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Andrews, Thomas (1813-1885)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0117 MS/201
Held at: Royal Society
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Full title: Andrews, Thomas (1813-1885)
Date(s): 1836-1877
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent: 8 volumes
Name of creator(s): Andrews | Thomas | 1813-1885 | chemist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1813; Education: Belfast Royal Academy; studied under Thomas Thomson (FRS 1811) at Glasgow and under Jean Baptiste Andre Dumas (For Mem RS 1840) and L J Thenard (For Mem 1824) in Paris; Trinity College, Dublin studying classics and science; Edinburgh, MD (Edinburgh); Career: Practised medicine, Belfast (1836-); Professor of Chemistry, Royal Belfast Academic Institution; gave up practice (1845); first Professor of Chemistry, Queen's College, Belfast (1845-1879); Vice-President of Queen's College, Belfast (1845); MRCSE; MRIA (1849); Fellow of the Royal Society (1849); President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1867); FRSE (1870) President, British Association (1874); declined a knighthood (1880); died, 1885.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Thomas Andrews including papers relating to his research which fell into four main fields;
(1) studies of acids and metals in electrolytic experiments; (Papers 6 to 11 and 32)
(2) the calorimetry of chemical reactions, in particular those between acids and bases, and between metals and halogens; (Papers 13 to 16, 18 to 22, 40 and the manuscripts printed as 52 and 53)
(3) the properties and constitution of ozone; (Papers 31, 33 to 35, 37 and 45)
(4) the condensation of gases to liquids at high pressures (Papers 36, 38, 41, 47, 49 and 50)
The eight volumes of manuscripts described as 'Notes of Experiments' at the Royal Society contain the laboratory records on which most of his work is based. The contents are described as far as possible in Thomas's own words from the title pages of each Book. Where the title page is uninformative then suitable headings have been chosen from the body of the notes. These title pages may have been written much later than the experiments since in 1862 there is the phrase 'critical point' which he probably invented only for his Bakerian Lecture of 1869. Some experiments or paragraph numbers are displayed on the title page of each Book. Those that are not, but are listed only on the pages themselves, are shown at the right-hand end of each line. The numbering of the experiments is again erratic; for example 376 may be followed by 277.

The reading of the notes on the experiments on the liquefaction of gases in Volumes 7 and 8 is helped by comparing them with the analysis by C.G. Knott 'Andrews' measurements of the compression of carbon dioxide and of mixtures of carbon dioxide and nitrogen' (Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 30, 1-22, 290 [1909-1910])

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The pages of the volumes are rarely numbered and the best guide to location is the date of each entry. The volumes are sub-divided into what are sometimes called 'Books'. The numbering of these in Volumes 1 and 2 is in pencil, and was probably made by Andrew's daughter Mary when the volumes were bound in Belfast after Thomas's death. There are three sequences of Books: 1-23 in Volume 1, 1-83 (with inconsistencies in the numbers) in Volumes 2 to 6, and 1 to 27 (again with inconsistencies) in Volumes 7 and 8 . In the sequence which starts in Volume 7 Thomas's numbers have been increased by one by Mary to maintain their internal continuity. One of these amendments is initialled 'M.K.A.' Mary's numbers are shown here.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to Archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

'The Scientific Papers of the late Thomas Andrews. M.D., F.R.S.' (Macmillan, London 1889).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

For the little that is known of the provenence of the papers, see J.S Rowlinson 'The work of Thomas Andrews and James Thomson on the liquefaction of gases' in 'Notes and Records of the Royal Society'.

Allied Materials

Related material:

J S Rowlinson 'The work of Thomas Andrews and James Thornton on the liqufaction of gases' in NR and 'The Scientific Papers of the late Thomas Andrews MD, FRS' (Macmillan, London, 1889).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Royal Society catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

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:
Feb 2009.

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