Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of GEORGE WILLIAM SERIES FRS (1920-1995)

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This record is held by University of Reading: Special Collections

Details of Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of GEORGE WILLIAM SERIES FRS (1920-1995)
Title: Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of GEORGE WILLIAM SERIES FRS (1920-1995)
Reference: NCUACS 61.4.96
Description:

SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL NCUACS 61.4.96/A.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/A.57

 

SECTION B RESEARCH NCUACS 61.4.96/B.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/B.26

 

SECTION C LECTURES AND PAPERS NCUACS 61.4.96/C.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/C.109

 

SECTION D PUBLICATIONS AND EDITORIAL NCUACS 61.4.96/D.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/D.14

 

SECTION E VISITS AND CONFERENCES NCUACS 61.4.96/E.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/E.13

 

SECTION F CORRESPONDENCE NCUACS 61.4.96/F.1-NCUACS 61.4.96/F.37

 

The material is presented as shown in the List of Contents. Additional explanatory notes, information and cross-references are appended where appropriate to the separate sections, subsections and individual entries in the body of the catalogue. The following paragraphs aim only to draw attention to items of particular interest.

 

On his retirement from Reading in 1982, Series appears to have discarded much material. Although he remained in touch with physics, continuing to lecture and to attend conferences, he and his wife spent much of their time at their Cornish home, where research and administrative facilities were of necessity limited. These factors have resulted in gaps in the record at all levels.

 

Bibliographical references in the catalogue (in the form Bibliog. ...) are to the bibliography prepared by Professor B. Bleaney for his Royal Society memoir of Series. A copy of this bibliography is presented at NCUACS 61.4.96/A.7.

 

Section A, Biographical and personal, includes several autobiographical notes and narratives, some quite lengthy, on his career and scientific interests, written at various dates from 1963 to 1994. There is unfortunately virtually no documentation for Series's early life, Oxford university and college days at St John's and St Edmund Hall, or of his connection with Reading School as pupil and Governor. His appointment, career and retirement at Reading University are more fully recorded, as are his later honours.

 

Section B, Research, represents Series's own selection of topics of special interest to him: some, such as 'Spontaneous emission of light' cover a long time-span 1964-1977, while others such as 'Optogalvanic spectroscopy' was his last research at Reading 1981-1983. Series seems to have conducted a later revision of some of the material, perhaps in 1990, adding brief explanatory notes on its interest.

 

Section C, Lectures and papers, is a substantial record of Series's achievement as a popular and prolific lecturer to research groups or conferences, over an extended period, 1959-1988.

 

Section D, Publications and editorial, is only a partial record of Series's considerable editorial commitments, though it does include material on the founding of the European Journal of Physics with which he was closely involved, serving as its first editor.

 

Section E, Visits and conferences, is similarly scanty in view of the many conferences and lecture engagements undertaken by Series. It includes several of his visits under the Royal Society Exchange Programme, and also documents the major world tour 1982-1983 following his retirement from Reading.

 

Section F, Correspondence, dates in large part but not exclusively from Series's retirement years. Many of the letters are therefore incoming only, but Series frequently jotted down notes of his replies, or of calculations and ideas arising from the correspondence. He might also, at a later date, add a note on writers' names, careers and connections.

Date: 1944-1995
Held by: University of Reading: Special Collections, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Extent: 12 boxes
Administrative History:

Series was born, in modest circumstances, in 1920 and spent his early years in rural surroundings on the estate of Stratfield Saye House, Berkshire. Helped by scholarships, he was educated at St Mary's School Basingstoke and, from 1934-1938, at Reading School. In 1938 he entered St. John's College Oxford as an Open Scholar, reading mathematics and physics for the Shortened Finals in Physics in the wartime arrangements then operating. As a pacificist, he worked in London on air raid relief work and later became a member of the Friends Ambulance Unit; with them he served in the Middle East, Italy and (the then) Yugoslavia.

 

On his return to Oxford he took his Full Finals and D.Phil, and began research in optical spectroscopy under H.G. Kuhn, becoming a University Lecturer in Physics 1951; from 1953 to 1968 he was Tutorial Fellow at St Edmund Hall (Emeritus Fellow 1969). In 1968 he accepted a Professorship of Physics at Reading University, remaining there until taking early retirement in 1982.

 

His principal research interests - all in the field of optical spectroscopy - were the structure of atomic hydrogen, double resonance, spontaneous emission and optogalvanic spectroscopy.

 

Series was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1971. He was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society 1972, the American Physical Society 1975, the Optical Society of America 1975 and an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences 1984. He died in 1995.

Subjects:
  • Physics
Creator Names:
  • Series, George William, 1920-1995, physicist
Immediate Source Of Acquisition:
  • The papers were received in 1996 from Mrs Annette Series, widow.

Conditions of access:

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 ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

 

READING

Note:

Compiled by Jeannine Alton and Peter Harper

 

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 British Library

 

The E.P.A. Cephalosporin Fund

 

The Geological Society

 

The Higher Education Funding Council for England

 

The Institute of Physics

 

The Royal Society

 

The Royal Society of Chemistry

 

The Wellcome Trust

 

We are grateful to Mrs Series for making the papers available for cataloguing and advice on unidentified correspondence.

"
Related Material:
  • Copy of Physica Scripta (Vol T70 1997) devoted to G.W. Series as memorial essays deposited with the Archivist at Reading University Library.

     

    Information from Mrs. Annette Series 23 May 1997.

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