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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c388

Frederick Soddy papers


Frederick Soddy (1877-1956) was a chemist and Nobel Prize winning radioactive decay and radium emanation researcher. Papers reflect work on Soddy’s memoirs by author Muriel Howorth, including correspondence with Soddy as well as with other scientists.


  • 1920-1956 (inclusive).


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Consult Public Services for further information.

The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to consult Public Services for further information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.


.25 cubic feet (1 half letter size document box)

The Frederick Soddy papers, 1920-1956 (inclusive), consist of correspondence between Frederick Soddy and author Muriel Howorth on the subject of Soddy’s memoirs, which Howorth was compiling for her 1958 publication Pioneer research on the atom; Rutherford and Soddy in a glorious chapter of science; the life story of Frederick Soddy, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S., Nobel laureate (London: New World Publications).

Materials entirely in English.

Biographical Notes

Frederick Soddy (1877-1956), was educated at Eastbourne College, Eastbourne, England; the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales; and Merton College, Oxford, England. Soddy taught chemistry, physical chemistry, and courses on radioactivity at: McGill University, Montreal, Canada; University College London, England; the University of Glasgow, Scotland; the University of Aberdeen, Scotland; and Oxford University, England. Until his retirement from Oxford in 1937, Soddy worked in the field of radioactivity, doing early work with Ernest Rutherford and William Ramsay on radioactive decay and radium emanation. He is responsible for the “Displacement Law” and was one of the first to work on the idea of the isotope. In 1921, Soddy was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes.

Related Papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, England.

  1. Archives of Frederick Soddy, 1894-1958, CSAC 14.8.74, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, United Kingdom.

Processing Information

Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck, 2012 July.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine refoldered and reboxed the material and created a finding aid to enhance access. The material was originally found as part of the Lloyd E. Hawes papers and was separated from that collection.

Soddy, Frederick, 1877-1956. Papers, 1920-1956 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Language of description
Processing of the Frederick Soddy papers was funded by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's Lloyd E. Hawes Fund for Radiology.

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

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