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Low Temperature Research Station and related papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10242

Scope and Contents

Contains minutes, papers, correspondence, annual reports, offprints and photographs of the Low Temperature Research Station (LTRS), Cambridge (1921-1964). Significant series include papers of the Committee of Management, papers of Edgar Bate-Smith (director of the LTRS) and administrative papers concerning the station's relationship with Cambridge University, transfer to the Agricultural Research Council and termination of the lease of the Downing Street site. Also comprises reports and offprints produced by the Ditton Laboratory, sister station to the LTRS, papers on the history of the Food Investigation Board and a published volume of William Bate Hardy's scientific papers.


  • Creation: 1917-1989


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

The Food Investigation Board (FIB), under the directorship of William Bate Hardy, established the Low Temperature Research Station (LTRS) in Cambridge in 1921. The station was run by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), but was overseen by a committee of management from the University of Cambridge and was housed on a site on Downing Street supplied by the University and in close proximity to other biological and physiological sciences. The station researched the properties and behaviour of foodstuffs, specifically the preservation and distribution of meat, eggs and poultry. A number of refrigerated rooms were maintained to monitor foodstuffs over long periods of time and to investigate controlled atmosphere storage. Similar research on fruit and vegetables was carried out concurrently at the Ditton Laboratory in Kent. Early superintendents of the LTRS included Hardy, Franklin Kidd and Edgar Bate-Smith. The lease of the Downing Street site was terminated by the University in 1956, and by the mid-1960s the LTRS and the Ditton Laboratory had been subsumed into the Institute of Food Research based in Norwich. The Institute in turn became the Quadram Institute in 2017, with the opening of a new centre for food and health research based at Norwich Research Park. The former LTRS building in Cambridge is now known as the William Hardy Building and forms part of the University’s Geography Department.


0.45 cubic metre(s) (10 archive boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Quadram Institute Bioscience (previously Institute of Food Research), Norwich Research Park, 28 March 2018.

Related Materials

Further material relating to the Low Temperature Research Station is held in the University Archives: for Financial Board subject files, 1921-89, see UA/FB 628i-iii, 628, 628/1-6 Box 425-6, 974-4; for General Board subject file, 1920-83, see UA/GB 120.132 Box 1256; for Minutes of the Syndicate for the Extension of the LTRS, 1927-35, see UA/PREM.VII.13; for building contracts, 1921, see UA/PREM.VIII.16-17.


See History of the Quadram Institute for a full history.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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