Papers of Professor Charles Glover Barkla (1877-1944)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-296
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 box, circa 24 letters, 1 Nobel Laureate Diploma.
  • Location
      E91.105; E96.10; E96.23

Scope and Content

The Barkla collection includes: lectures and notes, 1903, 1917, at E91.105; citation for the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1917, at E96.23; and, congratulatory telegrams on the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918-1919, at E96.10.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nobel Laureate Charles Glover Barkla was born in Widnes on 7 June 1877. He studied at the Liverpool Institute and then at University College, Liverpool, and then Trinity College and King's College, Cambridge. He was a student of physics, and as a research scholar he studied at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. In 1905, Barkla became a Demonstrator and Assistant Lecturer in Physics, and then in 1909 he was appointed to the Chair of Physics at King's College, London. He held this post until 1913 when he became Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh University. For his outstanding contribution to physics and his work on the nature of X-radiation and its interaction with matter, Barkla was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1917. Barkla was very interested in music and was an able musician and singer. Professor Charles Glover Barkla died on 23 October 1944.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Lectures and notes transferred from Dept. of Natural Philosophy via King's Buildings Libraries, Edinburgh University, December 1991, Accession no. E91.105. Nobel Prize citation transferred from Dept. of Physics, June 1996, Accession no. E96.23. Congratulatory material received April 1996, Accession no. E96.10.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Rice, D. Talbot (comp.). The university portraits. pp.8-9. Edinburgh: University Press, 1957. (2) Who was who 1941-1950. A companion to Who's who.... London: Adam and Charles Black, 1952.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The local Indexes show another reference to Barkla related material (check the Indexes for more details): letters to Barkla from Professor Sir D. F. Tovey (1875-1940) mainly about meetings of the Faculty of Music, Edinburgh University, 1918-1938, at Gen. 1971/5/1-3, 5-15. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and papers, Private, NRA 22850 Barkla; letters to Sir Owen Richardson, University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Library, NRA 22337 Richardson; letters (10) to Lord Rutherford, 1909-1921, Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Ref. Add 7653.

Corporate Names