Catalogue description Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Chemistry Research Board

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of DSIR 5
Reference: DSIR 5
Title: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Chemistry Research Board

Meetings files of the Chemistry Co-ordinating Research Board, the Chemistry Research Board, and the National Chemical Laboratory Steering Committee and files on the administration and research programme of the Chemical Research Laboratory.

Date: 1920-1968
Related material:

Some of its reports are in AB 15

Records of the laboratory are in AY 5

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemical Research Laboratory, 1925-1958

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemistry Research Board, 1927-1958

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, National Chemical Laboratory, 1958-1965

Physical description: 116 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

In the early years of the department's existence, those chemical research problems which did not fall within the scope of any existing research station were mainly undertaken under the auspices of the Chemistry Co-ordinating Research Board. It initiated investigations that were carried out by a number of different institutions, such as the synthesis of formaldehyde at Oxford University, work on synthetic resins at Birmingham University and on the corrosion of metals at Imperial College. In 1923 the department decided to create a laboratory for chemical research, which was established at Teddington in 1925. It was called the Chemical Research Laboratory and was in close geographical proximity to the National Physical Laboratory. It did not cover the whole range of chemical research, being intended to fill a gap in the available laboratory resources of the department and to undertake from time to time such chemical investigations as the department thought desirable in the public interest. It was organised in a varying number of research groups, described by the titles of their most important projects, not by the branches of chemistry with which their work was principally concerned. Its work was supervised by a Chemistry Research Board, which replaced the co-ordinating board in 1927. The board also supervised any other research referred to it on the recommendation of the Advisory Council, and submitted annually a programme of work for the ensuing year and a report on the work of the laboratory. In 1943 the work of the laboratory on road tar, which since 1931 had been carried out in co-operation with the British Road Tar Association under the supervision of the Road Tar Research Committee, was transferred to the Road Research Laboratory.

Following the report of a committee set up by the department's Research Council to review the work and functions of the Chemical Research Laboratory, its title was changed in 1958 to the National Chemical Laboratory; at the same time the research board was replaced by a National Chemical Laboratory Steering Committee with similar terms of reference. The following year the National Collection of Industrial Bacteria, which the laboratary had taken over in 1950, was transferred to the Torry Research Station, and the laboratory's Chemical Engineering Group, formed in 1957, passed to the Warren Spring Laboratory. In 1964 the Extraction of Metals Group was also transferred to the Warren Spring Laboratory and the steering committee was dissolved. In 1965 the National Chemical Laboratory was absorbed by the National Physical Laboratory, on the transfer of the latter to the control of the Ministry of Technology.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research