Gordon Manley: Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Manley's work in England and overseas:

Box 1: Early work - observations in Iceland and East Greenland.

Box 2: Moor House, Crossfell and helm wind.

Box 3: Durham.

Box 4: Lake District and north Lancashire.

Box 5: Manchester and south Lancashire.

Box 6: Northeast England, Pennines, Yorkshire, and Derbyshire.

Box 7: William Elmsall's diary for West Riding.

Box 8: Oxford.

Box 9: London.

Box 10: London continued.

Box 11: Southern England.

Box 12: Ben Nevis.

Box 13: Scotland.

Box 14: Scotland continued.

Box 15: Scottish snow.

Box 16: Snow.

Box 17: Britain.

Box 18: Britain continued.

Box 19: Monthly weather reports and yearly summaries of the Meteorological Office.

Box 20: Monthly weather reports and yearly summaries of the Meteorological Office.

Box 21: Microfilms and photocopies of old records.

Box 22: Foreign.

Box 23: Conferences, working groups, and lectures.

Box 24: Miscellaneous.

Box 25: Professor Manley's publications.

Box 26: Personal copies of books related to Professor Manley's work.

Box 27: Offprints related to Professor Manley's work.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gordon Manley (1902-1980) was born on 3 January 1902 at Douglas, Isle of Man, the son of Valentine Manley. He was brought up in Blackburn and educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. In October 1918 he went to Manchester University to read for an honours degree in engineering, graduating in July 1921. He then went to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he became an affiliated student and took geography shortly after the tripos was established. An exhibitioner of the College, he gained a double first in 1923. He entered the Meteorological Office in 1925, and was stationed at Kew Observatory, but he left a year later to take up an assistant lectureship in geography at the University of Birmingham. In the summer of 1926 he joined the Cambridge expedition to East Greenland, and worked on Sabine Island.

Manley became lecturer in geography at the University of Durham in October 1928, and from 1931 was curator of the Durham University Observatory. From 1932 he collected data at Moor House on the climate of the Northern Pennines, especially on the helm wind of Crossfell. In 1937 a grant from the Leverhulme Trust enabled him to establish a meteorological station adjacent to the summit of Dun Fell.

In 1939 he left his post as senior lecturer and head of the Department of Geography at Durham to take up a demonstratorship in geography at the University of Cambridge. In 1945 he became President of the Royal Meteorological Society, a post he held for two years, during which time he helped to found the journal Weather. In 1948 he became Professor of Geography in the University of London at Bedford College for Women, a post he held for 16 years.

In 1964 Manley founded a new department at the new University of Lancaster. Initially called the Department of Environmental Studies, it later became the Department of Environmental Sciences. On his retirement in 1967, he returned to live in Cambridge, but remained a Research Associate of the Department. He held one other post, that of Visiting Professor of Meteorology at the A & M University of Texas during 1969-1970. He died on 29 January 1980.


The collection was originally unsorted. Papers that were received in an envelope or folder have been retained in the state they were found, which may indicate how Professor Manley was working on them. In cataloguing the papers, however, an attempt was made to keep those relating to the same subject together, and regional groupings have been applied. Manley's aim was to relate events in one part of the country to those elsewhere in order to verify the synoptic situation of earlier times. As a result, there are frequent references to other areas in papers concerned primarily with a specific area. In some cases papers relating to two or more areas were found grouped together, and in these cases they have been left together.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs Audrey Manley, Professor Manley's widow, 1981-1982.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.