archive is not open at weekends. The Archive is closed over Christmas and New Year, at Easter and during the Library's annual period of closure in August.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogues of the papers and correspondence of Dorothy Mary Moyle Needham: NCUACS catalogue no. 22/7/90, 58 pp, NCUACS catalogue no. 37/5/92, 21 pp and NCUACS catalogue no. 62/5/96, 20 pp.  Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath. Links to catalogues: 22/7/90 (136k bytes), 37/5/92 (37k bytes) and 62/5/96 (48k bytes).

ALLIED MATERIALS

In other repositories:

Material relating to Dorothy Needham may also be found in the papers and correspondence of Joseph Needham, whose papers are in Cambridge University Library.

Finding aid: NCUACS catalogue no.54/3/95, 505 pp.

 

Needham, Joseph, 1900-1995. Biochemist.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0012 CUL Needham papers

Repository:

Cambridge University Library.

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Joseph Needham, 1900-1995.

Dates of creation of material:

1871-1995.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

Original material: 158 boxes, ca 3500 items.
Supplementary material: 68 boxes, ca 2000 items.

CONTEXT:

Biographical history:

Needham was born in London on 9 December 1900, the son of Joseph Needham (1852-1920) and Alicia Adelaide Needham, n¨¦e Montgomery (1863-ca 1940). His father was a London doctor specialising in anaesthesia and his mother achieved some fame as a pianist and a composer of songs. Joseph Needham was educated at Oundle School 1914-1918 and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1918-1922 where he studied for the Natural Sciences Tripos, specialising in physiology with biochemistry as a subsidiary subject. Needham then went on to postgraduate research in the Cambridge Biochemistry Department under F.G.Hopkins. He held a Benn Levy Studentship 1922-1924, studying the biochemistry of inositol. He was elected a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College in 1924 and in the same year married Dorothy Mary Moyle (1896-1987), a fellow researcher in the Biochemistry Department who achieved scientific distinction in her own right (FRS 1948). Needham was appointed University Demonstrator in Biochemistry in 1928 and in 1933 succeeded J.B.S. Haldane as Sir William Dunn Reader in Biochemistry. He held this post until 1966 when he became Master of Gonville and Caius College. He retired from the Mastership in 1976.

Needham's early biochemical research focused on embryology. He studied the development of a complex and sophisticated organism with specialised organs from a single fertilised egg-cell. In his three volume book Chemical Embryology published in 1931, Needham explained embryological development as a chemical process, rejecting the view that such development was caused by an undefined vital spark. He then extended this work with research into various aspects of morphology, culminating in his 1942 book Biochemistry and Morphogenesis. As well as these two books, Needham produced three other major books on biochemistry and numerous scientific papers. He combined this high rate of productivity in biochemistry with a prolific output of articles on religious, political and philosphical subjects. Many of these were subsequently republished in Needham's four collections of articles and essays The sceptical biologist (1929), The Great Amphibium (1931), Time the refreshing river (1943) and History is on our side (1946). Needham also gave many lectures, likewise on philosophical, religious and political subjects as well as those of purely biochemical interest. Of particular note are the 1935 Terry Lectures on 'Order and Life' delivered at Yale University, and his Herbert Spencer lecture 'Integrative levels; a revaluation of the idea of Progress' at Oxford, May 1937. In addition to his contributions to Cambridge biochemistry Needham was an important figure in the establishment of the history of science as an academic discipline at the university. He was a founder member of the Cambridge History of Science Lectures Committee in 1936 and after the Second World War served on the History of Science Committee and the History and Philosophy of Science Committee until 1971. Needham was also a leading figure in International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science. He served on the Council of the Division of the History of Science 1969-1977 (President 1972-1974) and was President of the Union 1972-1975.

