Papers of George W. Cooke

Scope and Content

Printed papers of George W. Cooke on organic chemistry, soil science, crop nutrition and fertilisers, 1939 - 1988. The collection, which is arranged chronologically by publication date, represents a comprehensive collection of George W. Cooke's published works in scientific journals and periodicals during this period.

Administrative / Biographical History

George William Cooke was born on 6 Jan 1916 and graduated from London University, BSc (Chemistry) 1937 and PhD 1940. He was awarded a Ministry of Agriculture Research Scholarship in 1938, tenable at Rothamsted Experimental Station, and appointed Scientific Officer there in 1941, on a project under E. M. Crowther to understand and manage the fertility of soils in Britain. He was promoted to Principal Scientific Officer in 1951, Head of Department of Chemistry, 1956 - 1975, and was Deputy Director there from 1962 - 1975. In 1975 he was appointed Chief Scientific Officer with the Agricultural Research Council, remaining here until his retirement in 1981.

George Cooke was amongst the first scientists to be concerned with the possible unwanted effects of fertilisers and soil management on soils and waters, and his work at Rothamsted Experimental Station strengthened the scientific basis for fertiliser policy and practice in Britain. An interest in the effects of organic manures also established him as one of the leading authorities in this field. Publications include Fertilizers and Profitable Farming (1960), The Control of Soil Fertility (1967) and Fertilizing for Maximum Yield ( 1972), in addition to many papers in scientific journals. He was a member of several professional organisations concerned with soils and fertilisers, serving as chairman of the Agricultural Group of the Society of Chemical Industry, 1956 - 1958, and president of the Fertiliser Society, London, 1961 - 1962, and of the British Society of Soil Science, 1976 - 1978. His scientific achievements were widely recognised and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1967. He died in 1992.

An appreciation of George Cooke, by A.H. Bunting, of Reading University, is deposited with the collection. See also Who's Who.


Papers arranged chronologically

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in 1996. Source not recorded

Other Finding Aids

A list of articles is deposited with the collection. Please contact the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen for further details

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

The papers deposited here were published in a number of scientific journals and periodicals - for further details contact the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail:

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Not known