Catalogue of the correspondence of SIR BERNARD AUGUSTUS KEEN, F.R.S. (1890 - 1981)

This record is held by London University: University College London (UCL) Special Collections

Details of CSAC 95.6.83
Reference: CSAC 95.6.83
Title: Catalogue of the correspondence of SIR BERNARD AUGUSTUS KEEN, F.R.S. (1890 - 1981)

The chief interest of the collection is in Item 2, which consists of correspondence exchanged October-December 1931 with Sir Daniel Hall, then Director of the John Innes Horticultural Institute. The letters relate to the setting up of the Agricultural Research Council and the offer to Keen of the position of Secretary.


Compiled by Jeannine Alton and Peter Harper


The work of the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, and the production of this catalogue, are made possible by the support of the following societies and institutions:


The Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland


The Biochemical Society


The British Pharmacological Society


The Charles Babbage Foundation for the History of Information Processing


The Institute of Physics


The Institution of Electrical Engineers


The Nuffield Foundation


The Physiological Society


The Royal Society of London

Date: 1931-1982
Related material:

Keen's autobiographical notes, published papers, and five volumes of diaries of overseas travels, are held at the Royal Society, London.


Keen's collection of old prints and advertisements for early steam-power agricultural equipment, currently in the care of Sir Charles Pereira FRS, will be deposited in the Library of the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Silsoe.


A little personal material remains in family hands.

Held by: London University: University College London (UCL) Special Collections, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Keen, Sir, Bernard Augustus, 1890-1981, Knight, scientist and agricultural scientist

Physical description: 6 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

The material was received from Sir Charles Pereira, author of the Royal Society Memoir of Keen (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 28, 1982). A copy of the Memoir, and of information from Sir Charles about the interest of the papers and about the location of other material, are included as Item 1.

Administrative / biographical background:

Much of Keen's career as an agricultural scientist was spent abroad on secondment to various institutes, notably in India and Africa. As a consequence of this peripatetic life, few personal records survive.


b. 1890


1902 - 08 educ. Southend High School


1908 - 11 University College, London (physics and mathematics)


1911 - 12 Troughton Research Scholarship, University College, London


1913-14 Rothamsted Experimental Station


1914 - 19 War Service


1915 married Elsie Isabelle Cowley


1919 - 47 Rothamsted Experimental Station (Assistant Director 1924) with frequent secondment overseas


1929 - 31 Director, Imperial Institute of Agricultural Research, Pusa, Bihar, India (on secondment)


1935 Fellowship of the Royal Society


1939 - 40 Visits to Bulgaria


1943 - 45 Scientific Adviser, Middle East Supply Centre, Cairo


1946 Government missions to Palestine and to West Africa


1947 - 54 Director, East African Agriculture and Forestry Research Organisation


1952 Knighthood


1954 - 65 Scientific Adviser, Baird and Tatlock (London) Limited

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