Needham's interest in China was awakened by Chinese students at Cambridge from the mid 1930s. He began to learn Mandarin Chinese and study Chinese history, particularly the Chinese contribution to science which he believed was overlooked by western historians. Needham also became an enthusiastic supporter of British academic assistance to Chinese universities. He and Dorothy Needham volunteered to go to China to help in the reconstruction of academic science there. The outbreak of war in Europe set back their plans but in 1942 Needham went to China as Head of the British Scientific Mission and later Scientific Counsellor to H.B.M. Embassy at Chungking (then the 'acting-capital' of China). He also acted as advisor to various arms of the Chinese government and military. Under the auspices of the British Council Needham established the Sino-British Science Cooperation Office (SBSCO). The SBSCO was responsible for assessing the needs of Chinese scientific, technological and medical institutions and researchers, and facilitating the supply of equipment and medicines, books and journals to China. Needham was Director of the SBSCO and Dorothy Needham was Associate Director.

The success of the SBSCO was the immediate inspiration for Needham's vision of postwar international science co-operation. With the form of the future United Nations organisation under intense discussion Needham sent three memoranda to a wide range of political and scientific leaders pressing for the inclusion of scientific co-operation under its auspices. He argued that the proposed United Nations Educational and Cultural Organisation should include science within its remit and he may have been the first to use the abbreviation 'UNESCO'. In 1946 Needham left the SBSCO and was appointed the first Director of the Section of Natural Sciences of UNESCO, serving for two years. On his return to Cambridge in 1948 Needham began work on his new project - a history of the contribution of China to science and civilisation. This monumental work was to occupy Needham for most of the rest of his life; the first volume of Science and Civilisation in China appeared in 1954 and by his death it had run to sixteen volumes. This immense work of scholarship found a permanent home with the later establishment in Cambridge of the Needham Research Institute as a centre for research on Chinese science.

Needham's political sympathies lay very much with the Left. He was a member of the Labour party and in the 1930s served on the executive committee of the university branch. Needham was also an active member of the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group, which campaigned against militarism. From 1937 to 1939 Needham served as Treasurer of the Cornford-Maclaurin Memorial Committee, set up in memory of two Cambridge men killed fighting with the International Brigade to raise funds for the republican cause in Spain. On the outbreak of the Second World War he participated in discussions among Communist party members and others on the Left as to whether they should support the British war effort and after the German attack on the USSR in 1941 was active in promoting Anglo-Soviet Friendship until his departure for China. After the war Needham supported peace and disarmament campaigns and organisations seeking to further international understanding. His strong sympathies for China led to his being a founder of the Britain-China Friendship Association, of which he was President, and its successor the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, of which he was Chairman. In 1952 Needham served on an international scientific commission investigating alleged American use of bacteriological weapons in North Korea and China. The commission's report concluded that the US had indeed been using such weapons and this resulted in intense criticism of him in Britain (see NCUACS 55/4/95, Needham, Joseph, papers and correspondence relating to chemical and biological warfare). He opposed the Vietnam war and this led him to refuse invitations to conferences or to lecture in the USA during the 1960s and early 1970s. He was also much concerned for human rights and civil liberties, both at home and abroad, and believed strongly in the social responsibility of the scientist.

Needham was a religious man. From his student days he was a high church Anglican but combined this with a commitment to social justice. In the 1930s Needham was active in propagating a highly political Christianity emphasising its closeness to Marxism. He was a member of the ad hoc editorial board behind the controversial book Christianity and the social revolution (1935), to which he also contributed a chapter 'Laud, the Levellers and the Virtuosi'. This and writings such as The Levellers and the English revolution (1939), published under the name 'Henry Holorenshaw', linked radical Christianity of the seventeenth century with the politics of the twentieth century. Needham was also drawn to Daoism, which he believed offered hope of reconciliation between science and religion. This concern also led to his Presidency of the Teilhard de Chardin Centre for the Future of Mankind. His religious outlook notwithstanding, Needham was also an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association.

Needham was elected FRS in 1941 and FBA in 1971 one of the very few to obtain this double distinction. In 1992 he was appointed a Companion of Honour. Needham died in 1995, outliving both Dorothy Needham, who died in 1987, and his second wife Gwei-Djen Lu, whom he had married in 1989 but who died in 1991.

