Robert Hill: Correspondence and Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Professional and personal papers and correspondence:

[A] Biographical. Hill's records of his career, elections and honours, personal and family correspondence, and photographs. There is also material for D.S. Bendall's Royal Society memoir of Hill, 1991.

[B] Research. Papers concerning Hill's early scientific interests in meteorology and dyeing; research on inorganic pigments; the biochemistry of haemoglobin and haematin, and photosynthesis, including the 1937 discovery of the 'Hill reaction'; the relationship of thermodynamics to photosynthesis; the chemistry of anthraquinone colouring matters in plants; and the biology of fruit tree rootstocks.

[C] Fish-Eye Camera. Papers on the development of a camera with a lens able to photograph through 180°, photographs taken using the lens, and correspondence on the marketing of the camera by R.& J. Beck Ltd.

[D] Cambridge University. Research reports on plant biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry; funding of Hill's research, 1920s-1960s.

[E] Publications. Drafts, notes and correspondence on work intended for publication c.1928-85; editorial correspondence.

[F] Lectures. Material for Hill's Cambridge lectures and practical classes in plant biochemistry.

[G] Societies and Organisations. Material relating to 11 British and international organisations, especially the British Photobiology Society and the Association International de Photobiologie.

[H] Visits and Conferences. 1928-88, especially visits to Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, 1932, France, 1947, and Nyasaland (Malawi), 1958.

[J] Correspondence. Letters to Hill, 1920s-1980s, including much material on an East Indies visit 1932, and with staff of the East Malling Research Station. The correspondents include Joan M. Anderson (1974-90), Margaret C. Anderson (1964-82), Cyril A. Appleby (1975-89), Daniel I. Arnon (1949-85), Agnes B. Beakbane (1943-77), Derek S. Bendall (1953-77), Walter F. Bertsch (1965-84), Walter D. Bonner (1953-83), Britton Chance (1957-83), Edred J.H. Corner (1929-37 and 1968-83), Raymond P. Cox (1973-78), Antony R. Crofts (1972-80), H.E. Davenport (1959-80), M.A.V. Devanathan (1973-77), Louis N.M. Duysens (1954-77), Sidney R. Elsden (1953-85), Robert Emerson (1951-76), James Franck (1951-55), Charles S. French (1942-86), Hans Gaffron (1949-67), Norman E. Good (1953-89), Richard P.F. Gregory (1964-89), David O. Hall (1971-77), Charles S. Hanes (1951-79), Ulrich Heber (1974-84), Geoffrey Hind (1964-85), H. Frank Holden (1927-46), Andr T. Jagendorf (1958-86), Martin D. Kamen (1952-84), Joan Keilin (1951-87), Robert S. Knox (1977-78), Peter T. Landsberg (1977-88), Bernard Leach (1951), Arthur M. Lesk (1978-80), Manuel Losada (1964-87), J. Murray Luck (1980), A.M. Mayer (1954-77), Peter D. Mitchell (1960-81), Norman W. Pirie (1986), Roger C. Prince (1974-87), Thomas R. Punnett (1953-88), Claude Rimington (1947-54), Anthony San Pietro (1963-78), A. Rupert Sheldrake (1974), Rose Scott-Moncrieff (1978-81), James H.C. Smith (1953-58), Edmund C. Stoner (1932-74), Hiroshi Tamiya (1951-60), Ruth Van Heyningen (1947-80), Wolf Vishniac (1953-54), David A. Walker (1950-89), Frederick R. Whatley (1948-85), Charles P. Whittingham (1953-82), and Lewis B. Winter (1980-81).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert (Robin) Hill (1899-1991), biochemist, attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 1919-22. He worked in the Department of Biochemistry, 1923-66, and carried out research on haemoglobin and photosynthesis. Hill was a member of the Agricultural Research Council, 1943-66, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1946, and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College in 1963.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs. Priscilla Hill (widow), 1991.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A catalogue by Timothy Powell and Peter Harper (National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists) is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.