Catalogue description Catalogue of the papers of Howard Walter Florey FRS Baron Florey of Adelaide Pathologist (1898 - 1968)

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Reference: HF
Title: Catalogue of the papers of Howard Walter Florey FRS Baron Florey of Adelaide Pathologist (1898 - 1968)

Extensive, relating to almost every aspect of Florey's career in science and public life. The scientific materials include a complete run of laboratory notebooks 1924-1968, files on the work for which Florey is best known, penicillin and antibiotics 1940-1962, together with papers, research notes and photographs on mucus secretion, traumatic shock and electron microscopy. Florey's writings are reserved in the form of drafts and proofs of published items, together with relevant correspondence. His correspondence indicates the depth of his involvement in the affairs of particular organisations, notably the Oxford University School of Pathology and the Royal Society. The work of Ethel Florey (nee Hayter) and Margaret Augusta Florey (nee Fremantle) is also present.






HF/2/1 Bound volumes


HF/2/2 Penicillin


HF/2/3 Other Papers


HF/2/4 Lectures


HF/2/5 Correspondence


HF/2/6 Royal Society correspondence


HF/2/7 Scientific Policy correspondence


HF/2/8 Other Institutions


HF/2/9 Miscellaneous correspondence


HF/2/10 Travel


HF/2/11 Lectures and Speeches
















Compiled by Cathryn May

Date: 1924 - 1968
Held by: Royal Society, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Florey, Howard Walter, Baron Florey of Adelaide, 1898-1968, scientist, experimental pathologist

Physical description: 539 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Received by the Royal Society in 1968 from Lady Florey, widow

  • Pathology
Administrative / biographical background:

Florey was born in Adelaide, Australia. He was educated at Kyre College, Adelaide, St. Peter's Collegiate School Adelaide and Adelaide University Medical School. He worked his passage to England as ship's surgeon to take up a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University in 1921-192. He did research work at the invitation of Charles Sherrington at Oxford in 1923 and was then medical officer to the third Oxford University Arctic Expedition. He was John Lucas Walker Student, University of Cambridge in 1924. He was Rockefeller Travelling Fellow in America, studying microsurgical techniques in 1925; Freedom Research Fellow, London Hospital in 1926; Huddersfield Lecturer in Special Pathology, University of Cambridge in 1927; Fellow, Gonville and Caius College; Director Medical Studies, Gonville and Caius; began to study lysozome in 1929, discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1922; Joseph Hunter Professor of Pathology, University of Sheffield 1932-1935; Professor of Pathology, University of Oxford 1935-1962; Nuffield Visiting Professor to Australia and New Zealand 1944; Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford, 1935; Honorary Fellow 1962; continued research on lysozome, leading to the development of use of penicillin by 1942; involved in the foundation of the Australian National University, Canberra, especially with the design and organisation of the John Curtin School of Medical Research; Chancellor of the University in 1965; Provost of Queen's College Oxford and resigned Chair of Pathology in 1962; suffered from angina and died of a heart attack in 1968.


Florey received many honours and awards both nationally and internationally. He was elected FRS in 1941 and received the Royal Medal 1951; gave the Croonian Lecture 1954; Vice President of the Royal Society 1951-1953; President 1960-1965; FRCP in 1951; was awarded the Nobel Prize (Physiology or Medicine) in 1945 jointly with Ernst Chain for his work on penicillin. He received the Lister Medal, Royal College of Surgeons in 1945; Berzelius Medal in Silver from the Swedish Medical Society in 1945; Albert Medal, Royal Society of Arts in 1946; Medal in therapeutics from the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in 1946; RSM Gold Medal in 1947; the USA Medal of Merit in 1948; the BMA Gold Medal in 1964; Lomonosov Medal USSR, Academy of Sciences in 1965. He was made a Knight in 1944, a Life Peer in 1965 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1965.

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