Collection: MS 727: Robert Spence, 1905-1976, papers and correspondence

Archive Collection icon Archive Collection: Robert Spence, 1905-1976, papers and correspondence

Details

Title: Robert Spence, 1905-1976, papers and correspondence

Level: Collection 

Classmark: MS 727

Original reference: CSAC 108.5.85

Date: 1931-1977

Main language: English

Size and medium: 19 items stored in 3 envelopes

Persistent link: https://explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/8637 

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Description

Comprises mainly recollections by colleagues. There are a few items relating to Spence's early career including his report of his tenure of the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship at Princeton, 1928-1931. Most of the material consists of recollections assembled by E. Glueckauf for his Royal Society memoir of Spence.

Original Reference: CSAC 108.5.85

Administrative or biographical history

Robert Spence was born in South Shields and educated at local schools and Durham University where he began his research career on oxidation reactions. After three years as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow at Princeton University, 1928-1931, he was appointed Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Leeds University. He served during the Second World War as Chemical Warfare Adviser to the RAF. In July 1945 he joined the atomic research team in Montreal to lay the foundations for plutonium and fission product separation processes, becoming team leader in January 1946, playing an important part in the design of a chemical separation plant for the UK atomic energy programme and preparing staff and buildings for the opening of the research division at Harwell. Spence was head of the Chemistry Division from 1946, and was appointed Chief Chemist in 1948, Deputy Director in 1960 and Director, 1964-1968. In 1968 Spence accepted an invitation from the University of Kent at Canterbury to go there as Professor of Applied Chemistry and Master of Keynes College, retiring in 1973. He was elected FRS in 1959.

Provenance

Acquisition; Received for cataloguing by CSAC from the Records Office, AERE Harwell, Oxfordshire, 1982.

Arrangement

The material is arranged as follows: Biographical, Early career, Later recollections

Access and usage

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Related subjects

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Chemistry, physical and theoretical

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