Custodial history:

Original material: Received from Cambridge University Library in September 1992.
Supplementary material: Received from the Needham Research Institute in July 1996

CONTENT HISTORY:

Scope and content summary:

Biographical papers are the largest component. Needham's childhood and school-days are represented chiefly by correspondence with his parents and his period as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Cambridge is documented by correspondence with his mother and material concerning his religious activities, including some of his religious writings. His later career is less well documented, although there is material relating to his election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1941. Needham inherited the papers of his mother. These include her autobiography, her diaries covering the period 1879-1924, manuscripts of her musical compositions and an extensive correspondence, 1877-1921. There is also a little material relating to Needham's father and maternal grandfather. Family material also includes papers of his cousin Elizabeth Montgomery Wilson, a nurse who served in the 1899-1902 South African War, including photographs, letters and memorabilia from her time in South Africa.

Papers relating to Needham's career at Cambridge document the Department of Biochemistry and the establishment of the history of science. The bulk of the material relates to the Department of Biochemistry, especially funding of research, visitors to the Department and Needham's lectures on biochemistry to postgraduates in the 1950s and 1960s. Also of interest is material relating to the co-ordination of wartime biological and biochemical research in Cambridge. History of science developments are documented by papers of the History of Science Lectures Committee 1936-1937 and, postwar, the History of Science Committee and the History and Philosophy of Science Committee. There are records of Needham's undergraduate studies and research work in biochemistry and embryology to his departure for China in 1942, including undergraduate notebooks used for notes on lectures by Hopkins, H. Hartridge, R.A. Peters and J. Barcroft, and research notebooks, 1921-1943. The research notebooks are particularly striking for the high quality of information they present, usually identifying the nature of the experiment and its date and often with annotations on why results of particular experiments were not as expected, what might have gone wrong and how this might be remedied.

Needham's Sino-British Science Co-operation Office (SBSCO) papers includes correspondence on the origins of the China mission, chiefly relating to the Needhams' support for Chinese academics and students 1939-1942 and arrangements for Needham's journey to China in 1942, and correspondence from Needham's time in China and later correspondence arising from the contacts he made there. There are also Needham's manuscript notes on his visits to very many scientific, medical and educational institutions throughout China, drafts for lectures - frequently delivered in association with his visits to various institutions, detailed reports of travels within China for the British Council, and publications arising from his work, including accounts for Nature and material relating to his book Science Outpost describing the work of the SBSCO. The UNESCO material documents his role in the establishment of the organisation; from an early date Needham kept material he believed would be of historical significance, particularly that relating to his memoranda on postwar international science co-operation and the creation of UNESCO. There is also extensive material relating to his Directorship of the Section of Natural Sciences 1946-1948, papers of the UNESCO General Conference and the UNESCO Executive, and papers of the Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind project.

Publications material is extensive but chiefly relates to Needham's pre-war and wartime publications. It includes drafts of many of his scientific papers and books and his writings on philosophical, religious and political themes. His philosophical monograph Man a Machine (1927) and his two most significant biochemistry books Chemical Embryology and Biochemistry and Morphogenesis are well documented. Political writings represented are his article 'Laud, the Levellers and the Virtuosi', published in Christianity and the social revolution, and The Levellers and the English revolution. There is also good documentation of the The sceptical biologist and The Nazi Attack on International Science (1941), and his two final collections of articles Time the refreshing river and History is on our side. Material documenting Needham's public and invitation lectures on scientific, philosophical, political and religious subjects, 1921-1977, includes Terry Lectures at Yale and the Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford. There is a little material relating to broadcasts, including a BBC radio talk on 'Recent advances in medical science', transmitted from Glasgow, 19 August 1923.

Visits and conferences reflecting Needham's biochemical, political and religious concerns are documented 1920-1984. These include a 1941 visit to the USA, which combined scientific engagements with lectures on the position of science in Europe, with particular emphasis on the damage to scholarship caused by the Nazis, the 220th Anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in June 1945, the First International Congress of Biochemistry, Cambridge, August 1949, his visit to the USA March - May 1950 as the Hitchcock Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the First Congress of Polish Science, Warsaw, 1951. Needham's involvement with 44 British and international societies and organisations is documented. Material relating to scientific societies is disappointing, perhaps of most interest being papers of the Theoretical Biology Club, an informal gathering of biologists and others established by J.H. Woodger in 1932 to discuss philosophical implications of developments in the biological sciences. Needham's international outlook is illustrated in the extensive documentation of his chairmanship of the Commission on the University of Ceylon in 1958. Other societies and organisations for which there is substantial material include the Louis Rapkine Memorial Fund Appeal, the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science.

