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Minutes and officers's files of the New Pythagoreans, 1929 - 1992

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.95

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1929 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The society is known to have existed in the late 1920s/early 1930s. It was re-founded in Michaelmas 1945 (at the instigation of the then president of the Archimedeans, Cambridge University Mathematical Society), holding its first meeting on 24 January 1946. The society was one of a number of mathematical societies each of which drew its membership from a subset of colleges, in this case Christ's, Emmanuel, Gonville and Caius, Jesus and Sidney Sussex Colleges, with some associates from Girton. At various dates membership was extended to those from Downing, Trinity Hall, Homerton, Hughes Hall and Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. It ran a guest speaker programme with lectures on both pure and applied mathematics, and sometimes on related disciplines particularly chemistry, other physical and earth sciences, and logical reasoning. Some social meetings such garden parties and cricket matches were held. The society's relationship with the other mathematical societies, particularly the university wide Archimedeans was close. The post of ''Archimedean's Representative'' was created on the committee; the holder being charged to attend the Archimedeans's meetings. The mathematicians Bertha Jeffreys and Mary Lucy Cartwright were elected honorary members in 1965. The society appears to have become defunct in the 1990s. Some information about the society's history is to be found on the website of the Archimedeans, Cambridge University Mathematical Society:


5 volume(s) : paper

2 file(s)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 30 April 2008. The bulk had been deposited by the New Pythagoreans with the Manuscripts Department on 6 March 1980. SOC.95.1.4 was deposited by [? Marie] Louise Abrahams (Sidney Sussex College) on 19 January 1986. SOC.95.1.5 was deposited circa 1991. All items were given the classmark Ms.Add.8265. On 2 March 2010 Fenella Leigh presented the University Archives with a programme card 1931-2 (catalogued as part of SOC.96.3).

Related Materials

Material referring to the New Pythagoreans may be found in SOC.XXVII, especially in items 1/3, 1/4 and in section 10. A run of programme cards is to be found in the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library (classmark: Cambridge Papers J 6120).

Related Materials

Items relating to lectures given to the society by the physicist William Lawrence Bragg and the mathematician Harold Davenport are in their personal papers held at Royal Institution of Great Britain, London (reference: W.L. BRAGG/45A and B) and Trinity College Library, Cambridge (reference: CSAC 112.3.86/C.143) respectively. A 1941/2 programme is in the papers of the mathematician Max Newman held at St John's College Library, Cambridge (reference: GBR/0275/NewmanM/1/2/45).


The online catalogue entry was completed in May 2008 and emended in May 2010. The National Register of Archives' listing of this collection indicates it contains material originating from the Archimedeans. Whilst some material in the file SOC.95.3 does indeed reference the activities of the Archimedeans (and other mathematical societies) these papers were actually generated by Mark Wainwright in his capacity as New Pythagorean's secretary as part of efforts to coordinate programmes. He was also journal editor and archivist to the Archimedeans.


New Pythagoreans

Finding aid date

2008-04-30 12:26:20+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom