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David Ellyard 
Research Papers re Sir Marcus Oliphant

MSS 0251

Biographical note

David Ellyard has worked in science and technology all his working life, as a researcher, a teacher in schools and university, a science communicator through radio and television, writing and talks, and in developing Government programs and policy.

After university study in physics and mathematics, David spent a year researching cosmic rays at Mawson Base in Antarctica as a member of the 1966 ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition).

On his return to Australia, David trained as a teacher, paying his way through teachers college by helping out in physics tutorials and practical classes. He then taught high school science and mathematics for three years.

From 1972 to 1988 David moved his science communication skills to a wider audience, worked full time in the electronic media, both ABC and commercial, researching, producing and presenting radio and TV programs on the social and economic impacts of science and technology. He devised, produced and presented Skywatch, a magazine program dealing with astronomy and space science and made a number of TV documentaries and specials, including coverage of the 1986 deep space encounter of the Giotto probe with Halley's Comet and the 1987 Voyager fly-by of Uranus. During this period, he made the first of his now well-known appearances as a TV weatherman, first on Channel 10 and later on the ABC.

In 1977 he recorded for the ABC a series of interviews with Sir Mark Oliphant, later published under the title “Looking Back.” In 1981 he published (with co-author Stewart Cockburn) the well-regarded biography “Oliphant.” Books on astronomy, weather and modern developments in science and technology followed.

In 1988, David moved into government service, while still maintaining some of his other activities. For more than a decade he ran programs to promote better use of science and technology by business in NSW. He was also closely associated with bodies advising the NSW government on the role of science and technology in building employment, investment and exports.

In more recent years David has worked principally as a public speaker and works with scientists to help them become better communicators.


David Ellyard presented these papers, compiled while researching the biography “Oliphant” to the University of Adelaide Library in 2019. The collection includes original letters and writings by Sir Mark Oliphant, original photographs and copies of source materials.

Related material is held in the Sir Marcus Laurence Oliphant Papers, including those compiled by Stewart Cockburn, the co-author of “Oliphant.”

Contents Listing

Series 1. Biographical 1 cm.

  • CVs prepared by Oliphant circa 1930/31, 1968 and undated (typescript)
  • 1936 correspondence with solicitors re the adoption of Oliphant’s son, Michael John
  • Letter Oliphant to Simon Caldwell June 1956 with biographical information 4 p. (photocopy)
  • Letter Oliphant to Guy Gresford December 1964 with biographical information re career (carbon copy)
  • Oliphant obituary by John Carver, 10/1/2001. 5 p. (typescript)
  • Source materials re conferring of honorary degrees and awards: 1942, Doctor of Science, University of Melbourne; 1948 Faraday Medal; 1948 University of St Andrews; 1949 L.L.D. University of Toronto including a copy of Oliphant’s address; 1950 Doctor of Science University of Birmingham; 1952 Doctor of Science NSW University of Technology; 1968 Doctor of Science Australian National University with citation by E.W. Titterton

Series 2. Education  0.5 cm

  • School report from Adelaide High School March 1918. Signed by W. Adey (photocopy)
  • Letter of application by Oliphant for a position with the Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry, 14/2/1919, and rejection letter (photocopies)
  • Extract from Adelaide High School Magazine September 1935 with reference to Oliphant
  • Letter W. Adey to Oliphant re invitation April 1936 (typescript). Adey had been Principal of Adelaide High School in Oliphant’s time

Series 3. University of Adelaide 0.5 cm

  • Extract of Proceedings of ANZAAS Perth 1926 with Presidential address by Kerr Grant and (p 126) paper by Oliphant (photocopy)
  • MS reference for Oliphant from Roy Burdon 13 May 1926 (possibly in connection with application for 1851 Studentship)
  • MS letter from Kerr Grant to Rutherford December 1927 with reference for Oliphant (page 4)
  • Reference for Oliphant by Kerr Grant 3 July 1928 (typescript - circumstances for this are not clear)
  • Information leaflet regarding 1851 Studentship
  • Photocopy of article “1851 Science Research Awards to Australians” / I.W. Wark, from Records of the Australian Academy of Science, 1977. Annotation most likely by Oliphant
  • Listing (partial) of Oliphant publications up to circa 1936/7, 2 p. (typescript)

Series 4. Rutherford and the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory 1927-37  3 cm.

