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PERCY, John (1817-1889)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 378 LDGSL/914
Held at: Geological Society of London
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Full title: PERCY, John (1817-1889)
Date(s): 1864-1888
Level of description: Item
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): PERCY | John | 1817-1889 | metallurgist


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Percy was born in Nottingham on 23 March 1817, the son of a solicitor. Initially studying medicine in Paris and Edinburgh, followed by being elected physician in Birmingham, he became increasingly interested in chemistry, specifically metallurgy.

He gave up medicine in 1851 to lecture in metallurgy at the newly established Royal School of Mines, Jermyn Street, remaining there until the School moved to South Kensington in 1879. He wrote on many subjects, including medical science and social and political issues, as well as metallurgy. Intending to produce the first comprehensive work on metallurgy in English, he published four volumes between 1861 and 1880, but the work remained unfinished. He was highly regarded in his field, receiving awards such as the Bessemer medal from the Iron and Steel Institute (now IOM3) and the Albert Medal from the Royal Society of Arts, which was conferred on him two days before his death.

He became a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1851, serving on the Society's Council between 1853 and 1856, and died on 19 June 1889.


Scope and content/abstract:

Scrapbook of cuttings collected and notes made by Dr John Percy between 1864 and 1888, including transciptions of a series of twelve lectures given at the Royal School of Mines in December 1863 and January 1864, as published in 'Chemical News' between January and August 1864. The lectures, entitled 'Chemical Geology', are annotated and cover subjects such as silicon, alumina, sulphur and diamond.

These cuttings from 'Chemical News' are interspersed with those from several other publications, primarily the 'Engineering and Mining Journal', 'Mining Journal', and 'The Times' newspaper, as well as handwritten notes by Percy. Content mostly involves diamonds, diamond mining, and other mining activities.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment only, daily readership fee is applicable unless you are a member of the Society. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

An online, detailed catalogue will be available shortly.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

This volume was presented to the Society by Hilary Bauermann.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Source: Obituary, 'Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London', vol 46 (1890) (Proceedings of the Geological Society of London); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Description by Victoria Woodcock.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with 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:
September 2013

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