Harold Miller Papers

Scope and Content

The Papers of Professor Harold Miller (1909-1995), medical physicist

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection consists of both working and personal papers, together with other documents.

Harold Miller (1909-1995) was born and raised in the coal-mining area of Staveley, North-east Derbyshire, strongly influenced by the Primitive Methodism of his family and Labour Party politics (cf. Growing up with Primitive Methodism by Harold Miller, 1995), and a deep commitment to Christianity and social ideals remained evident throughout his later life and career. From Netherthorpe Grammar School in 1928 he won an Open Scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge, and there took a first class degree in Physics. He was a research student at the Cavendish Laboratory, the foremost centre of atomic physics, during the era of Lord Rutherford, and gained a PhD under the supervision of Sir James Chadwick. For the next seven years he worked in the Research Department of EMI doing fundamental research in a team which established the first successful system for commercial television. As a committed pacifist he refused military service during WWII, and instead undertook hospital work, being appointed in 1942 Medical Physicist to the Sheffield National Centre for Radiotherapy, where he was involved in the development of medical radiophysics in clinical work, later becoming Chief Physicist of what became an independent Regional Department of Medical Physics. He became President of the Hospital Physicists Association, President of the British Institute of Radiology, and in 1972 Professor Associate of Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield, which awarded him an honorary degree in 1980. In recognition of his work he was awarded an OBE in 1972. On retirement in 1975 he left in being a large and comprehensive service department and a developing academic department in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital; following retirment he played a major role in the setting up of a Day Care Unit at Weston Park Hospital.

In the post-war world Harold Miller took a keen interest in the development of medical services in the Third World, also playing a part in the Pugwash group of scientists who endeavoured to direct the use of atomic energy to peaceful objectives. He spent several periods abroad on these activities.


By category

Access Information

Available to all researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Donated 1996


Description prepared by Lawrence Aspden

Other Finding Aids

Listed. The collection has been catalogued for the University of Sheffield Library by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, from whom copies of the catalogue may be obtained (ref. no. NCUACS 92/5/00)

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: Miller family; and according to document