DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
The papers are presented in the order shown in the List of Contents. Additional explanatory notes accompany many of the sections, sub-sections and individual entries in the body of the catalogue. The following paragraphs aim only at drawing attention to matters of particular substance or interest.
Porter spent much of his time in the summer of 1985 preparing for his retirement from the Whitley Chair of Biochemistry and transfer to full -time research at the MRC Immunochemistry Unit. This, unfortunately, seems to have involved wholesale destruction of unwanted or outdated files and the retention only of material which he considered to be of immediate relevance.
The collection is in consequence thin in certain respects and skewed towards the later stages of Porter's career. This applies especially to Sections E (Visits and Conferences) and F (Journals and Publications); the surviving correspondence in Section G has also suffered. Of special personal interest is the sequence of Porter's letters home during his army service (CSAC 119.1.87/A.9-A.16) and some of the recollections of Porter by colleagues and friends (CSAC 119.1.87/A.3, CSAC 119.1.87/A.4). Section B is of the greatest scientific interest; it preserves a complete sequence of research notebooks covering almost half a century (1936 - 1985) and providing not only a record of experiments and observations but a direct insight into Porter's methods of work and especially his tenacity over long periods of trial and disappointment. The books document the early (CSAC 119.1.87/B.5, CSAC 119.1.87/B.15) and later successful stages (CSAC 119.1.87/B.21, CSAC 119.1.87/B.23) of the work on crystalline papain, the work on complement, and Porter's last research ideas (CSAC 119.1.87/B.37) which continue to form the basis of ongoing experiments. Section D (Organisations and Consultancies), though confined to material of recent date, is also of interest in documenting Porter's continuing service to academic and industrial medical research and his interest in the history of British immunology as shown in his work for the Jenner Trust.LIST OF CONTENTS; INTRODUCTION; SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL CSAC 119.1.87/A.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/A.52; SECTION B RESEARCH NOTEBOOKS CSAC 119.1.87/B.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/B.38; With an introductory note; SECTION C OXFORD CSAC 119.1.87/C.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/C.27; SECTION D ORGANISATIONS & CONSULTANCIES CSAC 119.1.87/D.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/D.60; List of contents; SECTION E VISITS & CONFERENCES CSAC 119.1.87/E.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/E.39; SECTION F JOURNALS & PUBLICATIONS CSAC 119.1.87/F.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/F.13; SECTION G CORRESPONDENCE CSAC 119.1.87/G.1 - CSAC 119.1.87/G.75; With an introductory note.