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Accounts and biographies of J. J. Thomson

Manuscript and typescript drafts, proofs, and research (including photocopies of photographs and correspondence) for J.J. Thomson and the Cavendish Laboratory in his Day, an account of Thomson and his work by G.P. Thomson published in 1964 by Nelson as part of the 'British Men of Science' series. Also correspondence with publishers, and other pieces by G.P. Thomson about his father, several commissioned for the centenary of J.J. Thomson's birth in 1956; the material was often drawn upon for later accounts and there is considerable overlap in the content.

Includes a hardback notebook (D/17), originally used by G.P. Thomson for mathematical notes on Gamma Functions (c. 1910-12) and continuing with drafts for the biography of his father.

Biographical and personal

A.1 - A.11 Biographical and autobiographical material

A.12 - A.53 Career and appointments

A.54 - A.64 Honours and Awards

A.65 - A.78 Letters of congratulation

A.79 - A.134 Family papers and correspondence

(The Taylor family, A.79 - A.104)

(The Boole family, A.105 - A.134)

A.135 - A.174 Personal correspondence

Taylor, Sir Geoffrey Ingram (1886-1975), knight, physicist and engineer

Cambridge University Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Batchelor was instrumental in the move to establish departments within the mathematics faculty. In 1959 DAMTP was founded with him as first head of department – a role he was not to relinquish until 1983. As such he was able to shape the department, supervising its move into its first consolidated home in former premises of CUP on the Mill Lane site and introducing a fluid dynamics laboratory in the face of opposition from the Department of Physics. He continued as its head of Department until his early retirement in 1983


‘Cobbers’ was the name that GKB gave to the house he had built in Conduit Head Road. He had much input into its design. See also H15 and K31.

Conferences and academic visits

From early in his career Batchelor travelled widely to conferences around the world. The following files may include preparatory materials and follow-up exchanges, though any papers given at or publications arising from conferences are likely to be found in sections K and H respectively.


The main sequence of correspondence (J.1 - J.124) is presented alphabetically, dated, and with an indication of any material of particular scientific or biographical interest. Most of the correspondence is with individuals, but some societies and organisations are also included.

There are few very substantial exchanges and it is clear that there are considerable gaps in the material; in particular there is very little early correspondence on electron diffraction, and the only letter in the collection from J.J. Thomson is at C.3.

J.125 - J.134 consists of shorter correspondence, mostly unindexed.

Correspondence of Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence, A-G

The contents of the present class relate to the following:

Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough (1-4)
Allen & Unwin Ltd (5-12)
The American War Memorial Chapel (13-17)
L. S. Amery (18-21)
Lord Ammon (22-9)
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (30-9)
Louisa Garrett Anderson (40-56)
Earl Attlee (57-81)
A. K. Azad (82-7, 88a-c, 89-90)
Lord Balfour of Burleigh (91)
George Benson (92-4)
Phyllis Bentley (95-100)
The British-Asian and Overseas Socialist Fellowship (101-2, 103a-b)
R. A. Butler (104)
Lord Casey (105-15, 115a, 116-18)
Viscount Cecil of Chelwood (119-46)
Viscount Chandos (147-51)
Tara Cherian (152-7)
G. D. H. and M. I. Cole (158-69)
Lord Coleraine (170-1)
Hugh and Ruth Dalton (172-87, 188a-b, 189-203)
Eamon De Valera (204-5)
The Duke of Devonshire (206-7)
The Earl of Dundee (208-9)
Lady Durning-Lawrence (210)
The East and West Friendship Council (211-30)
The East India Association (231a-b, 232-43)
Anthony Eden (244-6)
Walter Elliot and Lady Elliot of Harwood (247-50)
Lady Elphinstone (251-2)
Eton College (253-6, 257a-e, 258-60)
The Fabian Society (261-76)
The Field Security Police (277a-b, 278-80)
E. M. Forster (281-97)
Margery Fry (298-303, 304a-b, 305-21)
Hugh Gaitskell (322-3)
Indira Gandhi (324)
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Fund (325-6)
R. C. Ghose (327-34, 335a-b, 336-7, 338a-b, 339a-c, 340)
Thomas Gold (341-56)
Victor Gollancz Ltd (357-79)
Sir Ernest and Lady Graham-Little (380, 381a-b, 382-9, 390a-b, 391-5)

