Alexander Todd’s personal archive including school prizes from Glasgow schooldays, his Nobel Prize lecture and dozens of retained copies of his papers and speeches.
Alexander R Todd (1907-1997) was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the synthesis of nucleotides - the groundwork for Watson and Crick’s elucidation of DNA. Born in Cathcart, outer Glasgow, he went to Allen Glen’s School, Glasgow University before taking Ph.D.s in Germany and at Cambridge University where he was Fellow then Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge, Professor of Organic Chemistry and President of the Royal Society, 1975-1980.
GLASGOW, [School Prize] W Watson, Intermediate Physics, 1923, Longmans. Prize bookplate on front pastedown, ‘Allen Glen’s School Session 1923-24’, prize awarded to Alexander Todd, gilt stamp of school monogram to upper cover.
[School Prize] J M Barrie, Courage, Rectorial Address at St Andrews, 1922, Hodder and Stoughton. Allan Glens School prize stamp to upper board.
Living History in Glasgow, with a letter from an ‘old established Glasgow Society’ inviting Todd to join.
[Nobel Lecture] Les Prix Nobel en 1957: ‘Synthesis in the Study of Nucleotides’ by Sir Alexander Todd, Nobel Lecture, delivered on 11th December 1957. Offprint, Stockholm 1958. (25x16cm, 14pp in card cover).
Nobel: The Man and his Prizes, by H Schuck and R Sohlman, The Nobel Foundation, published by Sohlmans Forlag, Stockholm, 1950. Inscribed on the occasion of his award of the Nobel Prize from the committee to Alexander Todd. Blue buckram binding embossed with Nobel’s bust to the upper cover; inscribed on the marbled endpaper: ‘With the Compliments of The Nobel Foundation Stockholm, Dec 10th. 1957.’ A fine copy.
The Royal Society Catalogue of Portraits, by Norman H Robinson and Eric G Forbes, The Royal Society of London, 1980. Inscribed on his retirement from the Presidency of the Royal Society in 1980 to Sir Alexander Todd by his Officers. Bright blue cloth binding with yellow typographic jacket, some fading. Otherwise a fine copy with the inscribed bookplate to the first flyleaf by John Mason (later President of the RS), David Phillips, Michael Stokes and Morris Sugden. A splendid association copy.
‘Address of the President Lord Todd at the Anniversary Meeting, Award of Medals’, one pamphlet marked ‘Embargo: not for publication before 16.00, 30 November 1976, with small hole at top left corner, stapled; and reprints, being extracts from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, for 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1980. Medal recipients in 1976 include Dorothy Hodgkin (the Copley Medal for her work with X-Ray Crystallography, notably elucidating the structure of Vitamin B12); and Stephen Hawking (the Hughes Medal for his work on the behaviour of highly condensed matter in neutron stars and black holes). (Each 25x17cm).
Anniversary Address by the President given following the presentation of medals for 1980, Supplement to Royal Society News, December 1980, 4pp folded.
‘Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society’, biographies by Todd of Henry Hallett Dale (1875-1968, fellow Nobel Prize winner and Todd’s father in law); James Kenner (1885-1974, one of Todd’s research collaborators); Robert AJ Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury (1893-1972); and Franz Bergel (1900-1987). (Each 25x17cm approx, card covers).
‘Address at the Memorial Service for Sir David Christie Martin (1914-1976)’ reprinted from Notes and Records of the Royal Society (25x17cm 3pp, cream card cover).
‘The Royal Society, Tercentenary Celebrations, Formal Opening by Her Majesty the Queen, Patron’ at the Royal Albert Hall, Tuesday 19 July 1960. Todd’s copy of the Order of Proceedings for the day. (25x17cm, 3pp in printed card cover).
Meisterwerke Deutscher Prosa, 1921, Wien and Leipzig. Inscribed ‘Alexander R Todd Vienna July 1925’
Ernst Toller, Die Rache Des Verhonten Liebhabers, 1925, Berlin - ‘Alexander R Todd Berling July 1925’
Goethe, Aus Meinem Leben, Reclam, Leipzig - ‘Alex.r R. Todd August 1929. From E.L.A.’
Emil Fischer Sein Leben und sein Werk, 1921, Berlin, inscribed by Fischer’s son to Todd.
Allgemeines Deutsches Kommersbuch, 1928, Lahr, long inscription to Todd in German, 1931
PAPERS & WRITINGS OF ALEXANDER TODD:
‘List of Publications’ (annotated in pencil as being Lord Todd’s own copy), 27pp foolscap, typed, single-sided, paper-clip, in two parts: a numbered list of 385 academic papers published between 1929 and 1968; a list of 99 Speeches delivered between 1963 and 1978, plus 4 listed Experiments towards the Synthesis of Corrins.
‘Problems of the Technological Society’ - Ghana Publishing, for the University of Ghana, 1973, 80pp, printed card cover, in near fine condition - texts of five lectures given by Lord Todd for The Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures 1971.
‘The Changing Face of Natural Product Chemistry’, reprinted from: proceedings of the First Philip Morris Science Symposium, 1973. (23x15cm, 12pp, brown card cover).
Together with a further 23 items comprising reprints of speeches given and extracts of Todd’s work from scientific journals, reflecting his diverging interests into science education and the world of medicine, appreciations of former colleagues, and other lectures given, including several texts in Russian and Japanese.
FAMILY LIFE [In 1937 Todd married Alison Sarah Dale, daughter of Sir Henry Dale, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1936, and also later President of the Royal Society]
Sommerville and Ross, Some Irish Yesterdays, inscribed [SIr Henry] Dale to the flyleaf and a postcard to his daughter, Todd’s wife, ‘Mrs Alexander Todd’, 1937 written by both Henry Dale and his wife Ellen Harriet Hallett.
PHOTOGRAPH - Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory, 1948, departmental photograph with Todd front and centre as head of Department (40x34cm).