Saturday, May 20, 2006

Honour among scientists, UK v. US


Sir Charles Sherrington (pictured) won a Nobel prize - but more outstanding somehow is the meomorial room to him at the Charles Woodward Library. Chairs from his dining table now surround a table in the Sherrington Room, where his papers are held, and his dress uniform and Nobel prize are on display. An American scientist with a passion for his work saved the collection from random dispersal. (It seems Liverpool now has its own Sherrington building, and in sympathy some of the collection from here was sent over - a do-good model for the Elgin marbles.)
It does seem I am the first person to have consulted the J.S.Haldane archive here, at least in the librarian's long memory - and I've just cut the paper of journals, so clearly they have not been read before. Apparently a Hugh Sinclair, a physiologist from Oxford, despaired at research funds so sold his collection, including Haldane's papers ... as well as funding his research, he got himself an Aston Martin.
Archive material I want to look at in Oxford is unavailable to mer, for the library which holds the material now employs no librarian. if it's not digitized, it's not available. Not much has changed down the years.

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