Catalogue of the Archive of Sir James Gowans

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Svenja Kunze
2017


Catalogued with the generous support of Sir James Gowans

Department of Special Collections
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Table of Contents

Introduction
A   Biography and career c.1910-2015
B   Cellular Immunology Research Unit (CIRU), Oxford 1959-1990
C   Medical Research Council (MRC), London 1965-2014
D   Human Frontier Science Program, Strasbourg 1989-2009
E   Advisory work including work for charities 1975-2014
F   General scientific correspondence and papers 1952-2013
G   General and personal correspondence 1954-2014
H   Conferences and visits, invitations 1958-2008
I   Honours, awards and memberships 1960-2013


Archive of Sir James Gowans

1910-2015

Abstract:
Archive of the immunologist, and Secretary of the Medical Research Council, Sir James Learmonth Gowans (b. 1924)

Extent: 64 boxes
Language(s) of Material: English, with occasional use of French, German, Russian.

Biographical/Historical

James Learmonth Gowans was born in Sheffield in 1924, the only child of a Swedish mother and British father. His father, John Gowans, worked as a lab technician. He attended Whitgift Middle School in Croydon, and obtained his medical degree from King’s College Hospital, London, in 1947.

In the same year he came to Oxford on a Medical Research Council Studentship to work under Howard Florey who insisted that he take a one-year taught course first. He gained his BA Hons Physiology in 1948, and continued his research afterwards being awarded a DPhil in 1953. He was Staines Medical Research Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, 1955-1960. During the 1950s he did pioneering work on the life cycle of the lymphocyte, establishing that the small lymphocyte continuously recirculated from the blood to the lymph and back again, and that this cell was at the centre of immunological responses. He became a fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford (1961-1987), and Henry Dale Research Professor of the Royal Society at the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford (1962-1977). From 1963 he was also Director of the Medical Research Council’s Cellular Immunology Research Unit at the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.

In 1977 Gowans left his research career to become the Secretary of the Medical Research Council and during 10 years in office oversaw, or was involved with, a number of major projects and initiatives, notably the patenting of monoclonal antibodies (which led to the establishment of Celltech as a company to develop biotechnology research into commercial opportunities), folic acid trials, the Rothschild proposals for the reorganisation of medical research funding in the UK, the setup of the Voluntary Licensing Authority for Human in-vitro Fertilization and Embryology, and MRC AIDS Directed Programme.

From 1989-1993 Gowans was the Secretary-General of the Human Frontier Science Program, Strasbourg.

Alongside his posts at the Medical Research Council and the Human Frontier Science Program, and after his retirement, Gowans was a consultant and advisor, non-executive director or trustee for a number of companies, organisations and charities, including the World Health Organization Programme on AIDS, 3i – Investment in Industries, the Tavistock Trust, the Charing Cross Sunley Research Centre, Synaptica, EICOS – European Initiative for Communicators of Science, St. Christopher’s Hospice, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation.

Amongst many awards he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1963, and knighted in 1982.

Scope and Content

The archive mainly comprises professional and scientific correspondence, and related papers such as briefing papers and reports, relating to all stages of Gowans’s career, as well as general (personal) correspondence, papers relating to awards, honours and memberships, conferences and visits, publications, and selected photographs.

Not deposited were lab notebooks and other papers relating to his scientific research in Oxford, 1948-1977, which Gowans destroyed when he moved to the Medical Research Council in 1977.

Restrictions on Access

Material of a sensitive personal nature is closed. Closure periods also apply where business interests of third parties are concerned. Restrictions are indicated in the catalogue as (=Res.).

Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian Library by Sir James Gowans in several tranches between July 2013 and June 2016.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library (followed by shelfmark and folder number, e.g. MS. Gowans 1, Folder 1)

Related Material

A biographical interview with Sir James Gowans (videos recorded 1997-1998) is available at the the Medical Sciences Video Archive at Oxford Brookes University.

Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)

Gowans, James Learmonth, Sir, 1924-, immunologist

Subject(s)

Medicine
Science

A   Biography and career c.1910-2015

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 1-3

Biography and education
Date: 1942-2015
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 1
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence relating to Gowans's biography, and to his school and university education:

(Early) career
Date: 1927-1998
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 2
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers relating to Gowans's (early) career:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Photographs
Date: c.1910-2015
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 3
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (6 folders)

Scope and Content

B   Cellular Immunology Research Unit (CIRU), Oxford 1959-1990

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 4-8

Setting up and running of the CIRU; Correspondence
Date: 1964-1978
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 4
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers relating to the MCR Cellular Immunology Research Unit (CIRU) at the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Correspondence
Date: 1962-1990
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 5
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Members of the CIRU
Date: 1959-1986
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 6
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with, and other papers by and relating to, researchers who worked with and under Gowans at the Dunn School of Pathology and at the MRC Cellular Immunology Research Unit:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Members and visitors of the CIRU
Date: 1960-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 7
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with, and other papers by and relating to, researchers who worked with and under Gowans, and visiting researchers at the Dunn School of Pathology and at the MRC Cellular Immunology Research Unit:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Work outside the UK
Date: 1963-1973
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 8
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers relating to visiting fellowships, research delegations and other scientific work by Gowans outside the UK whilst being the director of the CIRU:

C   Medical Research Council (MRC), London 1965-2014

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 9-15

The MRC and Gowans's involvement
Date: 1965-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 9
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's involvement with the Medical Research Council, and to the history, strategy and finances of the MRC:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Correspondence
Date: 1977-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 10
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence to and from Gowans as the Secretary of the MRC:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Correspondence
Date: 1981-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 11
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence to and from Gowans as the Secretary of the MRC:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Patenting of monoclonal antibodies; Folic acid trials
Date: 1975-2014
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 12
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, briefing papers and reports relating to initiatives taken and projects led by Gowans as Secretary of the MRC:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Rothschild proposals; Voluntary Licensing Authority
Date: 1971-2000
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 13
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, briefing papers and reports relating to initiatives taken and projects led by Gowans as Secretary of the MRC:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


MRC AIDS Directed Programme
Date: 1985-1991
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 14
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, briefing papers and reports relating to the MRC AIDS Directed Programme:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


MRC AIDS Directed Programme
Date: c.1985-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 15
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, briefing papers and reports relating to the MRC AIDS Directed Programme:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


D   Human Frontier Science Program, Strasbourg 1989-2009

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 16-17

Human Frontier Science Program
Date: 1989-1999
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 16
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as Secretary General for the Human Frontier Science Program, 1989-1993:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Human Frontier Science Program
Date: 1989-2009
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 17
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as Secretary General for the Human Frontier Science Program Organization, 1989-1993:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


E   Advisory work including work for charities 1975-2014

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 18-28

Celltech
Date: 1980-2000
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 18
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work for Celltech, as a board member and non-executive director, 1980-1987, and as a consultant from 1988:

Restrictions on Use:

Closed.


Celltech
Date: c.1985-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 19
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work for Celltech, as a board member and non-executive director, 1980-1987, and as a consultant from 1988:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


John Curtin School of Medical Research
Date: 1981-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 20
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work for the Advisory Board of the John Curtin School for Medical Research at the Australian National University, Canberra:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


World Health Organization
Date: 1987-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 21
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as a consultant for the World Health Organization, Advisory Group on Biomedical Research on AIDS:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


EICOS - European Initiative for Communicators of Science
Date: 1994-1998
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 22
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as Committee Member from 1994, and Director from 1995, for EICOS:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


3i - Investment in Industry
Date: 1988-1989
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 23
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as a consultant for 3i:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


3i - Investment in Industry; Charing Cross Sunley Research Centre
Date: 1988-1992
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 24
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work as a consultant for 3i, and as Director for the Sunley Research Centre:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Tavistock Trust; Synaptica
Date: 1992-2004
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 25
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (5 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's work for the Tavistock Trust (member of Special Committee, non-executive director), and for the Advisory Board of Synaptica Ltd.:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Other board memberships and consultancies
Date: 1975-2003
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 26
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's other board memberships, consultancies, advisory work:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Awards Committee General Motors Cancer Research Fund; St. Christopher's Hospice
Date: 1987-2006
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 27
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's advisory work, and support, for charities:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Other charities
Date: 1987-2014
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 28
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports and other papers relating to Gowans's advisory work, and support, for charities:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


F   General scientific correspondence and papers 1952-2013

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 29-38

General scientific correspondence
Date: 1956-1969
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 29
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with scientists, and with (medical) science institutions and organisations, mainly relating to research, publications, and other scientific/academic work:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General scientific correspondence
Date: 1970-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 30
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with scientists, and with (medical) science institutions and organisations, mainly relating to research, publications, and other scientific/academic work:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General scientific correspondence
Date: 1980-2004, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 31
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence with scientists, and with (medical) science institutions and organisations, mainly relating to research, publications, and other scientific/academic work:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


