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Imperial College Archives holds material which describes the development of the College, and its work, as well as the lives of its scientists, staff and students, past and present

Papers of past staff members:

Staff papers deposited in the Archives include those of some of the most significant names of the nineteenth century scientific world. These include:

Huxley Image

  • T. H. Huxley - Biologist, Palaeontologist, School of Mines and Royal College of Science, “Darwin’s Bulldog”
  • Sir Lyon Playfair - Chemist, School of Mines, Diplomat, and 1851 Commissioner
  • Henry Edward Armstrong – Chemistry, City & Guilds
  • Members of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, who mapped Britain geologically for the first time – including Sir Henry De La Beche and Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay - Geologist, School of Mines
  • Sir Norman Lockyer – who discovered helium and founded the journal Nature
  • Nobel Prize winner Denis Gabor - Electrical Engineer, inventor of holography and the flat television tube
  • Herbert Dingle - Physicist/ Natural Philosopher
  • Baron Willis Jackson of Burnley - Electrical Engineer, Pro-Rector of Imperial College
  • Sir Alec Skempton - founder of Soil Science
  • Alan Bishop - Soil Scientist
  • Stanley Runcorn - Geophysicist
  • John Stodart Kennedy – Zoologist
  • Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson – Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry

The student body:

The student body is represented by material from the Student Union and the Constituent College Unions. This includes information on their clubs and mascots. Famous students of the nineteenth century include H. G. Wells and William Perkin, discoverer of aniline dyes. Student lecture notebooks exist for nineteenth century lectures in Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mathematics.

Papers relating to the original Constituent Colleges:

Constituent College Image

  • The Royal College of Chemistry
  • The Royal School of Mines
  • Royal College of Science
  • City & Guilds College
  • Wye College

Medical Schools:

  • Charing Cross Hospital
  • Charing Cross Hospital Medical School
  • Westminster Hospital Medical School
  • Westminster and Charing Cross Medical School
  • National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI)
  • Royal Postgraduate Medical School (RPMS)
  • Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

For more information relating to UK Hospital records, please see The Hospital Database - a joint project of the Wellcome Library and The National Archives.

Archives Catalogues:

Below are links to the catalogues we currently have available online or as searchable pdfs.

Please note that the pdfs were scanned from the paper originals using OCR (optical character recognition) software and so searches may not be 100% accurate.

Imperial College Archives Catalogues:

Armstrong, Henry Edward (1848-1937) – Chemist

Bishop, Alan Wilfred (1920–1988) - Geotechnical Engineer

Buchanan, Colin (1907-2001) - Transport Engineer

Colin Buchanan catalogue PDF

Cherry, Colin (1914-1979) - Cognitive Scientist

Dingle, Herbert (1890-1978) - Physicist and Natural Philosopher

Fox, Harold Munro (1889-1967) - Zoologist

Gabor, Dennis (1900-1979) - Electrical Engineer and Physicist

Garton, William Reginald Stephen (1912-2002) - Physicist

Gulland, John Alan (1926-1900) – Fisheries Scientist

Hewer, Humphrey (1903-1974) - Zoologist

Heywood, Harold (1905-1971) – Mechanical Engineer

Holland, Thomas Henry (1868-1947) – Geologist

Humphrey, Herbert Alfred (1868-1951) - Engineer

Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895) – Biologist and Palaeontologist

Jackson, Willis (1904-1970) – Electrical Engineer

Kennedy, John Stodart (1912-1993) - Zoologist

Linstead, Patrick (1902-1966) – Chemist

McGee, James Dwyer (1903-1987) – Physicist

Munro, James (1888-1968) – Zoologist and Entomologist

Pippard, Alfred (1891-1969) – Civil Engineer

Playfair, Lyon, Sir (1818-1898) - Chemist

Ramsay, Andrew Crombie (1814-1891) - Geologist

Runcorn, Stanley (1922-1995) – Geophysicist

Skempton, Alec Westley (1914-2001) – Civil Engineer

Smith, Frank Edward (1876-1969) - Physicist

Sutton, John (1919-1992) - Geologist

Thompson, Silvanus Philips (1851-1916) – Physicist

Ubbelohde, Alfred (1907-1988) – Physical Chemist

Unwin, William Cawthorne (1838-1933) – Civil and Mechanical Engineer

Additional Resources:

Catalogues of collections at Imperial College Archives are also available online via AIM25 (Archives in London and the M25, a consortial project).

In addition, catalogues are also available on the Archives Hub website, and on the National Archives Discovery database.

The Abdus Salam Library has a number of special collections of historical interest originating from the College's departments and medical schools. They include both early printed books (pre-1850) and later publications.