Archive of the month

The Archive of the Month feature raises awareness amongst students and staff about the variety of material that we hold. In particular, the old Bangor photographs appear to spark a lot of interest and debate on the University’s Facebook pages.

Every month, an item is selected to be showcased. The item is scanned and a short piece of text written about its history.

November 2017


                                                                      Photograph : Wikimedia Commons


This letter signed by Marie Curie was found amongst the papers of Professor Edwin Augustus Owen a former student, and eminent member of staff at U.C.N.W.

After studying at Bangor Edwin Owen proceeded to the Cavendish Laboratory to work on x-rays and radioactivity under J.J. Thomson. His discovery that ‘the mass absorption coefficient of a material for x-rays varied inversely as the fifth power of the atomic weight of the radiator’ is known as Owen’s Law. After 1918 he was able to devote his whole time to research into x-rays and atomic physics.  In 1926 he was appointed to the chair at Bangor. Soon after his appointment he received the Rontgen Award and by the time of his death in 1973 he had published well over two hundred papers.

It appears that this letter from Marie Curie was sent to Edwin Owen in 1925 before his staff appointment at Bangor. Loosely translated she regrets not being able to accept an invitation to the Congress of Radiology as she is committed to visiting Poland and Czechoslovakia in June. She offers to examine with Dr Regaud the possibility of sending a contribution on one of the issues the congress will deal with, but feels she cannot write anything herself, given the limited time before her trip.

This "Archive of the Month" was created by Ann Hughes, Archives Officer

Click on the links below to view all our showcased documents.









  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013