Frank Sherwood Taylor, Director of the Science Museum, c 1950s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait of Sherwood Taylor (1897-1956), chemist and historian of science, who was appointed Director of the Science Museum in 1950. One of a group of specialists who founded the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry, he initiated a programme of purchasing antiquarian scientific books. Sherwood Taylor's interest in books on alchemy in particular meant that the Science Museum Library's historical collections were significantly strengthened. He encouraged others to add to the collections and increased the museum's teaching role considerably.