Papers and correspondence of Douglas Rayner Hartree, 1897-1958

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers are not extensive. They include drafts and notes for unpublished textbooks on dynamics and wave mechanics, notes taken for Hartree's last lectures in Cambridge, notes taken by Hartree of a course of lectures by A.M. Turing on the design of the ACE computer, and four letters to E.V. Appleton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hartree was born in Cambridge and educated at Bedales School, 1910-1915. He entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1915 but his course was interrupted by war and he joined the team led by A.V. Hill which was studying anti-aircraft gunnery. He returned to Cambridge after the war, graduating in 1921, Mathematical Tripos Part I, Natural Sciences Tripos (Physics) Part II. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1926. He was a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, 1924-1927, and Christ's College, Cambridge, 1928-1929. He then moved to Manchester University where he was successively Beyer Professor of Applied Mathematics, 1929-1937, and Professor of Theoretical Physics, 1937-1946, though during the Second World War he was mainly on secondment working on the scientific staff of the Ministry of Supply. In 1946 he returned to Cambridge University as Plummer Professor of Mathematical Physics, a post he held until his death. His principal research interests were atomic structure, propagation of radio waves and numerical analysis and calculating machines. He was elected FRS in 1932.

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details.

Other Finding Aids

Printed catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958) by J. Alton and H. Weiskittel, CSAC catalogue no. 45/9/76, 4 pp + repository list of later additions. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

Separated Material

Some of Hartree's early calculating machines are held in the Science Museum, London.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing in 1976 by the Contemporary Scientific Archives centre from Mrs Elaine Hartree, widow and Professor M.V. Wilkes. Deposited in Christ's College, 1976.

Related Material

Further material presented by Lady Jeffreys in December 1977 and March 1988 and Mrs Margaret Booth (daughter). Items numbered 18-22.