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The Papers of Dr (Vernon) Ellis Cosslett

Reference Code: GBR/0014/COSS

Scope and Contents

Correspondence and papers concerning the development of the Electron Microscope


  • Creation: 1935-08 - 1988-08


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Cosslett was born in Cirencester in June 1908, the son of Edgar William Cosslett and Anne Cosslett (née Williams). He was awarded a PhD at Bristol University in 1932, and was then appointed a Research Fellow at Bristol, 1932-5; Lecturer in Science, Faraday House, London, 1935-9; research (part-time) at Birkbeck College, London, 1936-9; Keddey-Fletcher-Warr Research Fellow of London University (at Oxford), 1939-41; and Lecturer in Physics, Electrical Laboratory, Oxford University, 1941-6.

The majority of his career, however was spent at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge and he was appointed successively: ICI Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, 1946-49; Lecturer in Physics, University of Cambridge, 1949-65, Reader in Electron Physics, University of Cambridge, 1965-75, and then Emeritus. He was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from 1963.

He was a founder member of the International Federation of Electron Microscope Societies, and its President from 1972-5. He was also President of the Royal Microscopical Society and a Vice-President of the Institute of Physics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972 and received its Royal Medal in 1979.

He published "Introduction to Electron Optics", 1946 (1951); "Practical Electron Microscopy", 1951; "X-ray Microscopy" (with W. C. Nixon), 1960; and "Modern Microscopy", 1966.

He died in November 1990.


127 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

The finding aid to the collection is available in hard copy form in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in London. More detailed box lists of accessions 875 and 1405 are available as hard copies in the reading room or as a word document to be emailed on request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in June 1988 (accession 767), December 1990 (accession 875) and February 2007 (accession 1405)

Related Materials

See also the Cosslett Associated Papers, GBR 0014/COSS AS.


This collection level description was prepared by Andrew Riley in May 2003 using information from Who Was Who 1897-1996 (A and C Black). The basic catalogue with box lists was updated by Madelin Terrazas, November 2011.


Cosslett, Vernon Ellis, 1908-1990, electron microscopist

2003-06-26 07:39:18+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

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