Collection MS 55 - Dr Alexander Scott's correspondence and letters

Identity area

Reference code

MS 55


Dr Alexander Scott's correspondence and letters


  • 1851-1935 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

55 items

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Dr Alexander Scott, latterly Director of Scientific Research at the British Museum, was educated at Selkirk Academy and Edinburgh University where he graduated B.Sc. in Experimental Philosophy in 1875. After moving to Cambridge as assistant to the Jacksonian Professor in 1875, he graduated B.A. Honours (1st class) in Natural Science in 1879 and M.A. in 1882, and gained his doctorate in 1884. From 1896 to 1911 he was Superintendent of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory of the Royal Institution. During this period he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in 1898. After working in his own laboratory for some years he was appointed, in 1919, to "conduct an enquiry into the condition of objects at the British Museum". He retired from the post in 1938. He was very active in the Chemical Society most of his working life and between 1899 and 1924 held the posts of Honorary Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President between 1899 and 1924. Dr Scott also made a great contribution to the problem of art and archaeology by discovering and publishing methods of treatment for exhumed material. In the winter of 1923-1924 he was consulting chemist at Luxor, in devising methods of preserving the objects from Tut-Ankh-Amun's tomb.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

A collection of letters and correspondence, both to and from Dr Scott, as well as other prominent scientists of the period.


Not expected

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

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Description control area

Description identifier

MS 55

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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