SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL NCUACS 36.4.92/A.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/A.84
SECTION B CAMBRIDGE NCUACS 36.4.92/B.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/B.1054
SECTION C NOTEBOOKS NCUACS 36.4.92/C.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/C.134
SECTION D RESEARCH NCUACS 36.4.92/D.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/D.595
SECTION E PUBLICATIONS, LECTURES AND BROADCASTS NCUACS 36.4.92/E.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/E.147
SECTION F SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS NCUACS 36.4.92/F.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/F.467
SECTION G VISITS AND CONFERENCES NCUACS 36.4.92/G.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/G.101
SECTION H CORRESPONDENCE NCUACS 36.4.92/H.1-NCUACS 36.4.92/H.500
The material is presented in the order given in the List of Contents. This large and comprehensive collection covers almost all aspects of Mitchell's professional career.
Section A, Biographical, consists principally of Mitchell's own biographical records of his career, and family and personal correspondence. It includes summaries by Mitchell of his research activities, and an album used for newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia relating to the Radiotherapeutic Centre and Department of Radiotherapeutics. At A.84 is the notice displayed in the Department proclaiming 'The aim of this department is to improve the treatment of cancer'.
Section B, Cambridge, is the largest in the collection. The very substantial material is presented in four subsections: (1) the Department of Radiotherapeutics/Radiotherapeutic Centre; (2) Addenbrooke's Hospital; (3) University of Cambridge; and (4) Lectures. The first subsection documents establishment and general administration, accommodation, staffing and equipment (synchrotron, linear accelerator etc) of the Department and the Centre, the funding of Mitchell's research (especially the British Empire Cancer Campaign and Mitchell's own Cancer Research Fund), and the future of the Department after Mitchell's retirement in 1976. The second subsection documents Mitchell's wide-ranging involvement in hospital affairs as head of the Department and Centre and as Regius Professor of Physic. Of particular interest are the extensive records relating to the development of the new Hills Road hospital site which was of great importance to Mitchell because of his plans for the University Medical School. The third subsection presents Mitchell's Faculty Board of Medicine/Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine papers and his extensive Medical School files which document the development of the Postgraduate Medical School from his acceptance of the Regius Chair to the mid 1960s and the establishment of the pre-graduate Clinical School. This subsection also includes documentation of miscellaneous university boards, committees, departments, colleges and societies and Mitchell's university examining. Of particular interest are the papers relating to the development of medical psychology in the Department of Medicine and those relating to the Cambridge Graduates' Medical Club which include Mitchell's annual reports on the Medical School. The final subsection brings together Mitchell's departmental lectures (correspondence re arrangements, drafts, illustrative material etc) and documentation of courses and symposia for general medical practitioners and medical students organised in conjunction with the hospital and Medical School.
Section C comprises Notebooks, used by Mitchell for research notes, bibliographical notes, notes taken during visits and conferences, etc. Of particular interest are Mitchell's research notebooks, which cover the period 1926-81. They include some used by Mitchell at Birmingham and Cambridge as an undergraduate and during pre-clinical and clinical training, and later notebooks recording his work after the Second World War on radiosensitising and radioactive drugs. These are often very bulky holding substantial quantities of additional material either intercalated loose or clipped to pages of the volume. This material is integral to the notebooks as Mitchell used them to 'file' papers relevant to his current research activities and may include correspondence, reprints, photographs, figures and graphs, and manuscript and typescript notes.
Section D, Research, documents all aspects of Mitchell's research, other than that recorded in Mitchell's notebooks, from the early work under Rideal to his final clinical research project started in 1985. The bulk of the material was found in Mitchell's own folders and envelopes, sometimes with subject titles inscribed thereon. There are three subsections. The first is Mitchell's early (1930s) research. This chiefly relates to his investigations carried out at the Colloid Science Laboratory in Cambridge. The second subsection documents his research into the biochemistry of ionising radiations, particularly with reference to the health risks involved, chiefly carried out 1941-49. It includes work carried out while in Canada. The third subsection is the largest. It relates to Mitchell's principal research activity - his effort to find a cure for cancer - and documents both his work as a scientist undertaking research into radiotherapeutic techniques and as a doctor treating patients with cancer. The material includes manuscript and typescript notes, reports by Mitchell and others, correspondence and memos, notes on the literature, data from experiments, patient records, notes on meetings with colleagues, protocols for and results of clinical trials etc. Also of interest is the material at D.98-D.104 relating to the sterilisation by radiation of foodstuffs and medicines. This arose out of ICI interest in this area in 1946. Mitchell felt the idea was worth pursuing and served on an informal group supporting such research.
Section E, Publications, lectures and broadcasts, brings together material for some of Mitchell's published papers, public lectures and broadcasts. It includes material on the 1984 WHO-IAEA compendium 'Cobalt-60 teletherapy' which Mitchell edited with M. Cohen. Also in this section are drafts, background material and correspondence relating to a planned book 'Principles in Radiotherapeutic Oncology', which Mitchell started but never completed. A set of Mitchell's published papers is to be found at E.147.
Section F, Societies and organisations, documents Mitchell's association with 38 British, overseas and international organisations. The organisation for which there is most documentation is the Medical Research Council. Mitchell saw extensive service for the MRC from 1946, sitting on numerous committees and panels to advise on radiation hazards and the medical applications of radiation, and attending a number of the British-US-Canadian Tripartite Conferences on the uses of nuclear energy. He also assisted, on behalf of the MRC, Danish investigations into thorotrast, a solution of thorium dioxide which had been widely used in Denmark for radiological investigations and which had been identified as a possible cause of illness in a number of patients. The MRC material includes committee papers, reports by Mitchell and others, notes and correspondence. The section also presents comprehensive documentation of the establishment and work of the Anglo-German Medical Society. Mitchell was a founder of the Society, formed in 1959 principally to promote contacts between academic and research doctors in UK and West Germany, and was President of the British Section to 1968. Other societies and organisations represented include the International Union Against Cancer, the Ministries of Health and Supply and the World Health Organisation.
Section G, Visits and conferences, presents a chronological sequence, 1946-86, of some of Mitchell's engagements, both in the UK and abroad. It includes Mitchell's attendance at the first four United Nations Conferences on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Power, held in 1955, 1958, 1964 and 1971. He made many visits to Germany, some of which are documented in the material relating to the Anglo-German Medical Society in Section F and others in the Notebooks Section.
Section H, Correspondence, is a substantial section comprising Mitchell's correspondence files arranged alphabetically, and subsections of shorter scientific correspondence arranged chronologically and references and appointments. The principal alphabetical sequence includes extended exchanges with a number of friends, colleagues and former students including J.D. Abbatt and E.D. Allen-Price, concerning radioactivity in water supplies in West Devon, G.D.H. Bell, concerning collaborative research into mutations in plants, G.C. de Hevesy, a friend of Mitchell's from the 1940s, H. Langendorff, Director of the Radiological Institute at Freiburg University to which Mitchell was a frequent visitor, E. Marsden, concerning soil radioactivity, E.E. Pochin, who shared Mitchell's interest in radiological protection, and G. Stein of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Also included here is correspondence and lectures material of C.L. Smith, Assistant Director of Research in the Radiotherapeutic Centre, some of whose papers were inherited by Mitchell on his death.