Needham's wide-ranging and active involvement in politics of the Left is well documented including the Labour party in Cambridge in the mid-1930s, Dorothy Needham's campaigns as a Labour party candidate for Cambridge City Council in 1935 and 1936, and the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group. There are also comprehensive records of fund-raising for the Cornford-Maclaurin Memorial Committee. For the postwar period both the Britain-China Friendship Association and its successor the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding are documented, especially the response of these organisations to the border dispute between India and China, the ideological conflict between China and the USSR and the Cultural Revolution. There is also material relating to Needham's continuing concerns about human rights abuses worldwide, civil liberties, academic freedom and the role of the scientist as political activist. His religious and philosophical concerns are represented by documentation of various religious and humanist organisations including the Teilhard Centre for the Future of Man, and religious and philosophical literature, much of which is concerned with the relationship between science and religion.

There is significant scientific correspondence, an alphabetical sequence of principal correspondents including J.L.A. Brachet, J.K.F. Holtfreter, B. Marza, C.H. Waddington and J. H. Woodger and a chronological sequence of shorter correspondence, 1920-1987. Needham's interests in the history of Chinese science and civilisation are represented by correspondence with British and international orientalists, 1946-1975, kept together by Needham as a separate sequence.  

Supplementary material

The supplementary papers present additional biographical material relating to his university studies, his subsequent career, honour and awards and his family, in particular his mother A.A. Needham and his second wife Lu Gwei-Djen.  There is a complete sequence of diaries 1933-1995, documentation of a number of interests including the Cambridge Morris Men and folk dance, and many photographs.  There is further material relating to Cambridge University, the SBSCO and UNESCO and research notes and drafts, predominantly from the period 1929-1930s.  Publications material is extensive, particularly for pre-war and wartime publications and includes not only documentation for scientific papers and books but also his writings on philosophical and historical themes.  There is some material relating to lectures on scientific and religious topics, 1928-1990 and a chronological sequence of visits and conferences material, 1931-1988.  Societies and organisations documented include the Cambridge Museum of Technology (Chairman of Trustees 1968-1991) and Collet¡¯s Holdings Ltd, of which Needham was a director.  Needham¡¯s postwar involvement in the politics of the Left is further documented including his concern with peace and nuclear disarmament and his international outlook which naturally focuses on China.  There is extensive documentation of Needham¡¯s religious concerns including a chronological sequence of sermons and addresses, 1961-1987, documentation of his association with the Teilhard Centre and Thaxted Parish Church and material assembled by Needham relating to Christianity in China.  Although there is extensive correspondence throughout the collection there is also a correspondence section which presents a sequence of longer exchanges arranged alphabetically and a sequence of shorter correspondence and single letters presented chronologically, 1923-1994.  The great bulk of the chronological sequence dates from the last twenty-five years of Needham¡¯s life and reflects his religious, political and history of science interests as well as including news of the principal events of his personal life.

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Biographical, Cambridge, Sino-British Science Cooperation Office, UNESCO, Research, Publications, Lectures and broadcasts, Visits and conferences, Societies and organisations, Politics, Religion and society, Correspondence. Index of correspondents.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE:

Access:

Access to holders of full Reader's Tickets for Cambridge University Library.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogues of the papers and correspondence of Joseph Needham: NCUACS catalogue no. 54/3/95, 505 pp and NCUACS supplementary catalogue no. 81/2/99, 266 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath. Links to catalogues 54/3/95 vol 1 (660k bytes), 54/3/95 vol 2 (850k bytes) and 81/2/99 (805k bytes). 

ALLIED MATERIALS:

In same repository:

Private papers, 36 boxes, closed until 50 years after Needham's death.

