Douglas Rayner Hartree Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A small collection of papers of the mathematician Douglas Hartree, which includes biographical information, and copies of working papers and publications relating to the differential analyser and stored program computers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958) was one of the most influential mathematicians and computer pioneers of his day, whose work bridged both the calculating machine and electronic digital eras. As Beyer Professor of Applied Mathematics at Manchester University in the mid 1930s, Hartree built a differential analyzer based upon the machine of the American, Vannevar Bush. Hartree's international reputation ensured that he kept in close touch with American developments, and during the Second World War he became involved with the ENIAC project. On his return to England (where he had accepted a chair at Cambridge University) Hartree publicised American activities and was an enthusiastic supporter of British efforts to build stored program computers.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Related Material

A small number of Hartree papers are deposited in the Archives of Churchill College, Cambridge. See listing by Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre (ref.: CSAC 45/9/76). Copy in NAHC. Other material is held at: the Niels Bohr Archive, see http://www.nbi.dk/NBA/webpage.html, his correspondence with Niels Bohr, 1928-47; Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, his correspondence with William Hume-Rothery, 1932-34, (ref.: MSS Eng misc b 128-38); Duke University: William R Perkins Library, see http://www.nbi.dk/NBA/webpage.html, his correspondence with F London; Leeds University Library, Special Collections, his correspondence with EC Stoner, 1930-58, (ref.: MS 333).

Bibliography

M.V. Wilkes' introduction to Hartree, Calculating Machines etc. (Cambridge, Mass.; MIT Press, 1984).

Geographical Names