Catalogue description The Papers of William Henry Bragg

This record is held by Royal Institution of Great Britain

Details of W.H. Bragg
Reference: W.H. Bragg
Title: The Papers of William Henry Bragg

This collection of some 5000 items includes scientific and personal correspondence, papers, scripts for broadcasts, lecture and research notes. There are thirty seven boxes of papers and the items have been catalogued individually. There is little material relating to Bragg's childhood and student days but there is a variety of papers relating to the Adelaide period, 1886-1908, and this has been augmented by photocopies of the Rutherford/Bragg correspondence held by Cambridge University. The main part of the collection relates to W.H. Bragg's time at the Royal Institution, 1923-1942. Correspondence between W.H. Bragg and W.L. Bragg is to be found in both this collection and in the William Lawrence Bragg collection, which is also at the Royal Institution.

1. Pocket engagement diaries, 1924-1942.

2a-8b: Miscellaneous Correspondence, A-Z alphabetically, also correspondence with British Association, 1828 and about the Bragg-Paul Pulsator, 1938

8c: Miscellaneous notes, reprints and press cuttings

9: Miscellaneous correspondence and notes

10a: Career related correspondence, newspaper cuttings and related papers

10b-d: Letters of congratulation

11: Correspondence about honours and appointments

12: Research notebooks, ca.1900-1930; 5 books. Notes by W.H.Bragg and W.L.Bragg, including lecture notes and abstracts from literature.

13-17 General files on crystallography and research

18: Miscellaneous scientific notes and correspondence

19: Press cuttings; draft lectures and scripts

20-24 reprints 1891-1944 (with duplicates)

25: Medals

26: Bragg-Rutherford Correspondence (with MS but also photocopies of collection in Cambridge)

27: Royal Institution Administrative Files

28: Father/Son Correspondence; papers concerning autobiography

29: MSS notes and proofs of lectures

30-1: MSS notes of lectures and articles

32-4: MSS of lectures and articles, 1920-1940

35: Broadcast scripts

36: Letters of condolence on the death of Sir William Bragg, on 12th March 1942.

37A: W.H.Bragg - A.B. Wood Correspondence

37B: Correspondence: W.H. Bragg biographical information, 1962-1969

38: Research notebooks

39: six volumes of press cuttings 1913-1940

40: 2 files of Australian Press Cuttings

Date: 1889-1960s
Held by: Royal Institution of Great Britain, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Bragg, Sir, William Henry, knight, scientist and physicist

Physical description: 37 boxes
Access conditions:

Opening hours are Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. The archive is closed on bank holidays and shut from 01 December to 02 January

The reading room is open to readers by appointment, due to limited space please give as much notice as possible. Details and an appointment form to complete can be found on the Ri website:

If you have any further queries please contact

The reading room is situated on the lower ground floor and is accessible by lift. A Wi-Fi connection is available for those wishing to work on laptops. Supports for books and magnifying glasses are available on request

Readers are not permitted to scan or photograph documents themselves, however you can order copies for personal research through the archive

  • Physics
Administrative / biographical background:

2 July 1862 born, Westward, Cumbria


1875-1881 King William College


1881-1885 Trinity College, Cambridge


1886-1906 Professor of Physics, Adelaide


1889 married Gwendoline Todd


1907 Fellow of the Royal Society


1909-1915 Cavendish Professor, University of Leeds


1915 Nobel Prize for Physics (with W.L.Bragg)


1915-1923 Quain Professor of Physics, University College London


1920 K.B.E.


1923-1942 Fullerian Professor of Chemistry and Director, Royal Institution


1931 O.M.


1935-1941 President of the Royal Society


12 March 1942 died

Link to NRA Record:

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