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The Papers of Bruno Pontecorvo

Reference Code: GBR/0014/PNVO

Scope and Contents

Personal papers and correspondence relating to Bruno and Marianne Pontecorvo and their family, including Bruno's scientific correspondence.


  • Creation: 1917 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

With some exceptions marked in the catalogue, 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

Bruno Pontecorvo was a nuclear physicist. He was born in Pisa in 1913, went to University in Rome, and worked under Enrico Fermi. His research took him to Paris in the 1930's, where he met and married Marianne Nordblum (a Swede). Their first child Gil was born in Paris in 1938. With the fall of France, the young family crossed the Atlantic and entered the United States. By 1943 Bruno was employed by the United Kingdom on the British nuclear reactor programme at Chalk River in Canada. His children Tito and Antonio were born in Montreal in 1944 and 1945. Bruno came to work in the United Kingdom at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell in 1948. In 1950 he was due to take up a teaching position at the University of Liverpool. The family disappeared in the summer, and it was eventually discovered that they had moved to the Soviet Union.


3 archive box(es) : paper

1 reel(s) (1 video)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this finding aid are available at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection comprises 3 boxes of family papers and correspondence. The initial deposit in May 2001 comprised 2 boxes. These were left in the United Kingdom by Bruno and Marianne and passed to Bruno's brother. Further deposits were made in September 2002 and March 2004 after further material was found in the family's possession.


This collection (fonds) level description was compiled by Allen Packwood in January 2003. The collection was catalogued by Allen Packwood in August 2001 and converted for online publication by Natalie Adams in December 2005.


Pontecorvo, Bruno, 1913-1993, physicist

2003-01-15 11:49:10+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