In other repositories:

Papers relating to Needham's Mastership of Gonville and Caius College 1966-1976 are held by the College Archives.

Papers relating to Needham's work on Science and Civilisation in China are held at the Needham Research Institute, Sylvester Road, Cambridge.

Papers and correspondence relating to chemical and biological warfare, 1952-1989 held in the Imperial War Museum, London.

Papers and correspondence of Dorothy Needham are held in the Library, Girton College, Cambridge.

 

Needham, Joseph, 1900-1995. Biochemist. Papers and correspondence relating to chemical and biological warfare.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0062 95/10/5

Repository:

Department of Documents, Imperial War Museum, London.

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Joseph Needham (1900-1995) relating to chemical and biological warfare.

Dates of creation of material:

1952-1989.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

5 boxes.

CONTEXT:

Biographical history:

See above.

Custodial history:

The material was placed in the Department of Documents, Imperial War Museum by Joseph Needham in 1992, as a result of arrangements following an oral history interview in 1987.  It was received for cataloguing in Department of Documents in December 1993 from the Imperial War Museum and the catalogued material returned in 1995.

CONTENT HISTORY:

Scope and content summary:

The papers relate to Needham's service as a member of the World Peace Council sponsored 1952 International Scientific Commission investigation of alleged United States use of bacteriological warfare in North Korea and north east China during the Korean War, and subsequent material relating to the findings of the Commission and to chemical and biological warfare generally.

Arrangement:

The material is not sectionalised. See Scope and content above.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE:

Access:

The Department of Documents is, subject to the discretion of the Keeper, open to all members of the public over the age of 15.  Access to some collections is governed by special conditions which readers are bound to observe.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogue of papers and correspondence of Joseph Needham relating to chemical and biological warfare: NCUACS catalogue no. 55/4/95, 32 pp.  Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath. Link to catalogue (70k bytes)

ALLIED MATERIALS:

In same repository:

Books on chemical and biological warfare donated by Needham to the Imperial War Museum are held by the Department of Printed Books.

In other repositories:

Papers and correspondence, 1871-1995, were deposited in Cambridge University Library.

 

Norrish, Ronald George Wreyford, 1897-1978. Chemist.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0012 CUL Add. MS 8370

Repository:

Cambridge University Library.

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, 1897-1978.

Dates of creation of material:

ca 1912-1981.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

1 box

CONTEXT

Biographical history:

Norrish was born in Cambridge and educated at the Perse School, 1908-1915, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he read for the Natural Sciences Tripos, 1919-1921, specialising in chemistry for Part II. During the First World War he saw service in the Royal Field Artillery in Ireland and France and spent six months as a prisoner of war in Germany. In 1921 he began his research career in Cambridge under E.K. Rideal (q.v.) and remained there for the rest of his career. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1924 and elected to a Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College the same year. He became University Demonstrator in Physical Chemistry in 1926 and H.O. Jones Lecturer in Physical Chemistry two years later. He was Professor of Physical Chemistry, 1937-1965. His research was mainly on various aspects of photochemistry. He was elected FRS in 1936 (Davy Medal 1958, Bakerian Lecture 1966) and in 1967 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (with Manfred Eigen and George Porter) for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equilibrium by means of very short pulses of energy.

Custodial history:

Received in 1982 from Sir Frederick Dainton and Professor B.A. Thrush, Royal Society memorialists.

CONTENT HISTORY

Scope and content summary:

This small group of papers represents all that survives of the manuscript records of this distinguished chemist and Nobel Prize winner. It consists of correspondence received by Dainton and Thrush while they were working on the Royal Society memoir of Norrish, a few school and undergraduate diaries and notebooks, and some rather miscellaneous notes, drafts and correspondence. These include a complete draft for a very early (1922) unpublished paper 'Colour and Atomic Constitution ...' and some notes on disassociation which illustrate the basis of much of Norrish's classical photochemical work in the 1930s. The correspondence owes its survival to chance rather than merit and in any case is very sparse, although there are a few letters which reflect on Cambridge chemistry in the early 1900s.

