Papers of Stotherd Thomas Richard Smith Mitchell, 1897-1980, chemist and lecturer in Physical Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1933-1963

Scope and Content

Personal papers:

  • Documents 1877-1943
  • School papers 1914
  • Certificates 1909-1970s
  • Correspondence 1930-1967
  • Publications 1935
  • Photographs c1907

Student papers:

  • Matriculation cards 1916-1925
  • Class tickets 1915-1922
  • Lecture notes 1920s
  • Examinations 1917-1922
  • University certificates 1916-1931
  • Correspondence 1920-1930

Professional papers:

  • Teaching papers 1938-1958
  • Memberships 1934-1966
  • Job applications 1944-1946
  • Publications 1921-1967
  • Correspondence 1922-1977

Administrative / Biographical History

Stotherd Thomas Richard Smith Mitchell , the son of John Mitchell, a law clerk, and his second wife, Mary Jane Mitchell, nee Smith, was born at 'Rosebank', 45 Springfield Road, Bishopbriggs, on 1 November 1897  . He was educated at Bishopbriggs Higher Grade School, Lanarkshire, and Allan Glen's School, Glasgow. He began studies at the University of Glasgow in 1915  , but the First World War intervened and he served three years in Egypt. He returned to the university in 1920 on an ex-servicemen's grant, graduating BSc with Special Distinction in Chemistry in 1922  . As holder of the Mackay Smith Scholarship, he then became a research student under the supervision of Professor George Gerald Henderson .

Dr mitchell began teaching in the department of Physical Chemistry to fund his studies, and was awarded a Carnegie Research Scholarship for 3 years starting in 1923. He graduated with a PhD in Chemistry in 1926  and obtained the degree of DSc in 1931  for original work undertaken during a Carnegie Teaching Fellowship in 1927-1932. He had training in music as a young man and had at least one song published. In 1933  he was appointed Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, a post he held (with promotion to Senior Lecturer in 1949) until his retirement in 1963  . Early in his career, he was instrumental in the design of the University's new Chemical Institute. He served on the Board of the Faculty of Science in the 1930s-1940s, and was active in several scientific societies, including the Chemical Society, of which he was a Fellow for more than 40 years. His colleagues commended his teaching ability and his supervision of numerous honours undergraduate and research students. Dr Mitchell shared his home with his half-sister Mary McWhinnie Mitchell, b. 16 October 1877, the daughter of John Mitchell and his first wife, Janet Fraser Mitchell, nee McWhinnie. He died at Bishopbriggs on 4 August 1980  .


The papers have been arranged according to national and international archival standards to reflect the original order of their creation and to facilitate archival access and preservation. Former reference numbers from DC 148 and DC 245 are provided where possible.

Access Information

Open except individual items in DC 148/3/5/4

Acquisition Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed and digital file level lists available in search room. Large print available on request.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Hannah Westall, Archives Assistant, 22 May 2000.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

In creator's custody until his death; deposited by subsequent resident of house.


None expected

Related Material

Archives of the Royal Institution of Great Britain , Letter by Stotherd Mitchell to Sir William Henry Bragg, 11 November 1933. Ref: GB 0116 W H Bragg/4C/41.

Location of Originals

This material is original


Copies of Mitchell's PhD and DSc theses and John S Davidson's PhD thesis are available in the University Library.


Corporate Names