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Includes: a manuscript account of a tour by yacht on the Norfolk Broads, perhaps by Huia Onslow's governess Helen Moodie; several items from Onslow's time at Eton College, such as a printed programme for an Eton College Scientific Society Conversazione, in which Onslow features as demonstrator and lecturer and two copies of another lecture given by Onslow.

There are also pieces of creative work such as a poem, The Story of the Lost Ice Age, written at Eton for a prize, and a draft of a story, The Sobbing Water. Poems appear too with notes on ascents of the Croda del Lago and lists of books about the Dolomites, showing Onslow's interest in mountaineering. Also present are Onslow's translations of poems from Les Amours de I. du Bellay, by Joachim du Bellay, which according to the memoir published by his wife he was thinking of publishing in 1913-1914.

Two items are posthumous: the order for the memorial service for Onslow held at Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1922, and uncut proofs for first chapter of Huia Onslow: a Memoir by his wife Muriel Onslow, published in 1924.


Correspondence mainly relating to research: little on personal matters other than the series of letters relating to Huia Onslow's stay for health reasons at Banchory in 1913 (even this is largely on financial aspects). This series has a number of correspondents; most other letters are either to or from Huia Onslow, though Helen Moodie also appears as a correspondent.

Some single letters and several series: the letters re Banchory; letters between Huia Onslow and J. Donovan arising from Donovan's advertisment looking for 'explanation of Life and Mind in exclusively physical terms', letters between Onslow and various people associated with the Eugenics Education Society; correspondence between Onslow and George MacElwee and between Onslow and Frederick W. Fletcher following on from Onslow's appeal for funds as 'A Struggling Scientist' in an advertisement placed in the Times; correspondence with W. Auton regarding the breeding of rabbits and mice; letters relating to Onslow's role as Secretary of the Soldiers and Sailor's Families Association, London North West District.

Two series of letters were found with associated notes: the correspondence between Onslow and J: Donovan, which was found with various notes on heat; and the correspondence between Onslow and the Eugenics Education Society, found with abstracts of scientific papers compiled by Onslow for the Society. These notes have been kept alongside the correspondence.

Papers of R. B. McKerrow

The papers mainly relate to McKerrow’s Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students, first published in 1927, and two unpublished works—a bibliography of reprints of 16th and 17th century dramatists, and an essay on the elements of bibliography.

McKerrow, Ronald Brunlees (1872-1940), bibliographer and literary scholar


Most of the material in this category is in the form of notebooks. Some of these, such as one from the Engineering Laboratory, Cambridge, and the 'Field Book' containing notes on and attempts at field surveying, date from Onslow's time as an undergraduate. Most however record his own investigations into genetics and biochemistry from 1912 onwards. Notable are the three large books in which Onslow's programme of breeding rabbits for colour is recorded, with a page for each individual rabbit and often a stamped image showing markings. There are also notebooks on Onslow's research into pigmentation in insects (butterflies and beetles) and birds.

Amongst the loose notes, there are several relating to Onslow's interest in hypnosis, including observations made during the hypnosis of Louis Chauvin over several sessions by Onslow, William Howard Warman, and Francis Aveling. A fair quantity of material relating to experiments which led to Onslow's paper A Method of estimating the Tryptophan Content of Caseinogen, based on Determinations of the Nitrogen Values of the Mercuric Sulphate Precipitate (published posthumously in 1924) is also present.

Papers of R. B. McKerrow

These letters and papers in this group all relate either to the works from which they were removed or to similar literary and bibliographical subjects.

McKerrow, Ronald Brunlees (1872-1940), bibliographer and literary scholar

Papers of R. B. McKerrow

The letters and papers in this group all relate either to the works from which they were removed or to similar literary and bibliographical subjects.

McKerrow, Ronald Brunlees (1872-1940), bibliographer and literary scholar


Typescript and manuscript drafts; some, such as ONSL/5/5 and ONSL/5/6, of articles which were later published, others seemingly unpublished. Where notes were found alongside drafts (see ONSL/5/7), these have been included in this section; notes which seem connected to drafts but were found separate from them have been indicated in the 'Allied Materials' field.


Offprints of many of Huia Onslow's published works, including some posthumous publications. For a full list of his publications, see Onslow, M. (1924). Huia Onslow : A memoir. London, p 239-242.

Notes by Henry Blundell on physics lectures attended by him at Douai

This book contains a fair copy of notes made by Henry Blundell on a series of physics lectures, presumably attended by him at Douai. The name Douai does not occur in the book, but it is dated in the period when Blundell was there (1743-5).

