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Art & Special Collections

The Special Collections within the Library Services broken down into different themes.

Russell Barton Archive

This single box collection, which came to the Library through the good offices of Dr Diana Gittins and Professor Joan Busfield, concentrates on the work of the prominent psychiatrist Dr Russell Barton, Physician Superintendent at Severalls Hospital, Colchester, 1960-1971. Dr Barton was an important pioneer of deinstitutionalisation and community care for the mentally ill, and this collection encompasses professional writings, pamphlets and brochures, press cuttings, correspondence and notes, as well as reports – particularly relating to Severalls Hospital. As the collection contains materials of a potentially sensitive nature, researchers are required to provide a guarantee of patient confidentiality

Full Listing

Geoffrey Bone Papers #

This collection of papers was donated in 1999 and 2002 by Geoffrey Bone, an honorary graduate of the University (1991) and member of the University Council, 1965-1990. After graduating from Cambridge Mr Bone started his engineering career with Rolls Royce. In 1941 he was commissioned in the technical branch of the RAF where he worked with Sir Frank Whittle as development engineer on the design of the jet engine. The collection includes technical papers relating to the design of the jet engine, postwar correspondence with Sir Frank Whittle, press cuttings, and the transcript of an interview with Sir Frank Whittle in 1994. Geoffrey Bone's autobiography Reminiscences of an East Anglian engineer, 1996, is held in Special Collections.

K.F. Bowden Archive #

This collection consists of papers and correspondence relating to research projects of the University concerning the computerisation of medical records. Professor Keith Bowden (1935-1982) was Professor of Computer Science at the University and between 1967 and 1973 pioneered research in the use of computers for information handling in respect of health care.

A catalogue for this collection of papers and correspondence has been prepared by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre and is available on request within the Library.

Colchester Medical Society Library

This collection comprises approximately 500 historical books placed on permanent deposit by the Society in April 2008. The books, colloquially known as the Penfold Collection, were previously housed at Essex County Hospital and at the Postgraduate Medical Centre at Colchester General Hospital. The volumes include early treatises on surgery, anatomy, illness and disease, and are likely to be of major interest to scholars of both the history and sociology of medicine. The collection has been catalogued, and individual works are searchable in the Library catalogue. In addition, the following Minute books and other manuscript volumes were deposited by the Society in August 2012. In 2014 documents relating to Colchester General Hospital were similarly acquired.

List of books (Excel file)

Colchester Medical Society website

Colchester's Caring Past website

Lionel Penrose Papers #

Donated by Dr W. R. McKibben in 2003, the main part of the collection is composed of a bound volume containing off prints of 49 articles written by Penrose during his time as Research Medical Officer at the Royal Eastern Counties' Institution, Colchester, in the 1930s. A physician and geneticist, Lionel Sharples Penrose, 1898-1972, carried out pioneering and influential work in the fields of schizophrenia, Down's syndrome and mental retardation, and was later professor of eugenics at London University. In addition to the articles written by Penrose, the collection also contains several legal documents and two short histories of the Royal Eastern Counties' Institution/Essex Hall.

Paul Townsend Archive

This collection comprises one archive box and is dedicated to the life of Dr Paul Townsend, 1933-2006, lecturer in the Department of Physics, University of Essex, 1965-1988. The box contains a biographical memoir compiled by his widow, Elizabeth Townsend – who donated the collection to the Library in 2016 – along with photographs, personal documents, offprints of scholarly articles, and a copy of his Ph.D. thesis (University of Exeter, 1959). Of particular interest are a Pilots Flying Log Book and other memorabilia (badges, buttons, etc.) from his time in the Royal Air Force, 1952-1954.

Papers And Correspondence Of Sir Frederick Warner FRS FREng #

This collection, catalogued by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, chiefly dates from the late 1960s to the late 1990s and includes biographical material, papers relating to the Scientific Committee on Problems of Environment (SCOPE), including the three SCOPE projects (ENUWAR, RADPATH and RADTEST), material relating to the Royal Society Study Groups on Assessment and Perception of Risk, and lectures, broadcasts, conference papers and correspondence. A printed index (3 volumes) of this collection is available for consultation.

Windscale Inquiry Papers #

In 2002 Sir Frederick Warner, one of the Inquiry Assessors, donated to the Library a set of papers relating to the 1977 Inquiry into an application by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. for the siting of a nuclear reactor fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale, Cumbria. The collection, in addition to evidence received from witnesses, includes (in boxes 10, 11, and 12) transcripts of proceedings. The Inquiry was chaired by the Hon. Mr. Justice Parker and his report was published by H.M.S.O. in 1978 (a copy of which is available in the Library at TD 812).

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