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Correspondence, 1911 - 1969

Reference Code: GBR/0014/MTNR 5

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The papers include: material on Professor Meitner's many honours; diaries; notebooks, including laboratory notebooks, scientific memoranda, calculations and lecture notes; offprints of articles; correspondence, including general and miscellaneous correspondence and correspondence with family and colleagues; material on the Nobel Prize, mainly recommendations and descriptions of work by candidates; birthday greetings; photographs; personal papers, including school reports, official documents and accounts; family correspondence; articles, mainly about Professor Meitner (unfortunately when she fled from Germany in 1938, she had to leave the drafts of her own articles before 1939); film and recordings, including interviews about Professor Meitner, and recordings made by Meitner herself.

The language of most of the papers is, of course, German and before 1945 the old (Gothic) script predominates. After 1938, there are increasing numbers of letters in Swedish. Professor Meitner wrote quite well in both English and Swedish, but preferred to use German if her correspondent was fluent in that language. For a short period, Professor Meitner made use of an elaborate series of abbreviations for her drafts. Some of these can be found in MTNR 9/18.


  • Creation: 1911 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.


67 file(s)

Language of Materials



Until 1956, correspondence was arranged each year in a file alphabetically by correspondent’s name. Letters considered worthy of permanent preservation were then transferred to the main alphabetical filing system (MTNR 5/1-19). As an alternative from 1956 onwards, there was an attempt to distinguish personal from other letters which was not very successful, and in addition letters from certain correspondents were kept in separate files (MTNR 5/20-32). It is therefore necessary to search in several places for the letters of any correspondent. [In order to rectify some of these problems, Dr Jost Lemmerich of Berlin has re-sorted the later correspondence, formerly files 5/36 to 5/53, alphabetically by correspondent where possible, resulting in changes to the contents of files as listed in the previous catalogue. Where possible, previous file references have been added in brackets.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed index and list to the Meitner correspondence by Dr Jost Lemmerich is also available, together with Dr Lemmerich's German transcripts of letters between Meitner and Elizabeth and Gertrud Schiemann (MTNR 5/32). Dr Lemmerich has also completed a detailed list of correspondence between Meitner and Max von Laue, Magda von Laue (earlier Magda Degen) and Hilde von Laue (MTNR 5/27-28), and also a list of correspondence between Meitner and Otto and Edith Hahn (MTNR 5/21-22).

Related Materials

See also MTNR 9/18. Additional correspondence (formerly MTNR 5/68- 5/71) located in Meitner Associated (MTNR AS 1/1-1/4).

Finding aid date

2004-04-07 10:19:16.623000+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087