Papers of Professor Brian Worthington; 1930s-2013

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the following series:

Biographical and Personal (PBW/1)

Publications (PBW/2)

Research Papers (PBW/3)

University of Nottingham – Teaching (PBW/4)

University of Nottingham – Grant Applications (PBW/5)

University of Nottingham – Administrative/Departmental (PBW/6)

Societies (PBW/7)

Conferences and lectures (PBW/8)

Professional activities beyond the University of Nottingham (PBW/9)

Correspondence (PBW/10)

Press cuttings and articles about the history of MRI and medicine (PBW/11)

Slides (PBW/12)

Photographs (PBW/13)

Large format X-ray films, CT images and MRI images (PBW/14)

Audio-visual and audio material (PBW/15)

Artefacts (PBW/16)

Worthington's research papers and publications together form the largest part of the collection. As a radiologist he was interested in all forms of medical imaging, so his papers relate to MRI, X-ray and CT (computed tomography) scanning, as well as to image perception in general. They include research notes, experimental results and photographs, copies of his own published papers, drafts of such papers, and papers on the clinical applications of MRI and imaging by other authors.

Other main areas of the collection include papers relating to conferences he attended (generally including meeting programmes and notes for any lectures or talks he delivered), papers relating to his membership of scientific societies, and departmental papers from his time at the University of Nottingham.

Also present are around 9,400 35 mm slides showing MRI, CT and X-ray images, early scanning equipment, and diagrams and graphs relating to imaging, together with around 500 large MRI, CT and X-ray films of the human body.

Administrative / Biographical History

Brian Worthington was born on 9 June 1938 in Oldham, and was educated at Hulme Grammar School. He won a scholarship to Guy's Hospital, London, from where he graduated in physiology and medicine. After qualifying, he trained in radiology. He worked in the London Hospital, then moved to Nottingham in 1970 as Consultant Radiologist at Nottingham General and City Hospitals, becoming Consultant Neuroradiologist to the Nottingham Hospitals and Derby Royal Infirmary in 1971. In 1975 he was appointed Reader in Diagnostic Radiology in the Department of Human Morphology at the University of Nottingham, and in 1981 he was promoted to Professor in Diagnostic Radiology.

From 1974 to 1980, Worthington was involved in research with colleagues in the Physics Department at Nottingham exploring the potential of nuclear magnetic resonance as the basis of a medical imaging technique. This technique was later named magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). From 1980 until his retirement in 1997, he conducted collaborative research which established many of the applications of MRI in the evaluation of disorders of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system and female pelvis. He worked primarily with the research groups headed by Raymond Andrew and Bill Moore until their departure from Nottingham in the early 1980s, after which he collaborated extensively with Peter Mansfield's group, particularly regarding research into Echo-Planar Imaging.

Worthington was President of the British Institute of Radiology for 1988-1989, and in 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He died on 9 December 2007.


The collection has been divided into series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

Much of the collection is accessible to all readers. However, access to some items is restricted under current Data Protection legislation. Please see our Access Policy or contact us for further advice.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all finding aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.


Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing on our Permission to Publish form (see the Reprographics Services part of our website or email

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The collection was given to Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham in 2008 and 2009. It was catalogued and repackaged in 2018-2019 with support from a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award.

Related Material

Records of the British Radiofrequency Spectroscopy Group (BS); Papers of Professor Sir Peter Mansfield (PPM); Papers of Professor E. Raymond Andrew (PRA).