  • Photocopies of several documents from 1927 to 1934, with MS letter from Rutherford regarding award of 1851 Studentship to Oliphant and its extension, and of Messell Fellowship
  • Letter to Oliphant from Dr FM Penning 2 June 1929 regarding work on ion bombardment (photocopy)
  • MS letter from Phillip Moon to Oliphant 3 November 1931 regarding research into the isotopes of potassium, 8 p.
  • Signed menu of dinner held August 12th 1931 during a visit to Australia by Oliphant and family. Signatures mainly of Oliphant family members, but also include J. Blyth, Daisy Meecham, C.S. Wilbraham and G.L. Price. Rear of menu bears a graphic design “Big fella welcome to big fella Doctor Bulla, Lubra and Piccaninny. Gib it Big Fella corroboree”
  • Ms letter Rutherford (while on holiday) to Oliphant enquiring on progress of experiment, 8? August 1932, with envelope
  • Letter Oliphant to Rutherford, reporting progress on the high tension system, 7 August 1932 (photocopy)
  • Originals of two telegrams sent in November 1933 by Cockcroft to Police Chief in Bruges seeking whereabouts of Oliphant whose son was “dangerously ill”
  • Two accounts: 1934 invoice for lotion from vet; 1934 invoice for books from Bowes Bowey
  • Letter Oliphant to Rutherford re progress on experiments on emissions under proton bombardment, 16 June 1934 (photocopy)
  • Letter from St John’s College 21 September 1934 re admission to scholarship (typescript)
  • Letter from Hugh Webster (Trinity College Melbourne) 16 August 1934 re visit of Petri and Wark to Cambridge and happenings in Melbourne (typescript)
  • Copy in Oliphant’s handwriting of “The Cavendish Curse” November 1934
  • Letter from Rutherford to Oliphant regarding his appointment as Assistant Director Research at the Cavendish, June 1935 (photocopy)
  • Letter Oliphant to Rutherford reporting on progress with differential chambers, 21 June 1935 (photocopy)
  • Newspaper clipping c 1935 “Australian scientists in Great Britain” by H.L. Brose, The Advertiser, August 1935, with reference to Oliphant among other expatriates
  • Letter to Oliphant from D.A. Allen, 10 September 1936 regarding possible scholarships in Cambridge (photocopy)
  • Oliphant’s copy of Rutherford’s “The Newer Alchemy” with inscription by Rutherford, 1937
  • Three letters from the Galvani Congress to Oliphant re his attendance and delivery of a paper, with letter from the Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University approving his attendance, 6 August 1937 (typescript)
  • Letter Rutherford to Oliphant 8 October 1937 following his departure from the Cavendish, with references to Niels Bohr’s work on nuclear processes (typescript)
  • Rely of thanks from Oliphant to Rutherford 11 October 1937 referring to continuing relationship with the Cavendish Laboratory and Bohr’s research (carbon typescript)
  • Letters to Oliphant from Westminster Bank, 20 & 27 October 1937, regarding guarantee provided by Rutherford now deceased (photocopy)
  • Photocopies from Proceedings of the Royal Society ‘A’ re Oliphant’s election to the Royal Society (1937) and award of the Hughes Medal (1943-4)
  • MS notes by Oliphant dated T.C. Dublin 1 March 1938, and MS script in a different handwriting, for a eulogy for Rutherford March 1938
  • Program for Cavendish Laboratory dinner, 17 December 1945, with lyrics of songs sung
  • Letters between Oliphant and Lady Rutherford October and November 1947 re arrangements for Rutherford celebrations in Paris, plus article from Nature
  • Letter from Oliphant to Cockcroft (with newspaper clipping) regarding the retirement of G.R. Crowe, 1965 (typescript)
  • Typed notes for talk by Oliphant to the Institute of Physics “Recollections of the Cavendish Laboratory”, November 1968
  • Pamphlet: Saint Benet’s Church, Cambridge: a short guide, 1973 (at the northern end of Free School Lane) near the Cavendish
  • MS comments by Chadwick on Oliphant's book on Rutherford and the Cavendish

Series 5. University of Birmingham and war research 1937-1950  1 cm.

  • Typescript notes on growth of staff in the Physics Department at Birmingham during Oliphant tenure (photocopy)
  • Minutes of meeting of Physical Society at Birmingham, 6 May 1937) inviting Oliphant to become President (photocopy)
  • MS letter from Geo. A. Bryson(?) to Oliphant,30 March 1938, regarding use of his stable as an electricity substation
  • Card of congratulations from C.P. Snow, 14 June 1936
  • Letters of congratulation from J.E. Lennard-Jones, E.V. Appleton and E.A. Benians, June/July 1935
  • MS letter from J. Chadwick to Oliphant, 17 April 1934, answering Oliphant’s concerns on moving to Birmingham, 6 p.
  • Printed flyer: Invitation to apply for Chair of Physics, University of Birmingham, January 1936
  • Letter from Dean of Science, Professor K. Neville Moss to Oliphant, 24 April 1936, accepting his application (typescript)
  • Draft MS and typescript CV and list of Oliphant’s publications
  • MS letter Professor S.W. Johnson Smith to Oliphant, 4 April 1936, arranging a visit to view the Physics Dept
  • Letter Oliphant to Professor Moss, 22 April 1936, accepting the position of Chair of Physics and outlining conditions of acceptance, with reply to Moss25 April 1936
  • Letter Moss to Oliphant, 1 April 1936, re departmental funds and tour of the Dept
  • Two letters from the Secretary, University of Birmingham, to Oliphant, 1 April 1936, e appointment to Chair 25 May and 5 June 1936
  • Oliphant’s CV (typescript)
  • Correspondence from Dr J.T. Randall to Oliphant inquiring about vacancies at Birmingham, describing his research at the General Electric Co., and re the Warren Fellowship and undertaking this at Birmingham. 5 typescript letters (including 1 photocopy) 7 March-15 August 1937
  • Identification card for Oliphant enrolled as a Local Defence Volunteer for the City of Birmingham, 3 September 1940
  • Recommendations and citation regarding the award to Oliphant of the US Medal of Freedom 1946 (photocopies)
  • 1981 press release by Stewart Cockburn re the blocking of the Award of the US Congressional Medal of Freedom to Australian scientists, with reference to Oliphant (photocopy)
  • Letter from A.P. Rowe to Oliphant 6/7/1948 discussing potential of Professor J.T. Randall for Physics Chair at ANU

Series 6. Visit to Australia 1942-43      3 cm.
Photocopies of source and archival materials for Chapter 9 of biography

  • ‘Notes on radiophysics work in Australia’ / G.C.A. Cook, 3 p. (typescript)
  • Cablegram from High Commissioner’s Office London to Prime Minister’s Dept 22 November 1941 re work of Adelaide graduates Smith and Gooden for the Admiralty
  • Correspondence between David Rivett and J.P.V. Madsen August-October 1941-re Oliphant’s concerns about war research in Australia
  • Letter to Wing Commander R.C. Vaughan of the Air Ministry from H.T. Tizard 25 February 1942 re facilitating Oliphant’s passage to Australia
  • Radiophysics Advisory Board Minutes of 20th-23rd meetings July-October 1942, with minutes of the Technical Committee 8th-10th meetings, June-August 1942
  • [First CSIR Secret War Report] ‘XVI. Division of Radiophysics (1939-1942)’ June 1942, with Memorandum to E.M. Johnston, Allied Supply Council re radiophysics, 18 August 1942
  • Copies from CSIRO Archives re Oliphant 1942-43

Series 7. Post-Birmingham / ANU  15 cm.

  • [Correspondence and other materials re Oliphant’s return to Australia in 1950] Includes letter from Chadwick re the Rutherford book; copies of letters re the foundation of the Australian National University; Note for Archives by Oliphant re Menzies negative comments on University House and ANU; ABC Guest of Honour broadcast re the future University; comments and articles on the Homopolar generator; press clippings 1945-50
  • Correspondence 1954-66 regarding proposal to build large astronomical telescope at ANU (including Cockcroft letter 1963 and Chadwick letter 1966)
  • Copies of security reports by US agencies on Oliphant from early to mid-1950s, as supplied to Stewart Cockburn 15 October 1980
  • Letter from Oliphant to Professor Rafi Chaudhri 24 July 1956, and his reply 11 August 1956, regarding high tension physics (typescripts)
  • Correspondence between Oliphant and Tizard 1956 regarding proposal to nominate E.G. Bowen to the Royal Society (photocopies)
  • Proposal to acquire a Tandem Accelerator for the Research School of Physical Sciences, ANU, 1957. Includes official correspondence 1957-58, and draft Report of a Committee of the Australian Academy of Science on the proposal
  • Materials re founding of Department of Mathematics within Research School of Physical Sciences, ANU, and appointments to the School 1958-61: correspondence, proposal, Committee on Mathematics minutes and circulars
  • Five letters from Professor Leslie Martin to Oliphant regarding visit by John Cockcroft February/March 1959 (typescripts)
  • Undated MS letter from Manning Clark to Oliphant, expressing his admiration for Oliphant’s contribution towards increasing the prestige of physics and helping Australia grow as a nation
  • Papers and correspondence 1954 with members of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission re the possible use of the Homopolar Generator to produce thermonuclear reactions
  • Papers and correspondence re the design and construction of Homopolar Generator (HPG) aka “ The White Oliphant” 1955-66, 1980
  • “The Messell Controversy” Copies of the article “”The White Oliphant?” (The Bulletin 25/1/1961) and associated correspondence 1961 with The Bulletin, Frank Packer, Professor H. Messel and others re the progress of the proton-synchrotron, and articles on Messel
  • Homopolar Generator accident (July 1962) and aftermath. Includes Report of the Committee of Inquiry, press statements, correspondence, newspaper articles, safety investigations and documentation re the injured staff member, George Lagos
  • Correspondence and circulars regarding Oliphant’s resignation as Director of Research School of Physical Sciences, 1963-65 (includes letters from Cockcroft, Peter Carden, H.R. Marsden and Chadwick)
  • Letter to Walter W. Galton of The Associated Press 19/5/1961 re the relative scientific achievements of the US and Russia
  • 1961 Letter from Clem Christensen of Meanjin Quarterly regarding Oliphant’s relations with Blackett, Tizard and Lndemann 1961
  • Correspondence with A.P. Rowe regarding a proposed book on the contribution of science to the outcomes of WW2, and in particular Oliphant’s research into centimetre wave development. 11 typescript letters 23 August 1961-17 April 1963
  • Research School of Physical Sciences. Report on Study Leave / M.L. Oliphant. 1965
  • Correspondence between Oliphant and A.W. Thackray, April 1966 regarding collecting material for the Churchill College archives project covering “The Churchill Era (1900-1960?)”, with Oliphant’s suggestions for scientists to approach and expressing his fear that his war time papers had been destroyed
  • Copies of Annual Reports of the ANU Research School of Physical Sciences 1956-64
  • Notes on Research School of Physical Sciences and the Department of Particle Physics staffing and staff movements, Oliphant’s correspondence re individual staff members and some CVs
  • Correspondence between Oliphant and various ANU staff 1957-63 (W.I.B. Smith, Ken Inall, Ruth, Len Hibbard, Jack Blaney, David Robertson, P. Carden)

Series 8. Atomic Energy 25 cm.

[Reports on Trinity A bomb test July 1945] Ernest Lawrence’s Memorandum for the Secretary of War on the atomic fission bomb in New Mexico (photocopy); typed transcript of the Atomic Bomb article, Washington Post 7/8/1945

Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) - overview materials regarding formation and early years

  • Australian Atomic Energy Research Advisory Committee. Minutes of the 1st-5th meetings 1946-48, and published articles (photocopies)

Australian Atomic Energy Commission Scientific Advisory Committee

  • 2nd meeting February 1954 Agenda & notes on items on the agenda
  • 3rd meeting July 1954 Agenda & notes on items on the agenda
  • 4th meeting October 1954 Agenda & notes on items on the agenda
  • 5th meeting December 1954 Notes on agenda
  • 6th meeting December 1954 Draft minutes
  • 7th meeting July 1955. Papers, revisions to Minutes
  • 8th meeting December 1955. Papers, revisions to Minutes
  • 9th meeting March 1956 Agenda and Minutes
  • 10th meeting March 1957 Minutes and revisions
  • 11th meeting July 1957 Minutes
  • 12th meeting November 1957 Minutes
  • 13th meeting January 1959 Minutes
  • 14th meeting May 1959 Minutes
  • 15th meeting September 1959 Minutes

Other papers

  • Baxter, J.P. Some observations on the development of atomic power in the world and in Australia [1955?] 21 p. (typescript, processed)
  • Watson-Munro, C.N. Summary world nuclear power developments 1956. 15th January 1957 (AAEC/K37) At head: Official use only. 21 [3] p. (typescript, processed)
  • Watson-Munro, C.N. Second summary report on AAEC research programme (1956). 15th January 1957 (AAEC/ARC/P35) At head: Confidential – AAEC only) 34 p. (typescript, processed)
  • Letter 16/12/1971 from Oliphant as Governor to the Premier of SA re the establishment of a uranium enrichment plant in South Australia
  • MS letter (photocopy) Oliphant to Walter Crocker 10/2/1975 on Churchill and the agreement between Churchill and Roosevelt re post-war development of nuclear energy

Oliphant’s engagement with atomic energy issues in Australia and the AAEC. Correspondence and other materials by years from 1924 to 1953

  • Mainly photocopies of correspondence from CSIRO Archives, with some press clippings. Includes letter from CSIRO Archivist to Stewart Cockburn 1980 re Oliphant’s involvement with CSIR

Typed notes on Oliphant’s overseas visits in 1952 to Canada and Harwell (UK) re the policies and technical approaches of creating industrial power from nuclear energy, and a typed letter from Oliphant to the Premier of South Australia (Thomas Playford) re his observations and the lack of cooperation by the US. Also typescript (processed) “Brief notes on Australian research of interest in nuclear science and technology” for the Symposium on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Australia, 1958.

[Materials on international control of atomic energy] Oliphant’s ms notes and typescript (marked Secret) on international control of atomic energy in reply to “Mr Spender’s letter of March 8th” plus some newspaper clippings. Also typed letter from Bertrand Russell to Oliphant 10/5/1955 re draft of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto highlighting the danger of nuclear weapons.

[Oliphant’s views on peaceful use of atomic energy] Includes Declaration approving the Truman-Attlee-King statement of 15 November 1945, signed by Oliphant and others; correspondence related to the Geneva Conferences on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy; Summary of the 1958 Conference by John Cockcroft; article for “Voice” on the Geneva Conference 1955; talks by Oliphant on the Russian conference on the physics of high energy particles1956, Atomic Energy in Australia 1954, and for the Forum on Nuclear Weapons and the Non-proliferation treaty – Australia’s Stance 1968; draft letter to the Prime Minister and related correspondence with the Premier of SA 1975 on uranium policy

[Materials regarding developments in atomic energy post war, including Bikini tests] Photocopies from CSIRO Archives; British Commonwealth Scientific Offices (BCSO) report no. 426 on American discussions on Atomic Energy and its Implications1945; original newspaper clippings 1946 (duplicates from CSIR Archives)

Press clippings on effect of radioactive fallout 1946-1980 (originals and photocopies)

[Press clippings on post war attitudes to atomic weapons and power 1945-46, mainly from American newspapers, and memorandums and broadcast by the Federation of American Scientists

Series 9. Speeches and lectures  3 cm.

  • Typescript of speech by Dr H.V. Evatt, Chair of the Atomic Energy Commission, 25 June 1946 (Oliphant was his technical advisor) Processed copy.
  • “Atomic Energy and the Future” broadcast 21/2/1947 by 2FC
  • Photocopied reprint of the Thirty-Seventh Kelvin Lecture “Nuclear Physics and the Future” published in the Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, July 1947
  • • “Recent developments in nuclear physics” Lecture at the Great Hall, University of Sydney, NSW, January 16, 1947 (The Institute of Radio Engineers Australia)
  •  “The Scientific Achievement” Halley Stewart Lecture 1949 (photocopy)
  • BBC broadcasts 1949-50: correspondence and notes re talks projected and presented by Oliphant, including Lunar Society panel discussion 1949; ‘Science Today’ Talk for Sixth Form, History of Science no, 8 24 March 1950 (includes transcript); ‘Taking Stock’ panel April 1950; ‘Two-Way Programme’ Discussion between Oliphant and Professor H. Bhabha, 27 April 1950 (transcript only)
  • ABC ‘Guest of Honour’ Broadcast 10 September 1950 by 2FC

