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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
HANSON, Professor (Emmeline) Jean (1919-1973)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
20 boxes or 0.2 cubic metres.


Name of creator(s)

Hanson, Emmeline Jean, 1919-1973, biologist

Administrative / Biographical history

Born in Newhall, Derbyshire, 1919; educated at the Girls' High School, Burton-on-Trent, 1930-1938; read Zoology at Bedford College, London, 1938-1941; research student at Bedford College, 1941-1942, working on the histology of the vascular system of annelids; and worked at the Strangeways laboratory, Cambridge, 1941-1944; demonstrator in Zoology at Bedford College, 1944-1948; joined the Biophysical Research Unit at King's College London established by John Randall, 1948; researched the structural basis of muscular contraction, and moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology biology department under Professor Francis O Schmitt as a Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellow, 1953; collaborated with Hugh Esmor Huxley and formulated and tested the sliding filament hypothesis of muscular contraction; returned to the Biophysics Research Unit, 1954; continued research on sliding filament mechanism of muscular contraction, particularly in non striated muscles of invertebrates, the morphology of smooth muscle in invertebrates, the molecular structure of actin and bacterial flagella; Professor of Biology, University of London, 1966; elected fellow of the Royal Society, 1967; director of Muscle Biophysics Unit at King's College London, 1970; died 1973.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were received by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, University of Bath, between 1975-1977 from Dr Gerald Hoffer, Hanson's scientific executor and presented to King's College London in 1978.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of Professor Jean Hanson, 1938-1975, comprising undergraduate lecture notes; drafts for lectures, revised annually, for undergraduate teaching in zoology at Bedford College, 1938-1948; lectures in Biophysics given at King's College London, 1960-1973; research papers, comprising extensive laboratory notebooks and working papers, 1938-1973, which include ideas for research and comments on current and projected experiments as well as records and observations of work in progress; reports on the work of the Muscle Biophysics Unit; drafts for publications, 1950-1973; unpublished invitation lectures and talks, 1956-1973; scientific correspondence, 1956-1973, including letters exchanged with colleagues whilst at conferences or abroad, detailing research progress; 'Emmeline Jean Hanson' by Sir John Randall, reprinted from Biographical memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society , Vol 21, Nov 1975.

System of arrangement

By section as follows: Biographical and personal, Bedford College London, Laboratory notebooks and working papers, King's College London, Lectures and conferences, Scientific correspondence, Publications, index of correspondents.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre catalogue no 51/5/77, 25 pp. Available at the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, and the College Archives, King's College London.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

Correspondence with John William Sutton Pringle, held at Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Based on the guide compiled by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists; Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); 'Emmeline Jean Hanson' by Sir John Randall, reprinted from Biographical memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol 21, Nov 1975; National Register of Archives. Compiled by Julie Tancell for the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

January 2001


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  • Biographies
  • Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Experiments
  • Higher education institutions
  • Higher science education
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Organization of research
  • Prose
  • Research programmes
  • Research projects
  • Research work
  • Universities
  • Zoology

Personal names

  • Hanson, Emmeline Jean, 1919-1973, Biologist
  • Randall, Sir, John Turton, 1905-1984, Knight, Physicist

Corporate names

  • Bedford College
  • King's College London College Archives
  • King's College London, Muscle Biophysics Unit

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