Scope and Contents
The records relate chiefly to the erection and administration of the laboratory buildings and their contents. Indeed, the earliest records are vouchers for equipment purchased by James Clerk Maxwell, first Professor, in 1876-9. There are also smaller quantities of records relating to laboratory clubs, 1902-72, the celebration of the Clerk Maxwell centenary, 1931, research programmes, 1960-92, including the Cambridge Energy Research Group, and applications to work and study at the laboratory, 1944-78. Much of the administrative correspondence, 1930s, is written by J.D. Cockcroft (1897-1967), then departmental lecturer.
Conditions Governing Access
The archives are unrestricted, except for 80 years closure period imposed on personal files, catalogued as CAV 10, 14-15 under data protection legislation.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of University Archives, photographs to the Head of Digital Content Unit; both at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.
Biographical / Historical
The Laboratory was established in 1870, at the same time as the professorship of the same name, by the munificence of the then Chancellor, William Cavendish, Seventh Duke of Devonshire, as a laboratory of experimental physics. It was built in Free School Lane in 1872 and extended in 1895-6, 1907-8 and 1936. The new Cavendish was built in west Cambridge in 1968-74. The Laboratory is the home of the Department of Physics. For further background information, see J.G. Crowther The Cavendish Laboratory, 1874-1974 (London: Macmillan, 1974); and the department's own web pages www.phy.cam.ac.uk/cavendish/history/
12 linear metre(s) : paper, photograph
Language of Materials