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Papers of Harold Davenport
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Biographical and personal papers

This series consists of drafts, correspondence, diaries, photographs, and documents, and has been arranged into seven subseries: Obituaries and tributes (A.1-7); Autobiographical writings (A.8-14); Career, honours, and awards (A.15-75); Davenport's death (A.75-91); Diaries (A.92-129); Miscellaneous items (A.130-132); and Photographs (A.133-137).

A.1-7, Obituaries and tributes, includes typescript biographical notes made by Mrs. Davenport after her husband's death (A.7). The Autobiographical writings at A.8-14 include reminiscences (A.8-10) made by Davenport with the assistance of his wife and D. J. Lewis in 1969, although very ill. He died in June of that year (see Memoir, p.165). Some, probably earlier, ms. notes on his career survive, as well as notes on his impressions of America and some humorous writings.

The papers at A.15-75 record Davenport's career and honours, and are arranged in chronological order. These records begin with Davenport's school career, 1917-1924 at The Municipal Secondary School, renamed Accrington Grammar School in 1921, and continue with records from The Victoria University of Manchester, 1924-1927. Davenport was an Affiliated Student at Trinity College Cambridge, 1927-29, taking a second first degree, and in 1932 was awarded a research fellowship. 'On the expiry of his Trinity Fellowship in 1937, Davenport was appointed by Mordell to an Assistant Lectureship in Manchester' (Memoir, p.161), where he stayed until 1941. From 1941 to 1945 he was at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and from 1945-1948 at University College, London. He took up the Rouse Ball Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1958 until his death.

The papers housed as A.76-91 are primarily letters of condolence after Davenport's death. After a period of illness following the removal of a lung, Davenport died on 9 June 1969. (Memoir, p.165)

The diaries at A.92-129 are all small pocket diaries, mainly university diaries covering the academic year, used chiefly to record appointments and addresses. A.130-132 consists of personal miscellaneous items, and the photographs at A.133-137 include group photographs of Davenport and other mathematicians (A.136).

Typescript biographical notes made by Mrs. Davenport after her husband's death

Typescript biographical notes made by Mrs. Davenport after her husband's death, in the form of chronological lists, as follows:

Visits made by German, and other, mathematicians from 1933 onwards, initially at Davenport's rooms in Trinity College, Cambridge.

Visits to conferences, foreign universities and institutions, 1931-68.

Students supervised by Davenport at Cambridge, 1959-69.

The Victoria University of Manchester examination papers

Two examination scripts written by Davenport for the Honours School of Mathematics, Part III, May 1927, set, marked and preserved by L.J. Mordell, who sent them to Mrs. Davenport in 1971.

Covering note (A.30), gives names of other examiners, Bailey, Milne and Chapman, which papers they set and Davenport's marks for each.

University College London correspondence

Correspondence, chiefly from D.R. Pye and G.B. Jeffery, University College London, re appointment to Astor Chair of Mathematics.

The letters run from the initial approach to Davenport to his formal appointment. Davenport declined the possibility of the Manchester post (A.55) in favour of London.


Letter from Stanford University, 1947, inviting Davenport to go as Visiting Professor for academic year 1947-48

Letter accompanying cheque for Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society, 1954.

Letter inviting Davenport to accept Presidency of the London Mathematical Society, 1957.

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