Skip to main content

Papers of Sir Edward Victor Appleton

 Fonds — Box: MS.2300
Identifier: Coll-37

Scope and Contents

The papers, which are substantial, deal almost exclusively with Appleton's scientific work. There is little personal or private correspondence and almost no surviving material, apart from lectures, speeches and addresses, relating to his public life as scientific administrator or university principal. There are, however, a good run of diaries and engagement books and extensive folders of notes, research ideas, manuscript calculations and data from all periods of Appleton's career, as well as much additional data contributed by assistants or from observatories. The correspondence includes an extended exchange of letters with B. van der Pol, 1921-1924, on oscillations and non-linearity, and long and frequent exchanges with long-term friends and collaborators such as W.J.G. Beynon, R. Naismith and W.R. Piggott. Appleton's collection of reprints, preprints and limited circulation reports also includes some important items.
Click HERE to see a detailed handlist.


  • c 1918-1973


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Data Protection restrictions apply.


100 boxes

100 boxes


By section as follows: Biographical and personal, Scientific notebooks, Research topics, Lectures and publications, Correspondence, Charts, graphs and data, Reports and printed matter, Non-print material. Index of correspondents.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing in 1977-1978 by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre from Lady Appleton, widow. Deposited in Edinburgh University Library in 1981.

Related Materials

The Institution of Electrical Engineers, London houses a film in which Appleton describes his ionospheric research, made for the Institution by British Movietone Ltd in 1962, and a typescript text of the film.

Lady Appleton retained copies of Appleton's speeches and writings to be left to Edinburgh University Library on her death. Appleton's correspondence with J.A. Ratcliffe, 1925-1936, formed an earlier deposit in Edinburgh University Library.
Papers of Sir Edward Victor Appleton
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379