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Photographs of Stephen Hawking by Yolana Sonnabend

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10309

Scope and Contents

Eighteen prints of photographic portraits, 34 negatives and two contact sheets of photographs, taken by Yolanda Sonnabend preparatory to her 1985 portrait of Hawking, now in the National Portrait Gallery. The photographs include eighteen black and white photographs, two contact sheets and strips of negatives (none of which have been published). The photographs are divided into two sizes: The eight larger prints are 25.5 x 20.5 cm. Six of these show Hawking seated in his wheelchair; another one shows him seated behind a student, and the last is an image of his blackboard (which features in the background of Sonnabend's portrait). The ten smaller prints are 25 x 19.5 cm and comprise six images of Hawking in his wheelchair, and four of him beside the student. Nearly all of the smaller set of phtoographs carry traces of the paint from the portriat, the one bearing the most paint being the closest in appearance to the painted image. With two 23 x 21 cm contact sheets of a total of 66 shots. The negatives of 34 of these shots are also present on six strips of film. Also included is a 1983 CV for Stephen Hawking. Hawking's duplicated CV is 3 pp., 8vo, on three leaves stapled together. It is headed 'CURRICULUM VITAE, S. W. HAWKING, BORN 8th January 1942 at Oxford, England.


  • Creation: 1983-12-08 - 1985

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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Conditions Governing Use

This collection cannot be reproduced without copyright permission. According to Writers Artists and their Copyright Holders (, rights in works by Yolanda Sonnabend are managed by Bridgeman Contemporary Artists' Service Bridgeman Images (London), 17-19 Garway Road, London, W2 4PH, UK Phone: 44 - (0)20 - 7792 8509 E-mail: URL:

Rights in works by Stephen Hawking and the use of his image are managed by the estate of Stephen Hawking.


1 folder(s) : Black and white photographic prints Negatives

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some of the photographs are marked by paint (see Scope and Content).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Michael Ford, Antiquarian Bookseller, 2019.

24 July 2019
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom