Although the papers date predominantly from the decades after Jeffreys's formalretirement there is significant earlier material, especially papers ofbiographical interest and photographs.
Biographical material is substantial. It includes obituaries and tributes,biographical notes by Jeffreys himself and transcriptions of interviewsconducted by colleagues. There is career, honours and awards material spanninghis whole life from birth certificate to his death including letters ofcondolence received by Lady Jeffreys. There is significant early material, forexample, correspondence with St John's College tutors, 1909-1910, Jeffreys'snotes of lectures by H.F. Baker, Ebenezer Cunningham and A.S. Eddington,1911-1914, 'Letters from Johnians 1917', including M.H.A. Newman, records ofJeffreys's period with the Meteorological Office, 1917-1922, including copy ofa reference from its director Sir Napier Shaw, and Jeffreys's memorandum on theconstitution of the Senate at Cambridge, 1921, addressed to the Royal Commissionon the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. His appointment as PlumianProfessor in 1946 and later honours, including 70th and 90th birthdaycelebrations, are documented. There is a little material relating toJeffreys's father, 1886-1947, and a sequence of family and personalcorrespondence, 1917-1992, which reflects his continuing interest andconnections with the North East of England where he was born. Miscellaneousbiographical items include a sketch book, possibly dating from Jeffreys'sschool days, a few letters relating to Jeffreys's early interests inphotography and botany, including a letter from William Bateson, 1915, acollection of old railway tickets, Jeffreys's passports and a significantaccumulation of travel literature.
Research papers are presented alphabetically by topic or container title from'Artificial Moon Craters' to 'Variation of Latitude' (with R.O. Vicente) andcover the period 1902-1996. The documentation may comprise notebooks,manuscript working, data, drafts, correspondence and off-prints. The earliestmaterial is a group of nine small notebooks used by Jeffreys for naturalhistory notes, 1902-1915. There are also significant components relating toprobability and statistics, and seismology, especially the later work incollaboration with R.S. Sidhu, M. Gogna and M. Shimshoni. Additionally, at theend of the alphabetical sequence, there is a small group of miscellaneouspapers, including manuscripts by C.G. Darwin, and drafts relating to thesessupervised by Jeffreys: V.S. Huzubazar in respect of statistics (1949) and E.P.Arnold in respect of the revision of seismological tables (1965).
Lectures material, which is not extensive, covers the period 1945-1982 includinga number of undated drafts. It is chiefly the contents of two folders of'Occasional lectures' and 'Various addresses'. Topics include probabilitytheory, seismology, continental drift, Cambridge mathematics and thepsychological significance of death duties. By contrast publications materialforms the largest component in the collection. Jeffreys's major books arerepresented including The Earth (1924), especially the sixth edition (1976),Methods of Mathematical Physics (1946) (with Bertha Swirles Jeffreys) and theCollected Works (1971-1977) edited by Jeffreys and Lady Jeffreys. There may bedrafts, manuscript working, agreements and correspondence with publishers,correspondence with colleagues, proofs, reviews and royalty statements. LadyJeffreys may appear as a correspondent, especially in respect of the CollectedWorks. There is a separate sequence of material relating to shorterpublications which includes, in addition to a number of Jeffreys's scientificpapers, his Royal Society memoir of Robert Stoneley and his obituaries ofEbenezer Cunningham for St John's College Cambridge and Nature. Also presentedin this section is a chronological sequence (not complete) of Jeffreys'soff-prints, 1910-1988.
Societies and organisations papers are not extensive. Only five British andinternational bodies are represented. Of considerable biographical interestare the correspondence and papers relating to the founding in 1918 of theNational Union of Scientific Workers (Association of Scientific Workers from1927). Jeffreys was a member of the original executive committee. Also ofsome significance are papers relating to the British National Committee forGeodesy and Geophysics, especially its Seismology SubCommittee, 1956-1973. Likewise, there is little documentation of visits made and conferences attended(except photographically). Represented, however scantily, are visits to the USAin 1950-1951, 1964, 1967 and 1972 and Singapore and Japan in 1971. Bestdocumented, though still very sparsely, is the world trip which Jeffreys andLady Jeffreys made in 1959 including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore andIndia.
Correspondence is presented in a number of sequences including scientificcorrespondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent and covering the period1922-1995 and a chronological sequence of shorter correspondence, 1914-1995. There is significant correspondence and related material with colleagues andcollaborators such as R.A. Lyttleton and M. Shimshoni and individual items orbrief exchanges with major figures of an earlier generation such as A.S.Eddington and Ernest Rutherford. Correspondence after Jeffreys's death in 1989is with Lady Jeffreys who may also appear as a correspondent before that date. Lady Jeffreys actively sought to assemble Jeffreys's correspondence from avariety of sources including colleagues and their families. For example,Desmond King-Hele passed to Lady Jeffreys his correspondence with Jeffreys,1961-1989, and Dorothy Stoneley gave to her Jeffreys's letters to RobertStoneley, including undated letters, probably from the 1920s and 1930s. Almostall the K.E. Bullen and R.A. Fisher correspondence with Jeffreys presented hereis photocopied material made available by academic archives in Australia, theUniversities of Sydney and Adelaide, respectively.
Non-textual material is of major importance both for documenting in photographsJeffreys's life and career and his interest in photography which developed atan early age. There are photographs of 'Harold's Youth', portrait photographs,photographs at various award ceremonies and with Lady Jeffreys, colleagues andfriends and photographs taken on visits and at conferences. Jeffreys's role asa photographer is represented, for example, by a number of photograph albumsmade up of photographs taken by him in the first decades of the twentiethcentury. A wide variety of persons and places are depicted. Fellow scientistsinclude F.C. Bartlett, Arthur Holmes, F.G. Hopkins, R. Stoneley, G.I. Taylor andD.M. Wrinch and places include many in the North East of England and in andaround Cambridge including St John's College. An album is devoted to a visitto Canada in 1924 in connection with a British Association for the Advancementof Science meeting. Jeffreys's later photography is represented by anextensive collection of transparencies, many depicting the round the world tourmade by Sir Harold and Lady Jeffreys in 1959. Additionally there are recordingsof Jeffreys in conversation with colleagues, a sound recording with G.A. Barnardand a video recording with D.V. Lindley.
Lady Jeffreys retained her husband's papers at the family home, 160 HuntingtonRoad, Cambridge until her death on 18 December 1999. In the period followingSir Harold's death (and probably for a period before) she played anindispensable role in assembling and preserving papers and identifyingmaterials such as research notes, correspondence and photographs. This workhas resulted in an archive of Sir Harold of significantly enhanced value forthe scholarly community and significantly easier to process.
Lady Jeffreys's own papers (currently in process) contain a sizeable componentof material relating to Sir Harold reflecting the many tributes, memorials,conferences in his honour and the like which followed in the ten years afterhis death and with which Lady Jeffreys was very much involved.
It is evident from the archival record that Lady Jeffreys took very seriously inrelation to her husband's papers the establishment of a Contemporary ScientificArchives Centre in Oxford in 1973 (the predecessor organisation of the NCUACS)and she was in regular contact with the NCUACS in the decade following SirHarold's death.