Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins: Papers

Scope and Content


Box 1: 2 photocopied letters from Hopkins to Hans Kreb, 29 Apr. 1933 and 12 Jan. 1936, concerning Hopkins's offer of assistance in helping Krebs to obtain a position in his laboratory at Cambridge, the second letter discusses Hopkins's worries over filling the professorship in biochemistry in his department; envelope of dinner invitations; letter from Hopkins to his mother, 12 Apr. 1907, outlining his plans for his future; 5 letters from Hopkins to Dr. Stanislaw K. Kon of the National Dairy Institute at Reading concerning Hopkins's work with Vitamin B, 1934-1935; 7 letters to Prof. Dennis L. Fox concerning Fox's work on pigments, 1939-1947; 4 personal letters, 1856, 1862, 1870 and 1910; letter from Sydney W. Cole to Hopkins on Hopkins being appointed to the Chair of Biochemistry at Cambridge, 6 Nov. 1914; letter to Henry Dakin describing the work at the Cambridge Biological Laboratory, 18 May 1941; 2 letters to Norman Pirie, 30 October 1942 and 15 January 1944; letter to Dr Francis Hamer in which Hopkins expressed his regret that Hamer would not join the research at Cambridge; letter from Thomas Stevenson awarding Hopkins the Sir William Gull Memorial Fellowship, 11 Mar. 1891.

Box 2: Envelope of miscellaneous dinner invitations; letter to Hopkins from many of his former students, 1 Apr. 1933; letterbook, 1845; envelope of congratulations on Hopkins's 80th birthday; and envelope of congratulations on Hopkins's election to President of the Royal Society.


Box 1: File of miscellaneous notes and bibliographic citations; science notebook, 1937; notebook on tryptophane metabolism, 1912; 2 rough notebooks on science, 1 dated 1899, the other undated.

Box 2: Science notebook containing Hopkins' work on Glutathine, 18 Jan. 1937; science notebook beginning January 1899; notebook with records of daily weather temperatures, 1861, from Hopkins's father.

Press cuttings

File of miscellaneous press cuttings; envelope containing press cuttings from Swedish newspapers about the Nobel Prizes, 1929 (Box 1).

Other material

Box 1: miscellaneous photographs and memorabilia; floor plan of the Biochemical Laboratory; file containing materials relating to Hopkins being awarded the Order of Merit, 1935; diary of Hopkins's father, 1856-1862; 2 envelopes of typescripts, including an autobiography of F.G. Hopkins, 24 pp.; envelope of miscellaneous photographs; envelope of typescripts, obituaries and reports; framed picture of Hopkins by Michael Perkins; 2 plays written by Hopkins whilst at the City of London School, 1875.

Box 2: envelope of obituaries; memorabilia - notice of election to the Royal Society, official birthday greetings, menus, important dinner invitations, genealogical notes, letters from Hopkins's father to his grandfather, press clippings, etc.; diary (incomplete), August 1919 - September 1916; 5 volumes of 'Brighter Biochemistry', a humorous publication produced by members of the Biochemistry Laboratory at Cambridge, 1924-1931.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861-1947), biochemist; educated at City of London School; articled to consulting analyst; studied chemistry at South Kensington and University College; assistant to (Sir) Thomas Stevenson; entered Guy's Hospital, 1888; B.Sc., London, 1890; qualified, 1894; assistant in physiology department, 1894-1898; lecturer on chemical physiology, Cambridge, 1898; reader, 1902; praelector in biochemistry, Trinity College 1910-1921; professor of biochemistry, 1914; Sir William Dunn professor, 1921-1943; in Journal of Physiology (1912) published important paper giving precision to ideas about existence of vitamins and methods of exploring them; devoted himself to study of chemistry of intermediary metabolism and establishment of biochemistry as separate discipline; FRS, 1905; shared Nobel prize, 1929; president, Royal Society, 1930-1935; British Association, 1933; knighted, 1925; OM, 1935.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Joseph Needham and others, 1962.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was taken from the Concise Dictionary of National Biography, Part II, 1901-1970, p.335-336 (Oxford University Press, 1982).

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.