Correspondence of Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence, H-M

The contents relate to the following:

Lord Hailsham (1–4, 5a–b, 6–8)
The Earl of Halifax (9–15)
W. Glenvil Hall (16–32)
Begum Hamid Ali and husband (Hamid Ali) (33–9)
The Hindu
(40–2, 43a–b, 44–9, 50a–b, 51)
Sir Christopher Hinton (52a–b)
John Haynes Holmes (53–4, 57a–b, 58–66)
The Earl of Home (67–72)
Ian M. Horobin (73–6, 77a–b, 78–83)
Sir Akbar Hydari (84–6)
Nizam’s Government, Hyderabad-Deccan(?) (87–8)
Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence’s visit to Pakistan and India, 1957 (89a–l, 90–5, 96a–b, 97a–b, 98–127, 127a, 128a–d, 129–37)
The Indian Students’ Union and Hostel (138–51)
Mohammad Zaffar Iqbal (152–5, 156a–b)
Sir Mirza Ismail (157–64)
Earl Jowitt (165–82)
Sunder Kabadi (183, 184a–b, 185–7, 188a–b, 189–90, 191a–c)
M. G. Kendall (191d)
Lord Keynes (192–237, 238a–b, 239–63)
King Edward’s School, Witley (264–5)
Sir Gilbert Laithwaite (266–75, 276a–b, 277–80)
The Earl of Listowel (281–98)
John Gilbert Lockhart (299)
The London School of Economics (300a–b, 301–4)
Malcolm MacDonald (305–10)
Viscount Margesson (311–14)
Herbert Morrison (315–22)
Sir Oswald Mosley (323–5)
The Earl of Munster (326)
Flora Murray (327)

Correspondence of Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence, N-W

The first part of this class continues the sequence of the preceding one (PETH 2). The contents relate to the following:

Walter Nash (1–11)
The National Campaign for the Abolition of Capital Punishment (12–19)
The National Library of Scotland (20–38)
E. H. Neville (39–40)
Evelyn Sharp Nevinson and H. W. Nevinson (41–53)
The New York Herald Tribune (54–60)
Lord Olivier (61–5)
Lord Pethick-Lawrence (66)
A. C. Pigou (67)
The Political Honours Scrutiny Committee (68–102)
The Parliamentary Labour Party, House of Lords (103–4)
Eardley Price (105–9)
The Privy Council (110–17)
Mrs B. H. Qon (118–19)
James Rae (120–3)
Sir Benegal and Lady Rama Rau (124–6)
Gwen Raverat (127–9)
The Marquess of Reading (130–1)
Elizabeth Robins (132–64)
The Royal India, Pakistan, and Ceylon Society (165–72)
Maude Royden (173–81)
Walter Runciman (182)
Sir George and Lady Sansom (183–93)
Sir George Schuster (194–222)
Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (223)
Emmanuel Shinwell (224)
Lord and Lady Simon of Wythenshawe (225–45)
Sir Frank Soskice (246–7)
The Tagore Centenary Celebration Committee (248–64)
Lord Thomson (265–9)
The United Service Club (270–1)
Votes for Women
The Beatrice Webb Memorial Fund (273–7)
Octavia Wilberforce (278–302)
Sir Kingsley Wood (303–27)
Baroness Wootton (328–33)

The last four items (334–7) are ‘get-well’ cards sent to Lord Pethick-Lawrence during his final illness. These were probably added to the alphabetical sequence as an after-thought.

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