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Maxwell, James Clerk, 1831-1879 (Professor, scientist, physicist)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1831 - 1879

Biography

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was born in Edinburgh. In 1841 he became a pupil at the Edinburgh Academy and in 1847 entered the University of Edinburgh, attending lectures on mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, and mental philosophy. In October 1850 he became an undergraduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, transferring to Trinity College in December of that year. He graduated in 1854 and in 1855 was elected a fellow of Trinity. During the next year he was appointed professor of natural philosophy in Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1858 married Katherine Mary Dewar, the daughter of the principal. In 1860 he became professor of natural philosophy in King's College, London. He resigned the post in 1865, returning to private life at Glenlair, but in 1871 was induced to come forward as a candidate for the new chair of experimental physics at Cambridge, to which he was elected unopposed. The work of the professorship occupied Maxwell for the next five years. He died on 5 November 1879, following an illness. Maxwell carried out research into the effects of combinations of colours by means of the rapid rotation of discs coloured differently in different parts. This became known as his colour-top. His conclusions on primary colours and colour-blindness led to him being awarded the Rumford medal of the Royal Society in 1860. Maxwell also examined the question of the distribution of velocity in a gas and was involved in research and experiments concerning electricity and magnetism, on which he wrote a number of important papers.

Found in 57 Collections and/or Records:

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 Fonds

Alexander Davidson: Student notebooks, Aberdeen University

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8790-8792
Scope and Contents

Lectures delivered by James Nicol (1810-79), geologist, Professor of Natural History, Aberdeen University, 1853-78; James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79), Professor of Natural Philosophy, Marischal College, Aberdeen, 1857-60; Professor of Natural Philosopy, King's College London, 1860-5; Professor of Experimental Physics, Cambridge, 1871-79.

Dates: 1857-1860
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Ambrose Fleming: Notes on James Clerk Maxwell's lectures

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8082-8083
Scope and Contents

Notes by Ambrose Fleming on the last course of lectures given by James Clerk Maxwell at Cambridge University, delivered October 1878 - June 1879. There is an index at the front of each volume.

Dates: 1878-1879
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

Circuit diagram and calculations in Maxwell's hand, 1849-1879 (Circa, undated)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/30
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 1849-1879 (Circa, undated)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Other level

Correspondence and papers with Henry Charles Fleeming Jenkin

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/239-242
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Series

Correspondence of James Clerk Maxwell (excluding Peter Guthrie Tait), 19 Apr. 1849-5 Nov. 1879 (Circa)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II
Scope and Contents

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 19 Apr. 1849-5 Nov. 1879 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Diagram of Gibbs' Thermodynamic Surface made in plaster by Maxwell, 1849-1879 (Circa, undated, SLP 564)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/31
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 1849-1879 (Circa, undated, SLP 564)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Series

Final drafts of books, 1849-1879 (Circa, undated)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/IV
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Correspondence, drafts of articles and books, notes and miscellaneous papers. The main body of papers dates from Maxwell's undergraduate years at Edinburgh University beginning in 1847, until his death in 1879. Earlier and later items relate to family papers that have accrued to the collection, though these are not extensive.)

Dates: 1849-1879 (Circa, undated)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Fonds

James Clerk Maxwell: Correspondence and papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7655
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, drafts of articles and books, notes and miscellaneous papers. The main body of papers dates from Maxwell's undergraduate years at Edinburgh University beginning in 1847, until his death in 1879. Earlier and later items relate to family papers that have accrued to the collection, though these are not extensive.)

Dates: 1781-1951
Conditions Governing Access: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Fonds

James Clerk Maxwell: Letters to George Chrystal and other papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8375
Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of papers relating to James Clerk Maxwell, George Chrystal, Prof. William Garnett (Maxwell's Demonstrator at the Cavendish Laboratory), and John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh. A typed note states '5.10.67: Presented by Professor Mott, these were found among the possessions of his late Father, who worked in the Cavendish Laboratory for two years in the early days'. The miscellaneous items, nos. 22-26, are in Maxwell's hand.

Dates: 1874-1885
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

James Clerk Maxwell: Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8385
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the executorship papers of Mrs Maxwell, letters and a speech by William Garnett.

Dates: 1879-1931
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Series

James Clerk Maxwell: Papers about his property, 1871-1888

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8812/159-162
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1871-1888
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Arthur Schuster, 2 Dec. 1875 (SLP 577)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/101
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 2 Dec. 1875 (SLP 577)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to [Arthur Schuster], 15 Dec. 1875 (SLP 578)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/103
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 15 Dec. 1875 (SLP 578)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Arthur Schuster, 3 May 1876 (SLP 600)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/111
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 3 May 1876 (SLP 600)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to [C. Mackenzie] (draft), 1849-1879 (Circa, no year given)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/222*
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 1849-1879 (Circa, no year given)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Charles Tomlinson, 12 Dec. 1878 (SLP 721)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/175
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 12 Dec. 1878 (SLP 721)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Dr [Thomas] Andrews, 15 July 1875 (SLP 567)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/26
Scope and Contents

Enclosing sketch of "Gibbs' Thermodynamic Surface" and later note by William Blair Morton (1868-1949), physicist, regarding the sketch

Dates: 15 July 1875 (SLP 567)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Edward William Blore [draft], 15 Feb. 1871 (SLP 357)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/39
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 15 Feb. 1871 (SLP 357)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to [Ernst Fleischl], Nov. 1878 (Circa end of November, SLP 720)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/170
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: Nov. 1878 (Circa end of November, SLP 720)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Francis Galton, 26 Feb. 1879 (SLP 731)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/27
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 26 Feb. 1879 (SLP 731)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to John Edward Henry Gordon, 1849-1879 (Circa, undated, SLP 546)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/217
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A principal series of scientific correspondence, drafts and notes totalling 242 items, letters written to J.C. Maxwell from many scientists and institutions of Maxwell's day dating from his early days at Cambridge University until the day of his death.

Dates: 1849-1879 (Circa, undated, SLP 546)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to John Hutton Balfour, 28 Nov. 1870 (SLP 349)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/II/38
Scope and Contents

Copy by P.G. Tait

Dates: 28 Nov. 1870 (SLP 349)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Joseph Thomson, 13 July 1871 (SLP 381)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/15
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 13 July 1871 (SLP 381)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Joseph Thomson, 24 July 1871 (SLP 382)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/17
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 24 July 1871 (SLP 382)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
 Item

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Joseph Thomson, 2 Sep. 1872 (SLP 421)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/19
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 2 Sep. 1872 (SLP 421)
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue
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Additional filters:

Type
Archival Object 52
Collection 5
 
Subject
Physics 2
Electromagnetism 1
Mathematics 1
Thermodynamics 1
 

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.