Papers of Robert Salmon Hutton

Scope and Content

Hutton's papers include scientific correspondence with Sir Arthur Schuster, Lord Rutherford and others, working papers and reports, newspaper cuttings, photographs of staff and equipment in Manchester University Physics Department, and copies of Hutton's numerous published papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Salmon Hutton was born on 28 November 1876 in London. His family owned a silversmiths in Sheffield. Hutton was educated at Blundells School, Tiverton, and Owens College, Manchester; he also studied in Paris and Leipzig. Possessed of private means, Hutton pursued his research interests in electro-metallurgy with Professor Arthur Schuster at Manchester and Henri Moissan in Paris.

From 1900-1908 he was a lecturer in electro-chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he carried out pioneering work on electric furnace technology, seeing its value for commercial metallurgy. In 1903 he perfected a method for the mass production of fused silica, and acted as a consultant to a firm, Thermal Syndicate Ltd. of Wallsend, which produced this. From 1908-1921 Hutton worked with the family business, which eventually became part of the Sheffield Flatware Co. Ltd. In 1921 he was appointed director of the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, where he extended its research activities, and built up a well-stocked library. In 1931 Hutton was made Goldsmith's Professor of Metallurgy at Cambridge, where he introduced regular courses on metallurgy and built up the laboratories.

Hutton had a great interest in research and development, and he was aware of failings in this area by British metallurgical industries. A great believer in the value of technical libraries, he was a founder of the Association of Scientific Libraries Information Bureau (ASLIB) in 1924. He served on several government committees on libraries and scientific information. Hutton published over one hundred scientific papers. He married in 1912, Sybil, the daughter of Sir Arthur Schuster.


The collection is divided into the following series:

  • HUT/A - Biographical, Personal and Miscellaneous Material
  • HUT/B - Correspondence
  • HUT C - Working Papers & Reports
  • HUT/D - Publications of R.S. Hutton
  • HUT/Add - Additional Hutton papers - photo album.

Access Information

Open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited on permanent loan at JRUL by the Hutton family. The photo album (HUT/add) was donated by Hutton's grandson, in 2006.

Other Finding Aids

The original handlist for this collection, compiled by Geoffrey Tweedale in 1990, is now superseded by this list.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies, scanned images and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Related Material

JRUL also holds the papers of Sir Arthur Schuster, Hutton's colleague and father-in-law (SCH), which includes some correspondence with Hutton.

Churchill College Archive Centre, Cambridge also hold papers of Hutton, relating to his work with Jewish, Polish and Czech refugees in the 1930s and 1940s: GB 14 HUTT. Churchill College also hold the papers of A.V. Hill, which includes some correspondence with Hutton. The papers of Ulick Evans, held at Cambridge University Library, includes correspondence with Hutton (CSAC 90/1/83).