KEEN, Bernard Augustus v2

Published: 16 January, 2024  Author: admin


CSAC 95/6/83 CONTEMPORARY SCIENTIFIC ARCHIVES CENTRE British National Committee for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology under the guidance of the Royal Society’s Catalogue of the correspondence of SIR BERNARD AUGUSTUS KEEN, F.R.S. (1890 - 1981) Compiled by: Jeannine Alton and Peter Harper Deposited in University College, London, Library 1983 All rights reserved B.A. Keen CSAC 95/6/83 The work of the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, and the production of this catalogue, are made possible by the support of the following societies and institutions: The Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland The Biochemical Society The British Pharmacological Society The Charles Babbage Foundation for the History of Information Processing The Institute of Physics — The Institution of Electrical Engineers The Nuffield Foundation The Physiological Society The Royal Society of London B.A. Keen CSAC 95/6/83 PROVENANCE 2 The material was received from Sir Charles Pereira, author of the Royal Society Memoir of Keen (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 28, 1982). A copy of the Memoir, and of information from Sir Charles about the interest of the papers and about the location of other material, are included as Item 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION Much of Keen's career as an agricultural scientist was spent abroad on secondmentto various institutes, notably in India and Africa. As a consequence of this peripatetic life, few personal records survive. The chief interest of the collection is in Item 2, which consists of corres- pondence exchanged October-December 1931 with Sir Daniel Hall, then Director of the John Innes Horticultural Institute. The letters relate to the setting up of the Agricultural Research Council and the offer to Keen of the position of Secretary. LOCATIONS OF FURTHER MATERIAL Keen's autobiographical notes, published papers, and five volumes of diaries of overseas travels, are held at the Royal Society, London. Keen's collection of old prints and advertisements for early steam-poweragricultural equipment, currently in the care of Sir Charles Pereira FRS, will be deposited in the Library of the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Silsoe. A little personal material remains in family hands. B.A. Keen CSAC 95/6/83 OUTLINE OF THE CAREER OF SIR BERNARD KEEN b. 1890 1902 - 08 educ. Southend High School 1908 - 11 University College, London (physics and mathematics) 1911 - 12 Troughton Research Scholarship, University College, London 1913 - 14 Rothamsted Experimental Station 1914 - 19 War Service 1915 married Elsie Isabelle Cowley TAD = 47 Rothamsted Experimental Station (Assistant Director 1924) with frequent secondment overseas 1929-— 31 Director, Imperial Institute of Agricultural Research, Pusa, Bihar, India (on secondment) 1935 Fellowship of the Royal Society 1939 - 40 Visits to Bulgaria 1943 - 45 Scientific Adviser, Middle East Supply Centre, Cairo 1946 Government missions to Palestine and to West Africa 1947 - 54 Director, East African Agriculture and Forestry Research Organisation 1952 Knighthood 1954 - 65 Scientific Adviser, Baird and Tatlock (London) Limited B.A. Keen CSAC 95/6/83 Memoir of Keen, by Sir Charles Pereira FRS (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 28, 1982). Included here is correspondence from Pereira, 1982, on the nature and interest of the papers and on the location of further material . A note on Keen's work as Director of the East African Agriculture and Forestry Research Organisation, published on his retirement in 1954, appears in Item 3. Correpondence with Sir Daniel Hall, 1931 The correspondence, exchanged when Keen was approaching the end of his secondment to the Imperial Institute of Agricultural Research, Bihar, relates to the setting-up of the 'Council of Agricultural Research' (later The Agricultural Research Council). Hall's letter of 6 September outlines the proposed scope of the Council and the duties of its Secretary Keen's letter and asks 'Does this position appeal to you?' of reply, dated 3 October, gives an account of his own career plans. Also included is a letter from Hall, 30 December, commenting on Keen's report on Indian agriculture. Hall's letter of 6 September bears marginal scorings by Sir Charles Pereira, who refers to the correspondence in his Memoir, p.211. Correspondence 1954 Letters of farewell from and to Keen on his retirement from East Africa and return to Britain. Includes press-cutting of article 'Sir Bernard Keen retires’ . Keen's letter of 11 November to Sir Vincent Glenday describes the 'very complicated distribution of my effects’, which explains the paucity of surviving records. B.A. Keen CSAC 95/6/83 Correspondence from Sir John Russell, 1962, 1963 Mainly re Russell's history of agricultural science in Britain, but also recalling Keen's appointment at Rothamsted (1913) and Rutherford's praise of his book The physical properties of the soil (1931). Letter from G.D.H. Bell, on Keen's retirement as Editor, Journal of Agricultural Science, 1965 (Keen had served since 1924). Letter of condolence, from Royal Meteorological Society, 1981. (Keen had been President 1938 and 1939.)