Document ReferencePPM
TitlePapers of Professor Sir Peter Mansfield; 1895-2008
Extent127 boxes
AbstractThe collection comprises papers of physicist, and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Sir Peter Mansfield (1933-2017). The papers include copies of published works, research papers, patents, lecture notes, slides, correspondence and photographs.
Access ConditionsMuch of the collection is accessible to all readers. However, access to some items is restricted under current Data Protection legislation. Please see our Access Policy or contact us for further advice.
Admin HistoryPeter Mansfield was born in Lambeth, London, on 9 October 1933. He went to school in Peckham, leaving at age 15 to work as a printer's assistant. Having developed an interest in rocketry, he got a job aged 18 with the Rocket Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply. He studied for his A-Levels at night school, then went to Queen Mary College, London, to study Physics, graduating in 1959 and completing his PhD in 1962. He then carried out postdoctoral research with Professor Charles Slichter at the University of Illinois, studying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in solids.

In 1964 Mansfield returned to the UK to take up a post as Lecturer at the University of Nottingham, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 1968 and a Reader in 1970. He continued his research into NMR, working on multi-pulse techniques. In the early 1970s he proposed the idea that NMR could be used to study the structure of matter, and this developed into a vision of how NMR could form the basis of a medical imaging technique. This technique was later named magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). One of his earliest important contributions was the invention of a method for selecting and imaging a specific slice through an object. Funded by the Medical Research Council he developed MRI apparatus which produced the first MRI images of a live human finger in 1974, and a live human torso (Mansfield's own) in 1978. He went on to initiate and develop the technique of Echo-Planar Imaging (EPI) in the late 1970s, which allowed extremely fast imaging of dynamic processes such as a beating heart. He was appointed Professor in 1979.

Mansfield was instrumental in the construction of the Magnetic Resonance Centre at the University of Nottingham, and was its first Director, from 1991 to 1994. It is now named the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre. He formally retired in 1994, but continued his research, particularly into the noise levels generated by the MRI process.

Mansfield was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1987, and was knighted in 1993. In 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul Lauterbur 'for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging'. He died on 8 February 2017.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was given to Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham in 2014-2018. It was catalogued and repackaged in 2018-2019 with support from a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award.
DescriptionThe collection consists of the following series:

Biographical and Personal (PPM/1)
Publications (PPM/2)
Research Papers (PPM/3)
Patents (PPM/4)
University of Nottingham – Teaching (PPM/5)
University of Nottingham – Grant Applications (PPM/6)
University of Nottingham – Magnetic Resonance Centre (PPM/7)
University of Nottingham – Administrative/Departmental (PPM/8)
Societies (PPM/9)
Conferences and lectures (PPM/10)
Correspondence (PPM/11)
Books not authored by Peter Mansfield (PPM/12)
Press cuttings and articles relating to MRI and its history (PPM/13)
Photographs (PPM/14)
Slides (PPM/15)
Audio-visual material (PPM/16)

Mansfield's research papers and publications together form the largest part of the collection. They include notes, experimental results and photographs relating to NMR and the development of MRI techniques such as Echo-Planar Imaging, copies of his own published papers and books, drafts of such publications, and papers on NMR and MRI by other authors.

Mansfield took out patents on many of his techniques and inventions, and the collection contains a large quantity of correspondence concerning the drafting and agreement of patents, objections raised, and legal disputes over patent infringement, as well as copies of the patents themselves.

Other main areas of the collection include papers relating to conferences he attended (generally including meeting programmes and notes for any lectures or talks he delivered), his school and university notebooks, a series of general correspondence files from throughout his career, and teaching material including lecture notes, problem sets and examination questions.

Also present are around 2,700 35 mm slides showing MRI images, graphs of experimental results, early scanning equipment, and diagrams explaining the principles of NMR and MRI, together with some videotapes of early EPI experiments and of TV programmes featuring the work of his group at Nottingham.
MgtGroupPersonal papers
Scientific, research and educational records
MgtSubGroupUniversity member
Papers of scientific interest
ArrangementThe collection has been divided into series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically where possible.
TermNuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Physics - Research
Physicists - England
FindingAidsCopyright in all finding aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. Online: Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.
ReprodnNotePhotocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialRecords of the British Radiofrequency Spectroscopy Group (BS); Papers of Professor Brian Worthington (PBW); Papers of Professor E. Raymond Andrew (PRA); Records of the British and Irish Chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (MS 1023).

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
DS/UK/87136Mansfield; Peter (1933-2017); Professor; physicist1933-2017
Add to My Items