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Non-print material

This series consists of photographs, film, glass plate slides, and audiotapes. The photographs at G.1-20 include one folder of negatives at G.15. The photographs found at G.1-8 were originally housed in envelopes with titles in Frisch's hand, but they are only a partial guide to the present contents. Some photographs are dated and identified on their verso. Another photograph, G.32, arrived as part of the supplemental papers given by Ulla Frisch after the main group of papers.

The films at G.21-22 include some which were taken at post-war physics conferences. The glass lecture slides at G.23-28 are in boxes with labels but some slides do not conform to their box labels. G.34-35 are film slides and are part of the supplemental papers.

The audiotapes are housed as G.29-31, and G.33 (the latter is part of the supplemental papers).


Much of this series relates to the memorial to reinstate Bertrand Russell who had been dismissed from his College lectureship during WWI for pacifism. Items G1 - G26 were originally contained in brown envelope labelled "The Russell Dossier"


The correspondence includes several substantial exchanges of letters, however, many of them are incoming only, sometimes with a brief ms. note by Davenport of his reply on which ensuing correspondence may be based. Mrs. Davenport's notes identifying correspondents and their connections with Davenport often accompany the letters and were drawn upon in compiling the entries.

The content is essentially mathematical though some personal news from Davenport's long-term friends, colleagues and pupils may be included. Davenport's long association with German mathematicians, many of whom became refugees in British universities including Cambridge, is well documented; these are wholly or partly in German. Of special interest are the extensive exchanges with E. Bombieri, G. H. Hardy, H. A. Heilbronn, K. Mahler and L. J. Mordell.

Mordell, a distinguished mathematician of American origin, with a special interest in number theory, was Fielden Professor of Mathematics at Manchester when Davenport took his first degree there. The Manchester School of Mathematics was particularly strong in the 1930s, and included several refugee mathematicians; Davenport also joined it as Assistant Lecturer in 1937. Mordell succeeded Hardy in the Sadleirian Chair at Cambridge 1945-1953 and remained in contact with Cambridge mathematics until his death in 1972. Davenport was among his closest friends. Mordell recognized his quality from a very early stage (see G.208), helped him to share his own special interest in the geometry of numbers, and, according to J. W. S. Cassels, looked on Davenport as ‘his spiritual heir’ (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 19, 1973, pp. 493-520).


This series brings together the remaining letters not kept by Frisch in folders with related research notes, drafts for publications, etc. Some of the letters complement material in other series, but the majority are shorter exchanges with scientific colleagues, or personal correspondence.

It should be noted that several of the letters have Frisch's reply typed on the verso.

The correspondence is presented in alphabetical order, with a brief indication of any material of particular scientific or personal interest. The supplemental papers given by Ulla Frisch, E.148-157, however, are listed in a second alphabetic order.

Faculty of Mathematics, Cambridge

This series consists of committee notices and reports, with some correspondence and examination papers as well. The papers are arranged into six subgroups: General committees (F.1-6), Needs of faculty and sub-departments (F.7-9), Appointments (F.10-12), Requests for post-graduate places (F.13), Examination papers (F.14-16), and Miscellaneous (F.17). The Needs of faculty and sub-departments papers largely consist of Statements of Needs of various departments, in various areas, such as teaching staff, new equipment, etc. The Appointments material relates to the Appointments Committee of the Faculty of Mathematics. There is also a little correspondence re vacant posts, applications, requests for curricula vitae, etc.

Research notes and drafts

This series has been organized into five subgroups: Collaboration with Helmut Hasse (E.1-15), Titled and untitled drafts (E.16-83), Miscellaneous notes and calculations (E.84-102), Notes on work by others (E.103-126), and Work by others (E.127-135).

Many of the drafts in Titled and untitled drafts were probably intended to form lectures or papers for publication, while others may be no more than extensive notes. A number of these are untitled and very few are dated.

The Notes on work by others falls into two parts: notes made by Davenport at lectures given by others (E.103-E.117) and notes made by him on a particular publication, or line of work, of another (E.118-E.126) Although in many cases Davenport gave the date of publication of the work, few of these notes are themselves dated. Therefore they have been arranged in alphabetical order, with the exception of E.125-126, where the contents of one of Davenport's own folders have been kept together.

Of special interest in the last subgroup Work by others is E.131, a selection and discussion of research problems by J. E. Littlewood, and Davenport's comments on them. This subgroup has been arranged in alphabetical order.

Visits and conferences

This series contains material relating to Frisch's academic visits and conferences, varying in content from brief notices or programmes to substantial folders including correspondence on scientific matters, arrangements for lectures, publications, and travel, as well as visits to friends. The material is arranged in chronological order; however, the supplemental papers given by Ulla Frisch, E.64-82, are in a second chronological order. E.64-E.76 consist of papers relating to the Commemoration Meeting for Niels Bohr, Copenhagen, 8-13 July 1963. E.78 - E.82 consist of papers relating to the symposium on the history of nuclear physics, University of Minnesota, 18-21 May 1977.

