Catalogue description Papers of Professor DAVID KEILIN, F.R.S.(1887 - 1963)

This record is held by Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

Details of CSAC 3.73
Reference: CSAC 3.73
Title: Papers of Professor DAVID KEILIN, F.R.S.(1887 - 1963)

Professor Keilin was of Russian-Jewish extraction brought up in Warsaw. He was a student at the Sorbonne and began his scientific work in Paris before moving to Cambridge; his cosmopolitan background is reflected in the many foreign languages used in his notebooks, publications and correspondence, which are noted in the handlist.


Professor Keilin began his scientific career as an entomologist and parasitologist, and retained his interest in these subjects throughout his working life in addition to his developing concentration on the biochemistry of cell respiration. For this reason it has not always been possible to date working papers precisely. He suffered from asthma and travelled little; this, together with the very wide range of his scientific interests, was responsible for his extensive correspondence.


The collection includes material belonging or relating to other scientists, for example Dr. C.A. MacMunn, an early and neglected precursor of Keilin's work on cytochrome; there are also correspondence and drawings of Sir Ronald Ross and Professor G.H.F. Nuttall, Keilin's predecessor as Quick Professor of Biology and Director of the Molteno Institute, Cambridge University (Items 223 - 228).


The numerous drawings, especially of parasitological subjects, are by Nuttall, Keilin and perhaps others. The high quality of the execution has been thought justification for retaining them (Items 220 - 222, and 229).


Listed by: Jeannine Alton


Harriot Weiskittel

Date: 1867 - 1963

I. Biographical material 1 - 27


II. Address Books 28 - 32


III. Bibliographies 33 - 45


IV. Working notebooks 46 - 127


V. Cambridge University 128 - 140


VI. Publications 141 - 175


VII. Conference 176


VIII. Correspondence 177 - 219


IX. Drawings 220 - 222


X. Historical material: Biographical and scientific material relating to Dr. C.A. MacMunn, Sir Ronald Ross, Professor G.H.F. Nuttall 223 - 229

Related material:

Material relating to the Royal Society, the Agricultural Research Council, and the Chemical Defence Research Department, Ministry of Supply, has been returned to the appropriate authorities.


A selection of books from Keilin's library, and much of his large collection of off-prints, are in the library of the Department of Zoology, Oxford University.

Held by: Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Keilin, David, 1887-1963, biochemist

Physical description: 229 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1973


They were received from Mrs. Joan Whiteley (daughter), who retains during her lifetime the biological material listed as Items 1 - 6

  • Biochemistry
Administrative / biographical background:

Summary of the career of Professor Keilin


b. 1887 Moscow


1897 - 1904 Educated at Gorski Gymnasium, Warsaw


1904 Liege University


1905 Paris University


Began work with Maurice Caullery in Laboratoire d'Evolution des Etres Organises, Paris, on Pollenia Rudis


1913 Married


1914 D.Sc. (Sorbonne)


Prix Passet, Société entomologique de France


1914 - 23 Work on morphology and biology of protists


1915 Invited to Cambridge to work with G.H.F. Nuttall, Quick Professor of Biology


Work on Pediculus humanus


1920 - 25 Beit Memorial Research Fellow, Cambridge


1920 Began work on cellular respiration using mainly spectroscopic methods


1921 Moved with Nuttall to Molteno Institute for Research in Parasitology, Cambridge


1925 University lecturer in Parasitology, Cambridge


Work on cytochrome published


1928 Fellow of the Royal Society


1931 - 52 Quick Professor of Biology and Director of the Molteno Institute; Professorial Fellow, Magdalene College


1934 Croonian Lecturer, Royal Society


1934 - 63 Editor, Parasitology


1934 Work on enzymes, collaborating principally with E.F. Hartree (1934-58) and T. Mann (1937-44)


1939 Royal Medal, Royal Society


1946 Work on Anabiosis


1952 Copley Medal, Royal Society


1955 Membre Associé Etranger, Académie des Sciences, Paris


1957 Honorary Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge


1958 Leeuwenhoek Lecture, Royal Society

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