Second supplementary catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Cecil Frank Powell, Physicist, 1903-1969

Scope and Content

The principal component of the second supplementary collection is an alphabetical sequence of correspondence running A-S. This sequence, which was believed lost, precedes that running S-Z, which is presented in catalogue CSAC 111/2/86. The material, which is not exclusively correspondence, covers a wide range of topics from collaboration on research and expeditions with British and foreign universities, to relations with governmental bodies including the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the UK Atomic Energy Authority. There is also material relating to scientific societies such as the Royal Society and national and international laboratories and research organisations such as the National Physical Laboratory and CERN. There are also correspondence and papers bearing on the supply of materials for cosmic ray research, balloon flights expeditions and analysis of exposed emulsion stacks, atomic energy and nuclear weapons issues, publications and conferences.

There is a separate alphabetical sequence relating to balloon and aeroplane flights, comprising a record of expeditions, 1953-1971. There are correspondence, photographs, technical drawings, maps, memoranda and reports on balloon flights in Bristol, Cardington (Bedfordshire), Scotland, Sardinia, Hyderabad (India), New Mexico, Victoria (Texas) and Sioux Falls (Minnesota), 1953-1971, and aeroplane flights on Comet, Vulcan and VC10 aircraft, 1957-1964. The papers also document balloon making, collaboration with foreign universities and institutions, technical support from naval and air ministries, meteorological services in the UK and relations with NATO.

There is a little further research material, including laboratory notebooks, relating to n-p scattering, K-research collaboration and neutrino experiments, photographs of various stages of balloon preparation and flight, especially Bristol and Italy, and documentation of some of the conferences attended by Powell, 1960-1965, especially the series of Rochester conferences on High Energy Physics, the Ultra High Energy Nuclear Physics conference in Bristol (1963), various CERN conferences and the 1965 International Union of Pure and Applied Physics conference.


By section as follows: Biographical, Balloon and aeroplane flights, Publications, Correspondence, Research, Visits and conferences. Index of correspondents.

Conditions Governing Access

Visits by appointment. Some form of identification required.

Acquisition Information

Further supplementary material received in November 1999 from the Department of Physics, University of Bristol via Mrs Rosemary Fowler, widow of Professor P.H. Fowler, a colleague of Powell.

Other Finding Aids

Printed Catalogues of the second supplementary catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Cecil Frank Powell: NCUACS catalogue no. 114/13/02, 74pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath.

Related Material

Material placed in Bristol University Library since 1987 comprises the following:

DM1161 - Citations and certificates of honorary degrees 1947-1968

DM1179 - Certificates, photographs, sketch-books etc 1929-1987

DM1194 - School report 1912, correspondence etc 1921-1943

DM1208 - Tape-recording of Speech to the World Conference of Scientists 1955, Interview by A. Porter, 1968.

DM1251 - Diary of Mrs Powell, Nobel festivities 1950.

DM1834 - Off-prints and notes for projected tour of Europe 1969.

DM1271 - Powell's University of Bristol Personnel file. 1930-1974. RESTRICTED

DM1453 - Memorabilia from Physics Department 1928-1969.

DM1487/13 - 'Fragments of Autobiography'.

DM1503 - Photographs of Nobel ceremony, 1950; newspaper cuttings on Foreign Office ban on proposed lecture tour of Germany, 1953.

DM1636/3 - Papers re Powell Memorial Occasion 1970.