The archive is dominated by extensive documentation of the development of biochemical engineering at University College London and covers the period 1957-2003.
Biographical material is not extensive but includes a copy of the obituary that appeared in the Guardian newspaper, curriculum vitae, list of theses supervised and an interesting record of his lengthy efforts to secure membership of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
There is an interesting group of notebooks and research notes including a sequence of notebooks covering an extended period, 1962-1998, in a variety of formats and used for a variety of purposes, including address book, lists of things to do, notes of meetings with UCL colleagues, European Federation of Biotechnology meetings, bibliographical references, etc. A notebook used from '11/10/1997' is identified as 'MDL's last notebook'. The research notes cover the period, 1965-1997. Some identifiable groups of notes have titles such as 'Control Systems', 'Fermentation' and 'Progesterone Conversion' but many notes were found loose and in no order and are undated.
University College London papers form by far the largest component of the archive. They document key aspects of the development of biochemical engineering there and cover the period 1957-2002. They are subdivided as follows: 'History', Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE), Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC), Research grants, Teaching and training, Personnel and Miscellaneous. The 'History' papers comprise the contents of folders and box folders labelled 'history' or 'historical' and include strategic papers and records of developments in teaching, research and the provision of facilities. The ACBE papers include correspondence and papers, relating to the creation of purpose-designed facilities for training and research activities in biochemical engineering at UCL in an 'Advanced Centre', 1986-1995. The IRC papers document developments associated with UCL becoming in 1991 the research council funded IRC for Biochemical Engineering with a ten year remit to develop an interdisciplinary programme of research and teaching. There is some overlap with material in 'ACBE' files. The Research grants papers document the funding of research and related matters in biochemical engineering at UCL by Lilly and colleagues. The material is further organised by funding body or programme, by research contract client and by research topic and under the heading 'Patents'. The Teaching and training papers comprise Lilly's 'teaching notes' covering a variety of courses for UCL students and others and substantial documentation for biochemical engineering summer courses given at UCL for participants from industry and academe, many from overseas. The dating of the 'teaching notes' is often problematic. The summer courses, however, are fully documented from no.3 to no.15, 1979-1991. The Personnel papers relate principally to research students and visitors to the Department and document arrangements to visit, research, publications and later contacts with the Department. The Miscellaneous papers are very diverse including records of equipment and facilities, research programmes, a joint project with Biotechnology Computer Systems Ltd, collaboration with Tel Aviv University and correspondence with UCL Provost, Sir James Lighthill.
The archive presents a near comprehensive record of Lilly's own scientific papers, 1962-2003, including a number of posthumous publications. The documentation may include manuscript and typescript drafts, correspondence and offprints. Also included here are the contents of a folder of 'unpublished' drafts. Publications correspondence is not extensive but there is some material relating to the journals with which Lilly was associated as author, reviewer and editor. There is significant though more patchy coverage of Lilly's public and invitation lectures, 1966-1996. Topics include 'Immobilised Enzyme Reactors', 'Developments in Biocatalysis', 'Two-liquid phase biocatalytic reactors', 'Industrial Use of Biocatalysts for Asymmetric Synthesis' and 'Biochemical Engineering - Its Contribution to Society', Lilly's 1988 Sir Harold Hartley Memorial Lecture. There are also many untitled lecture notes and drafts and some illustrative material for lectures and papers.
There is documentation of Lilly's association with twenty-four British and international societies and organisations, 1968-1998. Amongst the best documented are the European Commission, whose programmes supported biochemical engineering developments at the European level, and the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) and the International Organisation for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IOBB), both of which Lilly served in a number of capacities including for the IOBB a period as chairman. Lilly's papers include a 'Formation of the EFB' file. The most comprehensively documented body is the Institute for Biotechnology Studies / International Institute of Biotechnology, including correspondence and papers relating to the formation of the Institute, trustees and management committee meetings, research programme, policy review, etc. There is documentation of consultancy relationships with twenty-one commercial organisations, 1968-1997, including Beckman Instruments Inc, Beecham Group Ltd / Smith Kline Beecham and Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories. On occasions Lilly consulted in partnership with his UCL colleague Peter Dunnill as Biotech Consultants. Also documented are visits and conferences, covering the period 1964-1998. At the end of the chronological sequence are papers relating to a number of meetings that Lilly was unable to attend because of ill health. The documentation may include programmes, lists of participants, abstracts and Lilly's notes on proceedings.
Although there is much correspondence throughout the archive there were no files of correspondence with individual scientific and engineering colleagues apart from the 'Personnel' files with the UCL papers. There is, however, a sequence of correspondence presented chronologically, 1966-1998, made up of letters found loose and without context.