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Biographical and personal, Diaries and notebooks, Notes, drafts and lectures, Correspondence. Index of correspondents.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE

Access:

Access to holders of full Reader's Tickets for Cambridge University Library

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Ronald George Wreyford Norrish: CSAC catalogue no. 86/4/82, 9 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

ALLIED MATERIALS

In other repositories:

Norrish's school chemistry set is in the Science Museum, London.

 

Ogston, Alexander George, 1911-1996. Physical biochemist.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0161 A.G. Ogston papers

Repository:

Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Alexander George Ogston, 1911-1996.

Dates of creation of material:

1933-1986.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

12 + 1 boxes.

CONTEXT

Biographical history:

Ogston was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. Apart from a period as Freedom Research Fellow at the London Hospital, he spent most of his career at Oxford, being appointed Demonstrator (1938) and Reader (1955) in Biochemistry, and Fellow and Tutor in Physical Chemistry at Balliol (1937). In 1959 he took up an appointment as Professor of Physical Biochemistry at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, Canberra where he remained until 1970 when he returned to Oxford as President of Trinity College. On his retirement in 1978 he held Visiting Fellowships at the Institute for Cancer Research, Philadelphia and the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU. Ogston was elected FRS in 1955 (Davy Medal 1986).

Custodial history:

Original material received for cataloguing in 1978 and 1980 from Ogston.  Placed in Bodleian Library (gift) in 1984

Supplementary material received for cataloguing in 1988 from Ogston.  Placed in Bodleian Library (gift) in 1990

CONTENT HISTORY

Scope and content summary:

The papers are not extensive, probably because of the period in Australia. They consist almost entirely of research notes and related correspondence arranged by topic. Ogston's main research interests included the thermodynamics of biological systems, particularly in relation to connective tissue, and the use of physico-chemical methods to study the size, weight and structure of molecules. Also represented is the important 'three-point attachment' contribution to stereochemistry. There is little biographical material or personal correspondence.

The supplementary papers provide documentation of some of Ogston's later scientific research, including research initiated on visits to Uppsala in September 1977 and the Institute of Cancer Research, Philadelphia, 1978-1979. There are also correspondence, notes and a draft paper with H.A. Krebs (q.v.) on the use of isotopic labels to measure the rate of gluconeogenesis, 1977-1980.

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Biographical and personal, Scientific research, Correspondence.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE

Access:

Entry permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card or an Oxford University Card displaying the Bodleian logo. All
applicants for new or replacement cards must apply in person, with a recommendation and payment if required, and with
proof of their identity.

Some items not available from 30 years from date of writing.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogues of the papers and correspondence of Alexander George Ogston: CSAC catalogue no. 98/2/84, 35 pp and NCUACS supplementary catalogue no. 24/9/90, 6 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

 

Owen, Sir William Leonard, 1897-1971.  Knight.  Engineer.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0141 D.88

Repository:

Department of Special Collections and Archives, Sydney Jones Library, Univeristy of Liverpool

Title:

Papers and correspondence of Sir William Leonard Owen, 1897-1971.

Dates of creation of material:

1946-1971.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

3 archive boxes (ca 5in x 10.75 in x 15.5 in)

CONTEXT

Biographical history:

Owen was born in Liverpool on 3 May 1897.  He was educated at the Liverpool Collegiate School and entered the University of Liverpool in April 1919, graduating B.Eng., First Class in July 1921, B.Eng. Honours in Civl Engineering, First Class in July 1922, and M.Eng. in July 1925).  During the First World War he served with the 6th King's Liverpool Regiment, 1915-1918. He was employed by Brunner, Mond & Co., later ICI (Alkali) Ltd, 1922-1940, designing new chemical plants and additions to existing plant. He then moved to the Ministry of Supply where he remained for the rest of the Second World War as Engineering Director of the Royal Filling Factories. After the war he was appointed Director of Engineering (in 1946) and Assistant Controller (in 1947), Department of Atomic Energy Production, Ministry of Supply. He later became Managing Director, Industrial Group, Risley, in 1957 and in 1959, Member for Production, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Establishment. On retirement Owen was appointed to the boards of many companies.

