Papers and correspondence relating to the Oxford Enzyme Group, 1969-1989

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers include documentation of the early history of the OEG, including historical recollections, preliminary ideas for enzyme research in Oxford in 1968 and papers relating to Science Research Council support for enzyme research, 1968-1969. There are records of the OEG Enzyme Preparation Laboratory and of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) work including the development of new NMR equipment with firms such as Bruker Spectrospin and Oxford Instruments. Grant applications and funding are represented by a variety of documentation from ideas for research projects through drafts and revisions of applications to the formal applications, negotiations with funding bodies and the interim and final reports. There are minute books recording OEG meetings and papers relating to membership, research strategies and accommodation especially the new Rex Richards Building. There is also documentation of the moves towards the setting up of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Molecular Sciences at Oxford, 1987-1989.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Oxford Enzyme Group (OEG) was established at Oxford University in 1969 as a consortium of researchers from different scientific disciplines who agreed to contribute a significant part of their research effort to a collaborative venture. R.E. Richards was the founder Chairman, 1969-1984, and D.C. Phillips, his successor, 1984-1988. The OEG was the model for the Interdisciplinary Research Centres recommended in the 1987 Advisory Board for the Research Councils report A Strategy for the Science Base, and was itself subsumed into an Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Molecular Sciences in 1989. During its twenty year existence the following Oxford departments, laboratories, or institutions included OEG members: Biochemistry, Botany, Chemical Crystallography, Clinical Biochemistry, Dyson Perrins Laboratory, Inorganic Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Physical Chemistry and Zoology.


By section as follows: Early history, Enzyme Preparation Laboratory, NMR Spectrometry, Grant applications and funding, Meetings, membership and research, Accommodation and buildings, Administration and finance, Reports and publications, Indisciplinary Research Centre. Index of correspondents.

Conditions Governing Access

Entry permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card or an Oxford University Card displaying the Bodleian logo. All applicants for new or replacement cards must apply in person, with a recommendation and payment if required, and with proof of their identity.

Other Finding Aids

Printed Catalogue of papers and correspondence relating to the Oxford Enzyme Group (1969-1989) by J. Alton, NCUACS catalogue no. 18/3/90, 54 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing in 1987-1990 by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists from several sources. The principal donors were Sir Rex Richards, the founder Chairman, Sir David Phillips, his successor, and Dr C.M. Dobson, the OEG's last secretary. Other members of the OEG or those connected with its history contributed smaller amounts of material or wrote their own recollections: Professor R.A. Dwek, Professor J.R. Knowles, Professor L.N. Johnson, Sir Ewart Jones and Professor R.J.P. Williams. Placed in Bodleian Library (gift) in 1990.

Corporate Names