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Frank Young papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Young

Scope and Contents

Section A, Biographical, includes a little autobiographical material including full curricula vitae. There is considerable material relating to Young's knighthood, chiefly letters of congratulation. The section also includes a little family material, some personal correspondence and material relating to Young's historical interests. Section B, University of Cambridge, is disappointing given Young's contributions to the Department of Biochemistry, the development of medicine in Cambridge and his Mastership of Darwin College. It includes documentation of Young's teaching in the Department of Biochemistry, some departmental administration material and a little material relating to the development of the Clinical School and to arrangements for his post-retirement research. His involvement with the Medical Research Council's Dunn Nutrition Unit is documented, including his service on the Unit's Ethical Committee. Section C, Research, presents uneven coverage of Young's research from 1929 to the 1970s, presented in a broadly chronological order. The bulk of the material relates to Young's work on the cause and mechanism of diabetes, a line of research he began under J.J.R. Mcleod at Aberdeen and then C.H. Best at the University of Toronto. Running from 1958 to 1975 is an incomplete sequence of numbered experiments 1-607, relating to work on the relationship between growth hormone and diabetes. These were performed by D.C. Gardiner, an assistant in the Department of Biochemistry working under Young. Section D, Publications, offers only partial coverage of Young's publications from 1938 to 1982. Documentation of Young's published scientific work, in particular, is disappointing; the section is dominated by material relating to Young and C.N. Hales's 1982 Royal Society Biographical Memoir of C.H. Best. The section also includes sets of Young's offprints. Section E, Lectures and speeches, covers Young's public and invitation lectures and speeches 1936-1977 and n.d. Young was frequently invited to lecture and some of his lectures were subsequently published. He was also a sought-after speaker at social functions and as a Trustee and member (then Chairman) of the Executive Council of the Ciba Foundation he was called upon to speak at many Ciba Foundation functions. Section F, Societies and organisations, is the largest in the collection. It includes significant documentation of some of Young's principal responsibilities including the Ciba Foundation, the International Diabetes Federation, chiefly its Special Committee established in 1970 to report on the 'work leading up to the discovery of insulin', and the British Nutrition Foundation during the period of Young's Presidency. International Union of Biochemistry material mostly relates to the problems in rearranging the 8th International Congress of Biochemistry scheduled for Rome in September 1970; Young played a leading role in ensuring its successful relocation at short notice to Switzerland. Young's service on government advisory committees is represented by papers and correspondence relating to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy - including its Panels on Recommended Allowances of Nutrients, Diet in relation to Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease, and Bread, Flour and other Cereal Products - and the Advisory Committee on the Irradiation of Food. Young's membership of the Royal Commission on Medical Education is also well documented, including responses to the Commission's report (the Todd Report). Other organisations represented include the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (later the University of Rhodesia). Young was a member of the College's Council as a representative of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education Overseas, and there are papers relating to the problems confronting the institution in its relations with the Rhodesian government. Section G, Visits and conferences, covers only a very small proportion of Young's visits and attendance at conferences, 1955-1977. The most extensive material relates to the 9th International Diabetes Federation Congress, New Delhi, India, 1976, which in the event Young was unable to attend. Some further material relating to lectures given at events can be found in section E, Lectures and speeches. Section H, Correspondence, includes general scientific correspondence presented in alphabetical order. Principal correspondents include C.H. Best, J. Bornstein, Sir Henry Dale, I. Hais, W.D. Tigertt and Lord Zuckerman. There is also Young's letter file of outgoing letters, January - September 1975, and some references and recommendations. There is also an index of correspondents.


  • Creation: 1913-1988


Conditions Governing Access

Some items are restricted at the discretion of the Keeper of Manuscripts.


34 archive box(es) (34 boxes)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A hard copy catalogue is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room. An online catalogue, created by NCUACS, is available on the National Archives website at


Much of the material, particularly Young's research papers, was found in very poor condition and preliminary conservation work notwithstanding, significant quantities of material could not be preserved and had to be discarded. Much of what has been retained requires careful handling as many documents are in a fragile condition.

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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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