Strangeways Research Laboratory
- Strangeways, T.S.P., 1866-1926.
- Archives and manuscripts
About this work
This is a valuable and important archive for an independent medical research institution of worldwide importance. Although for many years it existed on limited resources without guaranteed funding, numerous distinguished British scientists were associated with it for longer or shorter periods, and its international reputation drew scholars from many countries.
The collection consists primarily of papers on the Laboratory, 1900s-1990s. The papers of T S P Strangeways (formerly Pigg), the founder of the Laboratory, however, have been retained among the archives of the Laboratory (Section A), along with some small groups of papers of other individuals who worked there (Section K); the latter include Professor M. Abercrombie, C. Robinow and E. Brieger. There is also some Radium Commission material, 1932-c. 1948 (Section L), and some material relating to the work undertaken at the Strangeways during World War II under government auspices (Section M).
Unfortunately there are some significant lacunae in this collection. The surviving annual reports do not make up a continuous sequence, and the survival of correspondence has been somewhat haphazard. However, it should be pointed out that there is a series of Annual Reports 1929-1950, and other material about the Strangeways, among the papers of F G Spear, former Deputy Director, held in the Wellcome Library's Archives and Manuscripts collection as PP/FGS.
The collection is divided into sections as follows:
A. T.S.P. Strangeways: papers
B. Annual reports, etc
C. Trustees (and Governors): minutes and correspondence, 1929-1971
D. Account books and ledgers, 1929-1970
Various bodies, A-W, 1929-1975
Medical Research Council, 1962-1969
Miscellaneous specific grant files, c.1963-1970
Grant files: new series, c.1967-1980
F. Miscellaneous administrative matters, 1931-1971
G. General Correspondence, 1942-1947, 1954-1956, 1965-1970
H. Files on various matters, 1930s-1960s
J. Miscellaneous historical material re SRL, including G E H Foxon's research
L. Radium Commission, 1932-1943
M. Wartime projects, and other government work, 1939-1951
The Cambridge Research Hospital was founded in 1905 by T.S.P. Strangeways in 1905 and renamed the Strangeways Research Laboratory in 1929, following his death.
The key events in the life of T.S.P. Strangeways and of the institution are as follows:
For further information see A.28 and Section J
1866 28 Dec birth of Thomas Strangeways Pigg (name changed to Strangeways on his marriage)
1890 studies medicine at St Bartholomews
1895 awarded Matthews Duncan Gold Medal
1897 goes to Cambridge as demonstrator in Pathology
1900 awarded honorary MA
1905 formation of a Committee for the Study of Special Diseases at the initiative of T S P Strangeways to promote the scientific investigation of joint disease; opening of a small research hospital in Hartington Grove, Cambridge
1912 Opening of Cambridge Research Hospital in new premises
1914-1917 Hospital taken over for military purposes
1917 arthritis investigations resumed
1920 early tissue culture research begins
1923 Honor Fell becomes Strangeways' research assistant. Wards at the Research Hospital closed and clinical work transferred to St Bartholomew's.
1926 23 Dec Strangeways dies aged 59, precipitating a crisis
1927 Jan Meeting of Hospital Trustees; with staff support hospital continues on a temporary basis under interim directorship of Dr J A Andrews
1928 Jul the Trustees appoint Dr Honor Fell (Senior Beit Fellow) as Chief of the Laboratory; hospital renamed Strangeways Research Laboratory.
1929 Medical Research Council funds extension to house x-ray equipment
1931 Bequest by Sir Otto Beit, appointment of Honor Fell to a Royal Society Research Fellowship, F G Spear appointed Deputy Director
1933 Dr Alfred Glucksmann joins laboratory
1938 New wing presented by Rockefeller Foundation
1949 Nuffield five-year funding for the development of research in cell physiology
1951 Royal Society grant of £3,500 for use at Director's discretion
1954 Rockefeller Foundation presents electron microscope
1955 Wellcome Trust makes a grant of £60,000 for building expansion
1958 F G Spear retires
1960 Glucksmann becomes Deputy Director
1963 Honor Fell receives DBE
1970 Dame Honor Fell retires
1970-1979 Professor Michael Abercrombie as Director
1971 Glucksmann retires
1972 Dr J T Dingle becomes Deputy Director
1979 Dingle takes over as Director on Abercombie's retirement
For further information see A.28 and Section J.
In the Wellcome Library:
The Honor Fell papers (PP/HBF) should also be consulted by anyone interested in the history of the Strangeways.
The papers of F G Spear, former Deputy Director (PP/FGS) include a series of Annual Reports, 1929-1950, and other material about the Strangeways Laboratory.
Sir Peter Medawar's papers (PP/PBM) include correspondence of his as a Governor of the Strangeways.
Sir R A Peters papers on British Anti-Lewisite, GC/197, overlap with the material in SA/SRL/M.1 relating to chemical warfare research