Series C - Lectures and addresses

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Lectures and addresses


  • 1930-69 (Creation)

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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).

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