Radio, television, films

This series consists of drafts of scripts, correspondence, contracts and receipts related to Frisch's work in radio, television, and film.
As with the material in Series C, the talks, etc. for which scripts survive and which are listed at D.1-38 are only a small proportion of Frisch's contribution to radio; the folders of correspondence, contracts or receipts at D.39-43 give a fuller impression of his substantial contribution as a broadcaster.

D.1-43 consists of drafts of scripts and related correspondence for BBC Radio and is arranged chronologically, save for the shorter correspondence groups found at D.39-43. A related group may be found at D.61-62; these are part of the supplemental papers added to the papers after cataloguing by Ulla Frisch. The scripts and related correspondence at D.44-50 Television Companies (U.K.) and D.51-54 Radio and Television (Europe) are arranged alphabetically by company within each section. The correspondence and papers for the films at D.55-59 are arranged chronologically.


Davenport published nearly 200 papers and three books. Most of the material in this series consists of drafts of the published papers, frequently without any other material such as notes or calculations. In some cases, however, these do survive and in others there is more than one draft. Some correspondence is included here, as at D.112-116.

The series incorporates material of other kinds, such as the Adams Prize Essay (D.5-15), the books The higher arithmetic (D.89-92) and Multiplicative number theory (D.170-182), reviews by Davenport (D.208), and some unpublished material, such as 'On writing mathematical papers' (D.201-203).

The Adams Prize Essay materials include material published in various papers, 1938-1946 (including D.2-4), and consists of early drafts of certain chapters (D.5-6), the whole text, probably as submitted to the judges (D.8-14) and a little correspondence.

Material published after Davenport's death can be found at D.204-207, and his 'collected works' are represented at D.210-213.

The material has been arranged in chronological order, and where applicable the Bibliography number of the Royal Society Memoir (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 17, 1971) has been given, as well as the date of publication.

Lectures and addresses

Series C, Lectures and addresses, is arranged into eight subseries. The first five are a chronological run: Cambridge, 1930s (C.1-4), Manchester, 1937-1941 (C.5-12), University College of North Wales, Bangor, 1941-1945 (C.13-16), University College, London, 1945-1957 (C.17-51), and Cambridge, 1958-1969 (C.52-97). The remaining three are Lectures abroad (C.98-129), Societies, conferences, etc. (C.130-158), and Miscellaneous and undated lectures (C.159-193).

The notes at C.13-16, University College of North Wales, Bangor, cannot be dated exactly, but all are from the 1941-1945 period. All are lecture notes, with no other teaching material.

The material at C.17-51, University College, London, 1945-1958, was probably all intended for teaching undergraduates, and many lecture drafts are accompanied by reading lists and in some cases by lists of students' names. There are not only finished drafts, both manuscript, but also notes and calculations. Only C.17-34 can be dated exactly. Items C41-51 were originally kept in an unlabelled binder. The material has been preserved in its original order but has been divided into folders for ease of reference. The numbers in the headings of e.g. C.46, C.47, C.48 probably refer to lectures from extended courses.

All of the material at C.52-97 Cambridge, 1958-69 was used for teaching, probably undergraduates and postgraduates. Several lectures include lists of problems to be attempted by the students (see especially C.62, C.97); it was Davenport's custom to hand these out at the beginning of a lecture course. Some lecture material also includes outlines of the topics to be covered, ms. notes and calculations, and drafts of earlier work, used in the production of the lecture.

Davenport made many visits abroad (see Mrs. Davenport's biographical notes at A.7). The material at C.98-129, Lectures Abroad, is from three universities with which he had particularly close connections: Stanford University, Göttingen and the University of Michigan. Visits to these institutions varied, up to a full academic year, and could involve teaching and examining as well as lecturing. C.98-107 Stanford University, California consists of papers related to Davenport's stay as a visiting professor in 1947-1948, having been invited by Gabor Szegö (see A.60), and his return in 1950. See also Memoir, p.162. Virtually all the material relating to the University Göttingen (C.108-114) is in German. Davenport had a good command of the language, and had made many German friends and colleagues, particularly among the refugees arriving in Cambridge in the 1930s. See Memoir, pp.161, 164. See also G.299-G.303 for material relating to Davenport's appointment and visit to Göttingen in 1966.

The material in the next subseries, Societies, Conferences, etc., C.130-C.158, consists mainly of drafts for lectures given at conferences and to societies, including undergraduate clubs. It does not however present a complete record of Davenport's many visits and conferences. C.152-156 contains material which cannot be accurately dated, and C.157-158 consist of invitations and programmes. Of particular interest is C.131, Davenport's address given at the prize day of his old school.

The papers in the last subseries, Miscellaneous and undated lectures includes collections of lecture material (C.159-C.170 and C.182-C.193) which have been kept together in the order in which they were found. The first of these collections is chiefly material concerning the geometry of numbers, a collection of lecture notes found together in a folder. Most deal with the geometry of numbers and some are dated (1946-1959). They have been kept in their original order. Of particular interest is C.167, C.A. Rogers's notes of a course of lectures given by Davenport, and an account of the seminar and discussion of the lectures. The second collection of papers is far more miscellaneous in character, being mostly notes and calculations. C.171-181 consists of miscellaneous lectures which cannot be dated, although most have titles. The material labelled 'Misc. math.' is described by Professor B.J. Birch (February 1986) as: 'a mixed bag of lecture notes for various courses given mainly at University College. Some of the material was eventually published in Multiplicative Number Theory' (see D.170-D.182).

Lectures and publications

This series consists of drafts, correspondence, and printed material related to Frisch's lectures and publications. The material is arranged into seven subseries: Lectures and articles, Books and unpublished work, Book reviews, Obituaries and biographical writings, Requests for lectures and papers, Correspondence with publishers and editors, and Published material. Each section is presented in chronological order so far as this is ascertainable. A supplemental subseries has been added consisting of papers given by Ulla Frisch after the main body of papers.

The Lectures and articles, C.1-54, consist of drafts and related correspondence. See also Series E for scripts of talks on the radio. Books and unpublished work, C.55-76, also consists of drafts and related correspondence. Book reviews are to be found at C.76. Many of the Obituaries and biographical writings, C.77-89, are additional to those listed in the Bibliography, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 27, 306.

Requests for lectures and papers, C.90-101, consists of correspondence from universities, industrial firms, scientific societies, Jewish organisations, schools and colleges, some of which is accompanied by a little background information. A note is given of any material of particular scientific or personal interest, and significant correspondence is indexed. For invitations to give lectures abroad, see Series E.

The Correspondence with publishers and editors, C.102-133, is mainly with editors or representatives of firms or newspapers, but there are a few exchanges with individuals. The content relates to Frisch's own publications (articles, books, translations), written or proposed, and to requests for advice or comment by him on material submitted for publication by others. Correspondence relating to specific identified writings by Frisch may be found with the relevant manuscript drafts in C.1-89. This material provides information on many book proposals that were never realised.

C.134-139, Published material, includes an incomplete set of reprints of Frisch's published papers, presented in the order adopted for the Bibliography accompanying the Memoir by R.E. Peierls (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 27, 1981) at C.138-139. Several items in the sequence C.1-89 are omitted from or additional to this Bibliography.

C.140-167 consist of supplemental papers given by Ulla Frisch after the main body of papers. C.140-147 are drafts by Otto Frisch, including his first published paper, C.148-163 are drafts by others, C.164-165 are unidentified drafts, and C.166-167 are published papers.

School and university notebooks and lecture notes

This series consists of notebooks and lecture notes kept at three different institutions: Accrington Grammar School (B.1-22), The Victoria University of Manchester (B.23-54), and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.55-92).

With one exception, the notebooks from Accrington Grammar School (B.1-22) contain Davenport's notes and diagrams on physics, chemistry and mathematics, presumably work for the School Certificate (B.1-2) and the Higher School Certificate (B.3-17), although several are undated. Only B.22 shows Davenport's non-mathematical interests, containing extracts from various writers and drafts of two speeches, possibly delivered to a school debating society.

The notebooks and lecture notes from the Victoria University of Manchester (B.23-54) date from 1924-1927. B.23-30 are hardback notebooks arranged by the covering titles with which Davenport labelled them. Only two, B.24 and B.29, can be dated (1924-1925 and 1925-1926 respectively). None are indexed and only two are paginated (B.29-30). B.31-54 are loose ms. pages of notes on the literature, notes on lecture courses and class work and exercises by Davenport. Many bear an indication of the course number, or of the person giving the lectures and/or supervising the work. The material was kept in bulky wallet folders labelled by Davenport; the contents have been removed and where appropriate preserved in more than one folder for ease of reference. The original folders are at B.54. See B.85-87 for notes originally made at Manchester and subsequently used at Cambridge.

The notebooks and lecture notes from Trinity College, Cambridge (B.55-92) date from 1927-32. B.55-B.64 are hardback notebooks, and excepting B.63-64, all contain lecture notes. Davenport usually labelled the fly-leaves with the name of the lecturer, the subject of the course, and the date. These labels are used as titles here, and his descriptions are preserved in the entries. B.63 and B.64 are exceptions as they are without identification, but it is probable that they come from this period in Davenport's career. B.65-92 are loose ms. pages of notes, chiefly of lectures attended by Davenport. Usually they bear the name of the lecturer and the title of the course, and some are dated. The material was kept in wallet folders labelled by Davenport; the contents have been removed and, where appropriate, preserved in more than one folder for ease of reference. The original folders are at B.89.

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