  • ABC ‘Australia’s natural resources’ Broadcast 2BL 1953

  • Science and the future of humanity. 11/9/1958
  • Transcript of lecture on the “Peaceful Uses of the Atom Bomb” October 1962 as published in the P.O.A. Chronicle, February 1963
  • ‘The social implication of science’ Draft, 26/7/1963
  • Typescript of lecture by Oliphant “Faraday, the First Dynamo and the Homopolar Generator” University of Virginia, January 1967
  • The Scientific achievement. University of Western Australia – Adult Education Board, 22/2/1968
  • ‘Science and humanity’ Presidential address to junior ANZAAS, Adelaide August 1969
  • Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures 1969: Science and mankind, The use of natural knowledge, Science as a part of culture, Science and the future
  • ‘Nuclear weapons and the non-proliferation treaty – Australia’s stance. Address to the Australia party, Hotel Canberra 7/8/1969
  • What is the desirable population of Australia. Bancroft Oration, 1970
  • University of Adelaide Summer School of Physics, 29/1/1970. ‘Science, technology and the future. [notes for lecture only]
  • “Two Cultures or One?” Full text of lecture given by Oliphant in the Melbourne Oration and Lecture Series, March 1970 (published in University of Melbourne Gazette, July 1970, p. 1-7)
  • ABC Science Unit “Insight no. 354. Special edition: Sir Mark Oliphant, Governor-designate of South Australia. Broadcast 28 November 1971
  • The arms race and morality. 5th Oscar Mendelsohn Lecture, Monash University 16/3/1977
  • Undated newspaper article (extract of address) by Oliphant as Governor of South Australia entitled “Tragedy of Science and Society”, delivered to a Science Association seminar at the University of Adelaide

Series 10. Papers and articles  2 cm.

  • Reprint of paper by Oliphant and R.D. Burdon “The Problem of the Surface Tension of Mercury and the Actions of Aqueous Solutions on a Mercury Surface”, from Transactions of the Faraday Society (1927)
  • Reprint: “Selective absorption from gaseous mixtures by a mercury surface formed I the mixture / M.L. Oliphant (Philosophical Magazine vol. 6 September 1928) 2 copies
  • Photocopy of Oliphant article in Nature, 5 January 1946, “The Release of Atomic Energy”
  • 1946. “Informal Atom Chief: Private view of Oliphant” article [from unidentified magazine]
  • 1947. Nuclear explosives, nuclear power and world affairs” Nature no. 4034 (February)
  • Draft of an article on “The Mission of a University” by Oliphant, 1949, and photocopies of correspondence with C.R. Morris of Universities Quarterly requesting an article
  • 1954. The Children’s Hour, Grades 6 and 7, v. II no. 17 (August) “A Message from Professor Marcus Oliphant”
  • Proceedings of the Institute of Defence Science no. 6 (October 1954) with article “Properties of nuclear explosives” / M.L.E. Oliphant
  • Photocopy of Oliphant article “Clever Politics or Emotional Insight” for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1958
  • [Journal of a visit to the US through Fiji] 21/6-7/7/1959. Typescript (photocopy)
  • [Journal of a visit to China Colloquium] 28/10/1964. MS
  • “Some recollections of Lord Florey” ANU News April 1969
  • “Mark Oliphant: a personal view” The Impact of science. [unidentified newspaper] October 1977
  • Newspaper articles quoting Cockburn dealing with allegations against Oliphant as a security risk, and a report on the McClelland Royal Commission, The Australian 20 March 1985 and 17 March 1985

Series 11. Press clippings  3 cm.

  • ca 1950-1975 (originals and photocopies)
  • 1963-1997, 2000 (photocopies and print-outs)

Series 12. Other source materials compiled for Oliphant biography  0.5 cm.