The title ‘Phy[si]ca | seu | Phi[losophi]a na[tur]alis. | Prol[e]gomena.' appears on f. 1v, and ‘PHYSICA' is stamped on the spine. The
first of these titles is followed below by ‘Hen: Blundell—1744' and some further words. The written text concludes on f. 321r with the inscription ‘Die 1o julii an: D[o]m[in]i 1744 | Horis 84 | Hen: Blundell'.

The text is heavily abbreviated, but the omission of letters is not generally marked, as in the title cited above.

The seven engravings inserted among the MS leaves are as follows:

f. 2. St Thomas Aquinas, in a decorative border, with a descriptive caption beginning ‘SAINT THOMAS de la Noble Race des Comtes d'Aquin', subscribed ‘Chez Crepy a St. Iacques'.

f. 30. Réné Descartes, in a decorative border, with a descriptive caption beginning ‘RENE DES CARTES Seigneur de Peron', subscribed ‘Crepy rue St. Iacques a St. Iacques'.

f. 34. Astronomical diagram, headed ‘Tabula 20' and subscribed ‘Jacobus Jollain aletoille ex[cudit] cum priu[ilegio] regis' (‘aletoille' is written above the line, as if omitted by mistake) and ‘rue st. jacques a la belle etoile'.

f. 282: Diagram, headed ‘Tab. 9' and subscribed ‘A Paris chez Vallet.'

f. 287: Diagram, headed ‘TAB' (no number) and subscribed ‘A Paris chez Vallet 1724.'

f. 289: Diagram, headed ‘Tabula .10.' and subscribed ‘Jacobus Jollain fecit et excudit cum priv[ilegio] Regis aletoile'.

f. 298: Diagram, headed ‘Tabula. 8.'; no imprint.

The printed sheet (f. 322) is headed ‘PHILOSOPHIA NATURALIS', and contains a summary, or syllabus, of the subject broken down into three (perhaps termly) series of numbered sections.

Blundell, Henry (1724-1810), art collector

Photograph album of Richard Appleton

On. f. 1r is written, ‘R. Appleton. Trin. Coll. Camb. May 1887.’ A later hand has written above this inscription, ‘Trinity College | Cambridge’, and below it, ‘My Grandfather May found [sic] in the roof of a house he bought in about 1930. No family value apart from above.’ ‘CAMBRIDGE’ is stamped on the front of the book in gilt gothic letters.

Appleton, Richard (1849-1909), college head

Letter from Hudson Gurney to Dawson Turner


Dear Dawson

I find my Wife is Sending over the Carriage for Miss Poole tomorrow Morning & that it will return with Her in the afternoon—

I send this Note my My Servant to the Norfolk Hotel—In case You Shd. be there—& if not He will Leave it at the Bank—that You may arrange at Which time You Can Come over to us—

I Have Some Cold—& therefore Shall not be out—& Mr. Gage {1} keeps the House & does not Like to face the Weather

I am Yrs {2}

H Gurney

Sunday Evg. 23rd
[Added by Turner:] Jany 1842.


{1} Followed by an indistinct name.

{2} This line is indistinct.

Turner, Dawson (1775-1858), banker, botanist, and antiquary

Biographical papers

The material in this section is arranged as follows:

A/1-A/4: Obituary notices, 1940-1942

A/5-A/31: Biographical notes, 1909-1958. Within this group, A/23-A/31 comprises correspondence and papers found together. The bulk of this material was originally assembled by Lord Rayleigh whilst writing his biography The Life of Sir J. J. Thomson O.M. sometime master of Trinity College, Cambridge, published in 1942 by Cambridge University Press. There is also a little material added later by the family.

A/32-A/71A: Career, honours, and awards, 1874-1940. This section also includes letters of congratulation to Thomson's mother Emma on his early successes, and letters of condolence to his wife on his death.

A/72-A/103: Certificates, 1900-1937. A number of these awards are also documented at A/32-71.

A/104-A/109: 'J.J. on Education', 1918-1940 (material found together, and thus entitled, by Lord Rayleigh in the course of writing his biography of Thomson). See A/120 for press cuttings re Thomson's interest in Education.

A/110-A/143: Press cuttings, 1888-1956. Arranged in chronological order, and including press cuttings re Thomson's lectures and publications.

A/144: Diary of J. J. Thomson

A/145-152: Financial papers, 1878-1938

A/153-160: Photographs, 1909-1932

A/161-165: Invitations, 1885-1936. Social invitations received by Thomson. See also C/81-C/130

A/166-176: Miscellaneous, 1878-1956


A/1-A/77: biographical and personal material (1892-1996), arranged as follows: A/1-A/4, memoirs and obituaries; A/5-A/16, biographical and historical accounts and information; A/17, bibliographies; A/18-A/77, diaries.

A/78-A/116: material (1919-1945) relating to Synge's childhood and schooldays. A/78-A/82 is general material (1922-1926), A/83-A/100 relate to his time at Old Hill Preparatory School, and date from 1919-1945, and A/101-A/116 relate to Synge's time at Winchester College, and date from 1927-1933. A/117-A/153: material (1931-136) relating to Synge's time as an undergraduate, including manuscript and typescript notes on lectures and practical work, bound volumes of duplicated typescript work sheets for practical work (A/139-A/143), examination papers, correspondence etc. A/154-A/211: career, honours, and awards (1936-1992)

A/212-A/354: material relating to Synge's family. In some of the earlier material the family surname is spelled 'Sing' or 'Singe', reflecting its pronunciation. The current spelling seems to have been adopted consistently only after the First World War. Material arranged as follows: A/212-311, Laurence Millington Synge and Katherine Charlotte Synge, née Swan, Synge's parents; A/312-329, Ann Synge (née Stephen), his wife; A/330-335, Jane, Elizabeth, Patrick and Alexander, four of his seven children; A/336-343 Anne Dorothea (Anthea) and Katharine, Synge's sisters; A/344-347 Mary Synge, his paternal grandmother, and Emma Swan, his maternal grandmother; A/348-352; other relatives; A/353-354: miscellaneous family material. A/355-369: personal correspondence of Richard L. M. and Ann Synge (1920s-1991). Many correspondents are identified by first name only, and may include more distant relatives. A/370-377: requests for autographs, (1952-1992).

A/378-428: material related to Richard Synge's personal interests, arranged as follows: A/378-418, Politics. Synge was on the political Left. He was a member of the Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s. His later political activity concentrated on the peace movement and organisations concerned with human rights; A/419-426, Travel, though the bulk of the material relating to Synge's visits is to be found in section G; A/427, Cairngorm Club; A/428, Volunteers for lonising Radiation (VIR).

A/429-435: material relating to finance and business (1933-1991), including correspondence, accounts and expenses. A/436-432: miscellaneous material. A/443-470: photographs (1918-1991)


The paucity of material in this Section is regretted. It derives in part from Taylor's idiosyncratic working methods which led him to make random jottings on any piece of paper that came to hand; the folder in B.3 is characteristic, and many of the letters, committee papers and other documents in the collection bear notes, drawings and calculations of this kind. Even so, it is probable that many other notebooks have not survived.

Family and personal papers

The material in this section is arranged as follows:

B/1-B/679: Correspondence and papers, 1836-1952. Family and personal correspondence of Sir J. J. Thomson is at B/1-B/44. At B/45-B/639, the bulk of this section, is the correspondence and papers of Thomson's wife Rose Elizabeth, Lady Thomson (née Paget): most of this is incoming correspondence from family members and friends; there are also notebooks and diaries at B/570-B/594, correspondence from and material relating to societies, organisations, and appeals at B/595-B/635, and miscellaneous material at B/636-B/639.

There is also family and personal correspondence of other family members including their son George Paget Thomson, B/640-656, and daughter Joan Paget Thomson, B/657-B/658. The correspondence between family members is arranged by recipient, thus letters from J. J. Thomson to his wife are to be found in the incoming correspondence of Rose Thomson at B/45-B/53 rather than in the family correspondence of Thomson himself (B/1-B/6).

B/680-B/688: Photographs, 1917-1925

B/689-B/719: Accounts, 1888-1951. This material consists chiefly of Thomson household accounts, which were kept by Lady Thomson, and have been arranged, in chronological order.

B/720-B/731: Miscellaneous, 1918-1944

Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine

The material includes correspondence and papers relating to Synge's appointment at the Lister Institute including his statement of proposed work, inventories of equipment and chemicals, and miscellaneous administrative material. B/7-B/13 comprise papers relating to Synge's visit to Tiselius's laboratory, and travels in Sweden and Norway, in 1946-1947: equipment, chemicals etc required and expenses of the visit.

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