Catalogue description Report on the papers of Sir James Gray, F.R.S. (1891 - 1975)

This record is held by Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

Details of CSAC 49.3.77
Reference: CSAC 49.3.77
Title: Report on the papers of Sir James Gray, F.R.S. (1891 - 1975)

Gray's work on animal locomotion comprises the major portion of the collection, but his early work on cell division and ciliary movement (and his return to this research towards the end of his career) is recorded in notebooks and working papers CSAC 49.3.77/B.7-CSAC 49.3.77/B.9, CSAC 49.3.77/B.11-CSAC 49.3.77/B.13, and CSAC 49.3.77/C.1-CSAC 49.3.77/C.4. CSAC 49.3.77/B.10 is of interest in describing experiments with bull spermatazoa, which were brought to the attention of Sir Geoffrey Taylor and led to a sequence of papers published by Taylor 1951 -52; see the memoir of Taylor by G.K. Batchelor, Biographical memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 22, 1976 pp.613-614, 630.


Autobiographical reminiscences of his career at Cambridge can be found in Gray's lecture 'Fifty years of Zoology at Cambridge', item CSAC 49.3.77/D.39.


Section A includes material relating to Gray's service in the First World War (maps, field orders, roll books, personal journals) which is of interest for military history. A hand grenade found with the military papers has been deposited in the Imperial War Museum, London.


All items are manuscript unless otherwise indicated. Titles and descriptions in inverted commas are those which appear on the files or documents.


A selection of Gray's films on animal locomotion has been offered to the National Film Archive, London.


A. Biographical and personal CSAC 49.3.77/A.1 - CSAC 49.3.77/A.21


B. Notebooks CSAC 49.3.77/B.1 - CSAC 49.3.77/B.14


C. Working papers CSAC 49.3.77/C.1 - CSAC 49.3.77/C.53


D. Lectures CSAC 49.3.77/D.1 - CSAC 49.3.77/D.70


E. Correspondence and Committees CSAC 49.3.77/E.1 - CSAC 49.3.77/E.13


Compiled by Jeannine Alton


Harriot Weiskittel

Date: 1909-1975
Held by: Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Gray, Sir, James, 1891-1975, Knight, scientist and zoologist

Physical description: 9 boxes
Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were received from Lady Gray and from Dr. Hans Lissmann at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge.

Administrative / biographical background:



Educated Merchant Taylors' School


King's College, Cambridge


1911 Natural Sciences Tripos, CI.I


1914 Fellowship, King's College, Cambridge


1914-18 War service with Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment


1918 Awarded Military Cross and Croix de Guerre avec Palme


1919-23 Balfour Student, Department of Zoology, Cambridge


1920 Married Norah King


1923-37 Lecturer, later Reader in Experimental Zoology, Cambridge


1925-54 Editor, Journal of Experimental Biology


1929 Fellow, the Royal Society


1937-59 Professor of Zoology, Cambridge


1943-47 Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Royal Institution


1945-55 President, Marine Biological Association


1954 Knighted


1959 President, British Association for the Advancement of Science

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