Heritage Collection

The Institute owns a number of items of historical interest. Special collections include: 

  • The Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) Collection: two display cases showing his Autobiography, photographs and artefacts are available to see at the Bessemer Suite at IOM3 headquarters in London.
  • Collections of Scientific Papers written by distinguished materials scientists: Dr John Percy (1817-1889); Dr Donald McLean (1915-2018), Dr W.Eric Duckworth (1925-2012), Prof Peter Jost (1921-2016) and others.
  • Dunlop/BTR rubber research reports.
  • The IMM historical collection.
  • Miners Safety Lamps - a unique collection of about 150 miners lamps currently on display at the IOM3 new building in London.
  • Viva Talbot (1900-1983) - "Steelmaking" a collection of 15 prints showing the steel making process from the mining of raw materials to the manufacturing of finished products in the 1930s. This Collection is on display at IOM3 headquarters in London.
  • Collection of antiquarian books.

There are also subject indexes to mining industry literature from 1894 onwards and a collection of modern publications on mining history.

 IOM3 titles such as Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute (JISI) 1869-1973 and Journal of the Institute of Metals (JIM) 1908-1973, Transactions of the Institution of Rubber Industries (IRI), Transactions of the Plastics Institute (PI), Plastics and Rubber International (PRI) and others titles contain technical information and information of historical interest, such as formation of former organisations that constitute IOM3 today, biographies, obituaries, appreciation, photographs of Past Presidents, etc. These titles are held in the IOM3's National Materials and Mining Archive in Grantham.

For further information on the collections and to make an appointment please contact us via the online enquiry form

External sources:

There are some external sources of interest to members and historians.

Grace's Guide to British Industrial History covers obituaries of members of the Iron and Steel Institute and the Institute of Metals. Also covers other professional engineering institutions.

The Northern Mine Research Society contains indices of Obituaries of members of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy 1892-1968 and Camborne School of Mines Graduates 1898-1940

2019 marks 150 years since the birth of Joseph William Mellor FRS (1869-1938)
Joseph Mellor was a pioneering ceramist of his time. He was actively involved in the work of the Ceramic Society (a predecessor of the current IOM3), and he held the office of Honorary Secretary from 1905 until his death. He also held additional roles such as Director of the British Refractories Research Association (which later merged with the British Pottery Research Association in 1948, to become the British Ceramic Research Association, now Lucideon). He wrote several books: "The crystallisation of iron and steel", "Modern inorganic chemistry", "Comprehensive Treatise" (16 volumes) and research papers on pottery and other ceramics. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1927.

The IOM3 Digital Library contains three of the Mellor Memorial Lectures, that the Institute of Ceramics (formed in 1955) agreed to hold to commemorate his lifelong work. The Lectures are still held. The 2019 Mellor Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Society of Glass Technology, took place at Stoke-on-Trent at 16.15 on Wednesday 5 June at Lucideon. This was presented by Trevor Wilson of DSF Refractories, title: The effects of batch carryover on the performance of regenerator refractories.

For further information you may to visit the Online Exhibition called the World of Joseph W. Mellor held at University of Otago website, New Zealand.

10 March 2018 - William Menelaus (1818-1882), bicentenary of his birth.
William Menelaus was a founder member of The Iron and Steel Institute, its President in 1873-1877 and Bessemer Gold Medallist in 1881. An article was published in the March 2018 issue of Materials World pages 49-51, tells of his life, contribution to the formation of IOM3 and the steel industry. See article here.

Celebrating a Mentor: Leslie M. Shore explores the legacy of William Menelaus, a renowned engineer-industrialist who played a role in the creation of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, 200 years since his birth

2015 was the bicentenary of the invention of the Miners' Safety Lamp

To access list of events, articles and videos please check here


Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898)


2013 Bessemer bicentenary exhibition and other items of interest

2013 centenary of stainless steel events