References and recommendations
Date: 1965-1987, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 32
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, and supporting papers, relating to references and recommendations given by Gowans as referee:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


References and recommendations
Date: 1959-2013, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 33
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, and supporting papers, relating to references and recommendations mainly for research and teaching posts and positions, given by Gowans as referee:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Advice and reviews
Date: 1964-1985
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 34
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, and supporting papers, relating to advice and reviews given by Gowans:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Examination of theses
Date: 1963-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 35
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (1 folder)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and reports relating to the examination of (doctoral) theses by Gowans as examiner, 1963-1982. (=Res.)

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Lectures and talks
Date: 1958-2007, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 36
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes and drafts relating to lectures and talks given by Gowans:

Lectures and speeches [Medical Research Council]
Date: 1977-1991
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 37
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes and drafts relating to lectures and speeches given by Gowans, mainly as Secretary of the Medical Research Council:

Publications
Date: 1952-2013
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 38
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Offprints and photocopies of publications by Gowans, 1952-2013, mainly scientific articles, occasionally with reviews or related papers and correspondence. The articles are sorted into categories, including comments by Gowans on the context and significance in research. Folder 1 includes a chronological publication list for reference.

G   General and personal correspondence 1954-2014

Scope and Content

General correspondence of Gowans in a private capacity with former colleagues, friends and family, mainly invitations to conferences, dinners and other events, requests for references, and personal matters.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 39-44

General and personal correspondence
Date: 1972-1988
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 39
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General and personal correspondence
Date: 1989-1990
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 40
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General and personal correspondence
Date: 1991-1994
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 41
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence of Gowans in a private capacity with former colleagues, friends and family, mainly invitations to conferences, dinners and other events, requests for references, and personal matters:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General and personal correspondence
Date: 1995-1996
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 42
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence of Gowans in a private capacity with former colleagues, friends and family, mainly invitations to conferences, dinners and other events, requests for references, and personal matters:

Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


General and personal correspondence
Date: 1997-2014, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 43
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content
Restrictions on Access:

Closed.


Named correspondents
Date: 1954-2014
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 44
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

General correspondence of Gowans in a private capacity with named individuals and organisations:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


H   Conferences and visits, invitations 1958-2008

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to conferences and visits abroad and in the UK which Gowans attended as a speaker, also including other meetings, symposia, dinners etc. Mainly comprises invitations, travel arrangements, expenses and printed matter.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 45-57

List of conferences, visits, and engagements abroad; conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1958-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 45
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1969-1976
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 46
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1978-1979
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 47
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1979-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 48
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1982-1983
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 49
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits abroad
Date: 1984-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 50
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1965-1977
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 51
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1978-1980
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 52
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1980-1981
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 53
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1982-1983
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 54
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1983-1984
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 55
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Conferences and visits in the UK
Date: 1985-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 56
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Symposia, dinners and other events
Date: 1980-2008, n.d.
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 57
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Invitations, correspondence and other papers relating to various meetings, dinners, symposia, and other events:

I   Honours, awards and memberships 1960-2013

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Gowans 58-64

CBE and Knighthood
Date: 1971-1982
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 58
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to award of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), 1971, and of Knighthood, 1982:

Prizes and awards
Date: 1968-2010
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 59
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (2 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to prizes and awards conferred to Gowans:

Honorary degrees and fellowships
Date: 1960-2000
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 60
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (3 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to honorary degrees and fellowships conferred on Gowans:

Societies and clubs
Date: 1961-2013
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 61
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box (4 folders)

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other papers relating to Gowans's (honorary) memberships in societies and clubs:

Restrictions on Access:

Some folders are closed. These are marked as (=Res.).


Honours and awards certificates
Date: 1965-1987
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 62
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Certificates of honorary degrees in presentation folders:

Honours and awards certificates
Date: 1976-2000
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 63
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Certificates of honorary degrees and of awards in presentation folders:

Honours and awards certificates
Date: 1968-1988
Shelfmark: MS. Gowans 64
Language(s) of Material: English
Extent: 1 box

Scope and Content

Rolled certificates of honorary degrees and of awards:


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17 February 2017