Papers of Professor Eric Gray Forbes (1933-1984)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-132
  • Dates of Creation
      20th century
  • Language of Material
      English, and German.
  • Physical Description
      53 files, 1 index-file (2 linear metres, unsorted).
  • Location

Scope and Content

The Forbes papers consist of unsorted material under the headings of: astronomers, conferences, faculty and departmental papers, journals, lectures and lecture notes, Medical Archive Centre, observatories, publications and publishing, research projects and funding, reviews, societies and institutions, and Newcastle Polytechnic and the University of Glasgow.

Administrative / Biographical History

World renowned astronomer Professor Eric Gray Forbes was born on 30 March 1933. He was awarded 1st Class Honours and Ph.D degrees from St. Andrews University, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of London. In 1961, Forbes was a Regional Officer for the British Council, London, before becoming a Lecturer in Physics in 1961. Between 1963 and 1965, he was a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at St. Mary's College, Twickenham. Prior to the award of a Personal Chair in History of Science at Edinburgh University in 1978, Forbes had been a Reader in the Department of History at the University and prior to that a Lecturer appointed in 1965. His research interest was the history of science in the eighteenth century, in particular the work on the development of the lunar theory and navigational methods. Among his publications were a number of pieces on Tobias Meyer (1723-1762). Forbes was a vice-president of the International Union of the History of Science and Medicine, and a member of the International Academy of the History of Science. Professor Eric Gray Forbes died in Edinburgh on 21 November 1984.

Access Information

A small amount of material is marked 'restricted'. Please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Papers acquired 1999, Accession no. E99.22. Letter acquired April 1986, Accession no. E86.27.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 28. 1977-1978. p.245. Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh Graduates' Association, 1978. (2) Obituary. University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 32. No.1. June 1985. p.60. Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh Graduates' Association, 1985. (3) Who's who of British scientists 1971-1972. London: Longman, 1971.

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 an additional reference to Forbes related material (check the Indexes for more details): a letter to Professor G. A. Shepperson, 2 December 1968, at Gen. 2212/10.


Corporate Names