Papers of John Monteath Robertson, 1900-1989, chemist, Professor of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1942-1970

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence 1947-1970
  • Laboratory books (many undated) 1925-1948
  • Published works 1926-1970

Administrative / Biographical History

John Monteath Robertson was born on 24 July 1900  , son of William Robertson and Jane Monteath. In 1930 he married Stella Kennard Nairn. They had two sons and one daughter.

John Monteath Robertson was educated at Perth Academy. He went on to study at the University of Glasgow , graduating BSc in 1923, MA in 1925, PhD in 1926  , and DSc in 1933  . In 1930 he became a member of staff in the Davy Faraday Laboratory of the Royal Institution. In 1939 he became a senior lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. In 1941 he became the Scientific Chemical Advisor to Bomber Command.

In the following year he was appointed the Gardiner Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, a post he held until 1970  . In the same year he was made the Honorary Scientific Advisor to the RAF In 1955 he became the Director of Laboratories at Glasgow. Robertson was the George Fisher Baker Lecturer at Cornell University, America in 1951. In 1958 he was the visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Robertson was a member of the University Grants Committee 1960-1965. He was the Chairman of the Chemical Society 1962-1964  .

He was awarded the Davy Medal by the Royal Society in 1960, the Longstaff Medal by the Chemical Society in 1966, and the Paracelsus Medal by the Swiss Chemistry Society in 1971. In 1962 he was made CBE. Aberdeen University awarded him a Honorary LLD, and in 1970 the University of Strathclyde awarded him a Honorary DSc.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, of the Institute of Physics, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His publications include: Organic Crystals and Molecules , (1953); as well as various papers and articles in journals. John Monteath Robertson died in 1989  .

Source: Who's Who, (1981, London).


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gift: Chemistry Department, Glasgow University: 1987

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the Noational Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S) 3337) and London (NRA 35477 Robertson)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

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 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Received directly from Glasgow University where Professor Robertson worked


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names


Compiled by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 14 October 2004

Geographical Names