Donnan Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of Frederick George Donnan, comprising a long series of general correspondence; eight subject files of correspondence relating to committees and learned societies in which Donnan had a special interest; reports, speeches and obituaries by Donnan; diplomas and degree certificates; photograph album; miscellaneous material.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick George Donnan studied at Queen's College Belfast from 1889 to 1893, and in Germany under Wislicenus, Ostwald and van't Hoff until 1897. From 1898 to 1903 he worked in Professor (later Sir William) Ramsay's laboratory in University College London. In 1903 he became a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the Royal College of Science in Dublin. The following year he was appointed Professor of Physical Chemistry in Liverpool. He supervised the building of the Muspratt Laboratory of physical chemistry and was its Director 1906 to 1913. In 1913 Donnan succeeded Ramsay as Professor of General Chemistry at University College London, where he remained until 1937. From 1924 to 1926 he served on the Council of the Royal Society and was President of the Faraday Society. He was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research from 1925 to 1930; and from 1925 to 1933 he was Foreign Secretary of the Chemical Society. In 1928 he received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society. In 1936 he became a Fellow of University College London. He was President of the Chemical Society from 1937 to 1939, and Chairman of the Royal Society Scientific Relief Committee from 1941 to 1946.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Library by Donnan's family in March 1957.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed hard copy handlist and name index are available. Please contact Special Collections for further information

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Related Material

Cambridge University, Churchill Archives Centre, holds Donnan's correspondence with A V Hill, 1928-1956 (Ref: AVHL).