D A Richards Papers

Scope and Content

The archive contains glass negatives and photographs of the Aberystwyth area, and of D A Richards and his family; a reprint of a paper by Richards; a diary written by a PhD student and teacher, possibly Richards, during 1932, along with other miscellaneous collected material.

Administrative / Biographical History

D Aneurin Richards was born in 1909. He received his education at Imperial College, London, where he studied electron diffraction under Professor Thompson. On leaving university, he became a teacher at Ardwyn Grammar School, Aberystwyth.

In 1934, Richards was appointed Assistant Lecturer by the Department of Physics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and was made Senior Lecturer in 1957. During the Second World War, he became a Scientific Officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. He contributed greatly to submarine warfare, and was responsible for the design of a new bombsight for use by spotter aeroplanes in attacks on u-boats. His work earned him a government award, and his Low-Level Bomb Sight Mark II is now on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon.

Richards returned to Aberystwyth after the war. During the 1950s, he was nominated as Dean, despite not being a professor. A fierce election campaign ensued, which resulted in Richards' appointment as Aberystwyth's first non-professorial Dean. In 1960, he was awarded a grant of almost £3000 for research into the optical tracking of satellites, and also contributed greatly to the improvement and development of new teaching apparatus. He retired from the department in 1976, and died on November 6th 1981.

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application by e-mail to: archives@aber.ac.uk or by post to: Aberystwyth University, Archives, Information Services, Llandinam Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB. Tel: 01970 628593.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to W M Jones, 'Appreciation: D A Richards', Bulletin of the Institute of Physics, vol.33 (1982) and W M Jones, 'One Hundred Years of Physics at UCW Aberystwyth', unpublished second draft, (1997).

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available on request from Archives staff.

Related Material

The University of Wales, Aberystwyth Department of Physics Archive is also held by the University, as are the archives of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth Physics Society, and former Professor of Physics, E J Williams.