Obituaries of David Forbes Hamilton / J.H. Piddington and M.L. Oliphant; F.W. Aston; J.L. Baird; Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner / J.D. Cockcroft; Sir Harrie Massey / C.B.O. Mohr; Sir Leslie Harold Martin / D. Caro; Niels Henrik David Bohr / J.D. Cockcroft

Series 13. Photographs (b&w)  See also Oliphant Papers Series 7


  • Mark, Keith, ‘Baron’, Nigel and Robert Oliphant, 1931


  • 4 photographs in envelop marked “At ‘Onkaparinga: Geoffrey & Joan Dockerill & the dogs.” Includes photographs of Geoffrey [as a toddler] in cot and Geoff with Mark Oliphant


  • “My boss (Prof. Lawrence) & myself at the Mariposa forest of sequoias, Yosemite National Parl, Sierra Mountains, Calif., U.S.A., Jan. 2, 1939
  • Bohr’s Copenhagen Conference, September 1937. Group photograph seated: Copenhagen Conference, 1937. (first row l-r) N. Bohr, W. Heisenberg, W. Pauli, O. Stern, L. Meitner, R. Ladenburg, J. Jacobsen, (second row) V. Weisskopf, C. Moller, H. Euler, R. Peierls, F. Hund, M. Goldhaber, W. Heitler, E. Segre, S. Hoffer-Jensen, (third row) G. Placzek, C. Weizsacker, H. Kopfermann, (NN), L. Hulthen, A. Mercier, T. Gustafson, H. Casimir, (NN NN) (standing along wall) J. Jensen, L. Rosenfeld, G. Wick, (NN) J. Koch, C. Madsen, H. Levi, (fourth row) N. Arley, (NN NN) L. Laslett, E. Sorensen, (NN) O. Frisch, David, M. Oliphant, P. Kapur, F. London, Buch-Andersen, Dunning, (fifth row) K. Brostrom, T. Bjerge, E. Rasmussen, Boggild, F. Kalckar
  • Pauli at dinner(?), Copenhagen, 1937
  • Oliphant and G. Placzek at dinner(?), Copenhagen, 1937
  • Rose Oliphant


  • Oliphant on the ‘Queen Mary’ December 1938


  • Oliphant studio portrait ca 1939 (Photographer: Lafayette Ltd)
  • “My boss (Prof. Lawrence) & myself at the Mariposa forest of sequoias, Yosemite National Parl, Sierra Mountains, Calif., U.S.A., Jan. 2, 1939


  • Oliphant at Berkeley Radiation laboratory, September 23, 1941
  • Oliphant at Berkeley Radiation laboratory, September 23, 1941
  • M. Oliphant and Ernest Lawrence, 184” cyclotron, Bole 22/9/19411941 (with caption from biography?)
  • Oliphant, 1941 (with caption from biography?)


  • British Group associated with the Manhattan Project (Mark Oliphant Group), NuclearPhysics Research Laboratory, University of Liverpool, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. Photo taken in 1944. From left to right seated: H.W.S. Massey, Sir Mark L. Oliphant, R.H.V. Dawton, E.H.S Burhop, J.P. Keene, George Page, H.W.B. Skinner, S.C. Curran (mostly obscured behind Watt), C.S. Watt (mostly obscured behind Williams), R.M. Williams, S. Rowlands, Jean A. Sutherland, and M.J. Moore. Left to right standing: S.M. Duke, H.J. Morris, M.H.F. Wilkins, P.P. Starling, M.E. Haine, D.F Stanley, M.P. Edwards, J.D. Craggs, J. Sayer, W.D. Allen, T.E. Allibone. “Morgue 1944-104 (P-1)” [Photographer:Donald Cooksey]


  • De Valera with Oliphant, Dublin, March 26 1946
  • Physical Society Conference Cambridge 25/7/1946, with Rutscher?, Oliphant, Nimmo and Walton, taken by Norman J. Harris
  • Oliphant speaking as delegate at establishment of Freedom from Hunger
  • Oliphant with Álvaro Alberto da Mota e Silva, Brazilian delegate to the UN atomic energy commission 1946, inscribed by Alvaro-Alberto
  • Oliphant with Keith Hancock


