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The Papers of Thomas Graeme Nelson Haldane

Reference Code: GBR/0014/TGNH

Scope and Contents

Probably the most interesting items in the Haldane papers are the very detailed and informative journals Haldane kept during his tours of the power installations of Russia, Sweden and America in the nineteen thirties and of New Zealand in the nineteen fifties. The collection also contains many articles on electrical power by Haldane together with notes and drafts of talks and lectures. There is also very interesting correspondence with Sir John Cockcroft and Dr. Monty Finniston about atomic energy dating from the mid- nineteen fifties but this is closed for the present. Other aspects of Haldane's career are reflected in papers and correspondence relating to the Imperial College of Science and Technology, in the University of London of which he was a Crown Nominee on the Governing Body for twenty-four years, and to the Institute of Electrical Engineers while his ideas on world-wide religious co-operation are expressed in his paper "Unity and Tolerance". Another paper "Recollections and Reflections" provides an autobiographical sketch of his life including a fascinating account of his experiences as a boy sailor during World War I and the collection also contains his World War I diaries and account of witnessing the surrender of the German Fleet in 1918. Throughout their lives, T.G.N. Haldane (known as Graeme) maintained a close and affectionate link with his parents and his family home, Cloan in Perthshire as shown in the many letters from his parents to him from 1916 to 1951.


  • Creation: 1914 - 1975

Conditions Governing Access

With a few exceptions which are noted 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 collection must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

14 Dec 1897: Born, son of Sir William Haldane of Cloan and Edith née Nelson; nephew of Viscount Haldane. Educated at Osborne and Dartmouth. 1914-18: Served on HMS Doris, HMS Valient and HMS Tiger (at Jutland). 1919: Went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. 1923: At the Cavendish Laboratory under Rutherford. 1926: Involved in setting up the National Grid. 1928: Joined Merz and McLellan, consulting engineers. 1929: Kelvin Premium for work on the Heat Pump. 1941: Became a partner in Merz and McLellan. 1943: Became involved in Scottish water power schemes. Vice-President of Institute of Electrical Engineers. 1948: President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. 1950-52: President of Association of Supervisory Engineers. 1953: James Watt Gold Medal. 1954: Chairman of Association of Consulting Engineers. [1956]: Crown Nominee on Governing Body of Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London (for 24 years). 1957: Retired as partner in Merz and McLellan but remained a consultant for the firm. 1962: James Hawkesley Gold Medal for developing geo-thermal resources of New Zealand. 1972: Retired as consultant for Merz and McLellan. On executive committee of National Physical Laboratory and British Council. 24 June 1981: Died.


14 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



The papers have been arranged in 8 series: family; biographical material; scientific missions abroad; published articles; lectures and speeches; scientific papers and correspondence; miscellaneous; and World War I diaries.

Other Finding Aids

The catalogue to the collection is available for consultation in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in Kew.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of T.G. Haldane were given to Churchill Archives Centre by his son Richard Haldane of Cloan, Perthshire in April 1982. At that stage certain diaries and papers were retained to be used in the writing of a memoir of T.G.N. Haldane. In 1998, additional material (TGN Haldane's World War I diaries) was received from Mr R Haldane.


The papers deposited at Churchill Archives Centre originally included papers relating to alteration of the estate at Cloan, Haldane's retirement and financial affairs and these were returned to the family in 1983.


The collection was catalogued by Marion Stewart at Churchill Archives Centre in 1982. Biographical information was obtained from Haldane's obituary in the Times 4 July 1981. The introduction to the collection was revised by Natalie Adams in August 2004 when the catalogue was converted to electronic form.


Haldane, Thomas Graeme Nelson, 1897-1981, scientist

2004-08-09 11:29:46+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