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Chemistry Department of Imperial College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0098 KC
Held at: Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
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Full title: Chemistry Department of Imperial College
Date(s): Created 1880-1991 (ongoing)
Level of description: Series of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine records
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Extent: 23 boxes
Name of creator(s): Royal College of Science
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine


Administrative/Biographical history:

The teaching of Chemistry at Imperial College has its origins in the Royal College of Chemistry, which was established in 1845 in Hanover Square, London. In 1853 the College was incorporated with the Government School of Mines and of Science Applied to the Arts (later the Royal School of Mines). Chemistry was one of the departments to be transferred to South Kensington in 1872.
In 1881 the Royal College of Chemistry and the Royal School of Mines joined to form the Royal College of Science. In 1907 both became constituent colleges of the Imperial College of Science and Technology. A postgraduate Department of Chemical Technology was formed in 1912 as part of the Royal College of Science. In 1927 Chemical Engineering became a sub-department of Chemical Technology, along with Fuel Technology and Electrothermics. By 1940 Chemical Engineering had transferred to the City and Guilds College, to form a new department along with Applied Physical Chemistry.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Department of Chemistry of Imperial College, 1880-1991, including articles, press cuttings, reminiscences of old students, 1912-1991; regulations, 1901-1925; examination papers, 1886-1972; correspondence concerning equipment and test certificates, 1905-1933; notebooks of students' laboratory work, 1890-1903; notes on advanced organic chemistry lectures, 1914-1915; practical chemistry, 1894-1896; physical chemistry lectures, 1905; inorganic chemistry, 1894-1895; correspondence of staff, including Professor Sir William Augustus Tilden, 1907-1909; Professor James Charles Philip, 1909-1934; Professor Sir Thomas Edward Thorpe, 1909-1921; Professor H B Baker, 1912-1932; Martha Annie Whiteley, 1918-1934; Professor Friedrich Adolf Paneth, 1933-1939; correspondence relating to departmental reorganisation, 1939, and reconstruction of advanced analytical laboratory, 1938-1939; papers relating to laboratory work, 1925-1963, including sample analysis, 1925-1963; Rectors' papers relating to the department, 1950-1981, including correspondence relating to a Rockefeller grant, 1950-1957; appointments and future of the department, 1975-1981; staff attendance book, 1909; correspondence relating to war emergencies, 1938-1961; papers, including minutes, relating to the National Joint Committee on recruitment and training of science laboratory technicians, 1951-1957; papers of the Organic Chemistry Laboratory, 1907-1921; examination lists and results, 1907-1924; annual dinner menu, 1931, and list of members, 1947, of the 31 Club; analytical laboratory students records, 1910-1925; inventories of platinum apparatus and platinum, 1920-[1967]; second and third year student records and reports, 1939, 1940 (KC);
papers relating to Agricultural Chemistry, 1880-1955, including notes on Henry Tanner's lectures, 1880; correspondence concerning the course, 1935-1955 (KCA);
papers relating to the Chemical Engineering Department, 1910-1985, including press cuttings and departmental history from 1912-1939, [1960]; departmental annual and research reports, 1926-1991; postgraduate courses, 1910-1991; Professors' records, 1945-1956; students' records, 1919-1945; lists of students, 1936-1944, 1947-1950; research assistants, 1939-1941; correspondence of staff notably Professor William Arthur Bone, 1911-1936; Professor John William Hinchley, 1919-1932; Professor Sir Alfred Egerton, 1936-1946; correspondence relating to the establishment and organisation of the department, 1911-1942; papers relating to the department building, 1911-1935, including correspondence with the architect, 1911-1914; specifications and agreements, 1913-1930; estimates and expenditure for equipment, 1911-1950; correspondence relating to the Courtauld Trust endowment for a Chair of Chemical Engineering, 1944-1959; with Radiation House relating to a fellowship, 1938-1961; Rectors' correspondence with Heads of the Department, 1957-1981; British Iron and Steel Research Association research plans and press cuttings, 1947-1966; papers relating to Health Physics (Radiation Protection) summer schools, 1960-1980 (KCT).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged in sections as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available at the College Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Accumulated by Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine during the course of business.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of the Royal College of Chemistry (C), Royal School of Mines and Royal College of Science (D), Royal College of Science (E), City and Guilds of London Institute (F), Interdisciplinary Centres and Courses (KO), records relating to the University of London (UL), held at Imperial College.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: A Centenary History, A History of the City and Guilds College, 1885 to 1985 edited by Adrian Whitworth (City and Guilds College of Imperial College of Science and Technology, [London, 1985]). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
October 2000

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