[In 1947 Mark Oliphant, along with the South Australian Premier, Thomas Playford, The Governor, Sir Willoughby Norrie, and Ben Dickinson, Director of the Department of Mines, made an official visit to the East Painter Camp]

  • Oliphant on horseback on the way to Mt Painter uranium deposit
  • Sir Thomas Playford and Mark Oliphant climbing the ridge at Mt Painter
  • Oliphant and Playford emerging from mine, Mt Painter


  • Oliphant opening the Nuclear Physics Conference, Birmingham September 1948. Seated are P.I. Dee, Bethe, Oppenheimer, Perrin, Halban, Bhabhe, Dr (Lord) Flowers
  • Raymond Firth and Oliphant 1948?


  • Oliphant receiving Honorary degree, Toronto April 1949
  • Rt Hon. Vincent Massey, Dr Otto Maas, Dr M.L.E. Oliphant. Dr J.W. Bain and Dr Sidney Smith, Toronto Centenary Hon. Graduates (undated)


  • Oliphant, Canberra 1950
  • Baron and [Oliphant’s] mother Xmas 1950, Golden Wedding day


  • Oliphant at reception at Hotel Canberra 22/10/1952


  • Opening of the Cockcroft Building at ANU: Sir Douglas Copland, Dr Coombs, R.G. Menzies, Roy Hohnen, Dr Evatt and Mark Oliphant seated, Sir John Cockcroft speaking. 1953 or 54? 1 b&w photograph


  • Visit of the Governor General Sir William Slim’s visit to Research School of Physical Sciences, ANU, 7 August? 1954. 2 photographs with Oliphant and Physics staff in front of building
  • Indian physicist Homi J Bhabha with Mark Oliphant, August 1954 [back captioned ‘Dr H. Shabha’] [in Adelaide? Photo of Sir Kerr Grant on wall]


  • Oliphant with Walter Munro and Dr T.E. Allibone at the first UN Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva


  • Professor Sir Kerr Grant ca 1958


  • “Eminent British atomic scientist, Sir John Cockcroft, chats with the Director of the Research School of Nuclear Physics at the Australian National University, Sir Mark Oliphant, Dr K. Gottleib of Mt Stromlo, and the Director of the Mt Stromlo Observatory, Professor Bok” May 1959
  • Oliphant with Princess Alice and Lady Slim during their 1959 visit to ANU 1959, with a letter from Princess Alice and newspaper clipping
  • Oliphant being knighted, Government House, Canberra, 7 May 1959


  • Governor General of Australia, Lord Dunrossil with Lady Dunrossil and Oliphant at ANU


  • Oliphant discussing the development of the homopolar generator with the Chancellor of ANU, Sir John Cockcroft
  • Oliphant with Sir John Cockcroft
  • Oliphant with others “NIB Contact Progress early 1964”
  • Governor-General Viscount De L'Isle with Oliphant in Research School of Physical Sciences, ANU, 21/11/1961


  • Ed. McMillan and Oliphant at Lawrence radiation Laboratory September 30 1965. “Morgue 1965-32”
  • Mark and Rose Oliphant in Yosemite, 1965


  • At the Canberra? airport leaving for Adelaide 8/9/1966 [with daughter Vivian and grandchild?]


  • Oliphant with staff CSIRO Chemical Research Laboratory 16/2/1968


  • Head portrait of Oliphant, 1970s? “The People’s Governor: Sir Mark in a cheerful mood while Governor of South Australia”


  • Sir Mark and Lady Rose Oliphant visiting Loxton Rest Home, July 1973


  • Sir Mark with koala, Cleland National Park


  • Philip? and Noel Baker at Pugwash, Munich, 1977
  • S.P. Kapitza, Pugwash, Munich, 1977


  • Lounge room of Oliphant house ‘Peto’ showing jarrah woodwork, with vase of flowers picked from garden, 1 May 1980


  • Oliphant in lounge chair
  • Head portrait as above


  • Coloured print of “The Great Gate of St Johns. The rooms I shared with Cockcroft were immediately to the left on the first floor.”
  • Photograph of oil portrait of unidentified 18th century(?) male, Photographer Whitney, Huntingdon, U.K.
University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


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