Arthur Mannering Tyndall Papers

Scope and Content

The papers contain notes, lectures, speeches, reports, articles, newspaper cuttings, photographs, plans, and other material collected and written by Professor Tyndall during and after his term at the University of Bristol. Much of this pertains to the Department of Physics, but there is also a substantial amount of information on other areas of University life such as Degree congregations, building planning, and committee business.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Mannering Tyndall was born on September 18, 1881, in Bristol and was educated at Redland Hill House School and University College, Bristol, where he earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1903. In the same year he entered the department of Physics at University College where he served until it became the University of Bristol in 1909, where he was to work until his retirement in 1948. He held the successive positions of Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Acting Head of the Physics Department, Dean of Science, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Henry Overton Wills Professor of Physics (from 1919), and director of the Henry Herbert Wills Physical Laboratory from 1927 until his retirement. During his time in the department, the staff and student body produced 18 fellows of the Royal Society and 32 who later went on to hold Professorial Chairs in Universities across the world.

An eminent physicist, Professor Tyndall was frequently published in the journals of the Royal Society and the Philosophical Magazine. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society himself in 1933 and served as Chairman of its' Physics Committee. He was also a member of the executive of the National Physical Laboratory from 1939, and served as its chairman from 1946-1949. On his retirement from the University of Bristol, Professor Tyndall worked on the editorial board of the Philosophical Magazine, keeping a sharp and active interest in Physics. He also continued to serve on the governing board of the University he helped found from his retirement until the day of his death on November 1, 1961.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all bona fide readers.

Acquisition Information

These papers belong to the University of Bristol.


Compiled by Martin Hall, Assistant Archivist, University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to copy materials must be obtained from the University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Additional Information

See the following associated University material related to Professor Tyndall:

  • DM 219 - Notes and correspondence on the history of the University of Bristol among University papers, 1940-1954.
  • DM 485 - Laboratory drawings among University of Bristol Laboratory drawings, 1909-1965.
  • DM 527 - Notebook on Physics laboratories, buildings and equipment including sketch plans, written by Prof. A.M. Tyndall, c.1910-1920.
  • DM 1064 - "Scientists as Entrepreneurs: Arthur Tyndall and the rise of Bristol Physics", paper by Dr. Steven T. Keith, 1984.
  • DM 1417 - "A History of the Department of Physics in Bristol, 1876-1948, with personal reminiscences", by A.M. Tyndall, typescript paper, 1956.
  • DM 1453 - Memorabilia in Physics Department papers.

Corporate Names