He was knighted in 1957.

Custodial history:

Received for cataloguing in 1973 from Lady Owen, widow and Mr Kenneth Owen, son.

CONTENT HISTORY

Scope and content summary:

With a few exceptions, most of the papers date from the last ten years of Owen's career. There is much business and industrial correspondence, and some speeches and articles. The most notable item is the manuscript diary kept by Owen while Director of Engineering, Department of Atomic Energy Production, Ministry of Supply. This provides a virtually complete record of the first eighteen months, February 1946-August 1947, of his activity on this project.

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Biographical, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Industrial and business correspondence, Engineering institutions, Universities, Personal and social correspondence, References and testimonials, Speeches and articles. Index of principal correspondents.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE

Access:

No restrictions on access.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Sir William Leonard Owen: CSAC catalogue no. 18/12/74, 14 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

 

Oxford Enzyme Group, 1969-1989.

IDENTITY STATEMENT:

Reference code:

GB 0161 Oxford Enzyme Group papers

Repository:

Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Title:

Papers and correspondence relating to the Oxford Enzyme Group, 1969-1989.

Dates of creation of material:

1967-1990.

Level of description:

Fonds

Extent:

21 boxes.

CONTEXT

Administrative history:

The Oxford Enzyme Group (OEG) was established at Oxford University in 1969 as a consortium of researchers from different scientific disciplines who agreed to contribute a significant part of their research effort to a collaborative venture. R.E. Richards (q.v.) was the founder Chairman, 1969-1984, and D.C. Phillips, his successor, 1984-1988. The OEG was the model for the Interdisciplinary Research Centres recommended in the 1987 Advisory Board for the Research Councils report A Strategy for the Science Base, and was itself subsumed into an Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Molecular Sciences in 1989. During its twenty year existence the following Oxford departments, laboratories, or institutions included OEG members: Biochemistry, Botany, Chemical Crystallography, Clinical Biochemistry, Dyson Perrins Laboratory, Inorganic Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Physical Chemistry and Zoology.

Custodial history:

Received for cataloguing in 1987-1990 from several sources. The principal donors were Sir Rex Richards, the founder Chairman, Sir David Phillips, his successor, and Dr C.M. Dobson, the OEG's last secretary. Other members of the OEG or those connected with its history contributed smaller amounts of material or wrote their own recollections: Professor R.A. Dwek, Professor J.R. Knowles, Professor L.N. Johnson, Sir Ewart Jones and Professor R.J.P. Williams.  Placed in Bodleian Library (gift) in 1990.

CONTENT HISTORY

Scope and content summary:

The papers include documentation of the early history of the OEG, including historical recollections, preliminary ideas for enzyme research in Oxford in 1968 and papers relating to Science Research Council support for enzyme research, 1968-1969. There are records of the OEG Enzyme Preparation Laboratory and of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) work including the development of new NMR equipment with firms such as Bruker Spectrospin and Oxford Instruments. Grant applications and funding are represented by a variety of documentation from ideas for research projects through drafts and revisions of applications to the formal applications, negotiations with funding bodies and the interim and final reports. There are minute books recording OEG meetings and papers relating to membership, research strategies and accommodation especially the new Rex Richards Building. There is also documentation of the moves towards the setting up of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Molecular Sciences at Oxford, 1987-1989.

Arrangement:

By section as follows: Early history, Enzyme Preparation Laboratory, NMR Spectrometry, Grant applications and funding, Meetings, membership and research, Accommodation and buildings, Administration and finance, Reports and publications, Indisciplinary Research Centre. Index of correspondents.

CONDITIONS OF ACCESS & USE

Access:

Entry permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card or an Oxford University Card displaying the Bodleian logo. All
applicants for new or replacement cards must apply in person, with a recommendation and payment if required, and with
proof of their identity.

Language:

English

Finding aids:

Printed Catalogue of papers and correspondence relating to the Oxford Enzyme Group: NCUACS catalogue no. 18/3/90, 54 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

 

Last updated 20 December 2002. T.E.Powell@bath.ac.uk