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Records of Cambridge University Natural Science Club, 1872 - 1990

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.129

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: 1872 - 1990


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 club was established in 1872 by nine undergraduates and BAs for 'the cultivation of Natural Science by means of friendly intercourse and mutual instruction'. The Club met weekly during term to hear papers on scientific subjects. It also put on the occasional 'conversazione'; that is, displays and talks to invited guests. Membership was by election. The average number of ordinary members at any one time was about12 and never exceeded 22. Ordinary membership ceased on going out of residence. Honorary membership was offered to those who subsequently achieved scientific distinction and to eminent scientists resident in Cambridge. For example, in the early years of its existence, Nobel prize winners such as Ernest Rutherford and W.L. Bragg were members. Women were admitted to ordinary membership, limited to no more than three at any time, from 1942 onwards. The Club appears to have ceased to function ca 1990.


3 linear metre(s)

Custodial History

Transferred from the Betty and Gordon Moore Library in December 2023.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom