Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of THOMAS BROOKE BENJAMIN FRS; (1929-1995)
This record is held by Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections
|Title:||Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of THOMAS BROOKE BENJAMIN FRS; (1929-1995)|
SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL A.1 - A.61
Career, honours and awards A.1 - A.25
Music A.26 - A.32
Poetry A.33 - A.55
Photographs A.56 - A.61
SECTION B NOTES, DRAFTS AND CALCULATIONS B.1 - B.165
University teaching B.1-B.17
Other notes, drafts and calculations B.18-B.165
SECTION C LECTURES, CONFERENCES AND VISITS C.1 - C.41
SECTION D SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS D.1 - D.5
SECTION E MATHEMATICS AND HIGHER EDUCATION E.1 - E.18
National Conference of University Professors (NCUP) E.1-E.14
Articles and writings E.15-E.18
SECTION F CORRESPONDENCE F.1 - F.20
Additional explanatory notes, information and cross-references are appended where appropriate to the separate sections and the individual entries.
The surviving documentation of many aspects of Benjamin's career, is unfortunately sparse; several of his career moves seem to have resulted in the loss or destruction of papers.
Section A, Biographical, provides a useful outline of the principal events of Benjamin's life including his appointment to the Sedleian Professorship at Oxford. His non-professional interests, music and poetry, are well recorded, with examples of Benjamin's own scores and writings on music, and poems, almost all wrtten in 1980.
Section B, Notes, drafts and calculations, is the largest in the collection. It includes material relating to university courses taught by Benjamin and a considerable quantity of notes and other material relating to research, publications and lectures, much of it undated and difficult to assign as to category.
Section C, Lectures, conferences and visits, is far from being a complete record of Benjamin's travel and conference commitments, although something of the extent of his travels and his reputation as a lecturer can be seen. It covers the years 1970-1994.
Section D, Societies and organisations, is slight and does not convey the full involvement of Benjamin in the life of professional mathematical societies, or of his contribution to the publication of learned journals (he was a founder editor of the influential Journal of Fluid Mechanics).
Section E, Mathematics and higher education, records Benjamin's concern with various aspects of higher education, especially the National Conference of University Professors of which he was a founder and first Chairman.
Section F, Correspondence, is slight.
Compiled by Jeannine Alton and Timothy E. Powell
The work of the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, and the production of this catalogue, are made possible by the support of the following societies and organisations:
The Biochemical Society
The Geological Society
The Higher Education Funding Council for England
The Institute of Physics
The Royal Society
The Wellcome Trust
We are pleased to acknowledge the help of Mrs Natalia Benjamin and Professor John Toland in making the papers available and in helping to date and identify some of the documents and photographs."
|Date:||1950 - 1995|
Presented in a single sequence arranged as far as possible by subject.
|Held by:||Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections, not available at The National Archives|
|Physical description:||275 files|
NOT ALL THE MATERIAL IN THIS COLLECTION MAY YET BE AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATION. ENQUIRIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO:
THE KEEPER OF WESTERN MANUSCRIPTS
|Immediate source of acquisition:||
The papers were received from Mrs Natalia Benjamin (widow) and via Professor John Toland, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath, at various dates in 1996.
The papers in this section were received via Professor John Toland, University of Bath, in 1996.
|Administrative / biographical background:||
Benjamin was born on 15 April 1929 in Wallasey. Merseyside, and educated at Wallasey Grammar School. He studied electrical engineering at Liverpool University 1947-1950, before moving to Yale University on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to take an M.Eng. Benjamin then went to Cambridge University where he took his doctorate on cavitation in fluids. He was elected Fellow of King's College, Cambridge in 1955, and appointed Assistant Director of Research 1958-1967 and Reader in Hydrodynamics 1967-1970, working in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, on problems of fluid dynamics such as thin films, wave instability, drag reduction, and vortex breakdown. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1966, at the early age of 36.
In 1970 Benjamin moved as Professor of Mathematics to the University of Essex, where he set up the Fluid Mechanics Research Institute, to promote interaction between mathematicians and experimentalists in advanced fluid mechanics. In 1979 he accepted appointment to the Sedleian Chair of Natural Philosophy at Oxford, which carried with it Fellowship of The Queen's College. Apart from periods as visiting professor at overseas universities, principally in America, Benjamin remained in Oxford until his death on 16 August 1995.
In addition to his contributions to the study of fluid dynamics, Benjamin retained a lifelong interest in music, as executant (piano and strings), conductor and composer. Somewhat later in life, he also turned to the composition of poetry.
Benjamin was twice married: in 1956 to Helen Ginsburg, by whom he had a son and two daughters; the marriage was dissolved in 1974. In 1978 he married Natalia Court, by whom he had a daughter.
|Link to NRA Record:|