Sir Marcus Laurence Oliphant (1901-2000)
MSS 92 O4775p
Series 26. Papers collected by Stewart Cockburn relating to Oliphant, The Life and Times of Sir Mark Oliphant, by Stewart Cockburn and David Ellyard (Axiom Books, 1981). 1925-81. 80 cm
These papers comprise correspondence to and from Oliphant, Oliphant’s speeches/addresses and other material provided to Stewart Cockburn by Oliphant for the writing of the biography, some housed in folders arranged by Oliphant. Also Cockburn correspondence with Oliphant and other informants, transcripts of interviews and Cockburn’s background research material and newspaper clippings, filed in an alphabetical subject sequence mainly as arranged by Cockburn.
See also Series 3: Correspondence files 1953-1995
ABC radio and TV programmes on Oliphant
Correspondence with AJ Winter and Norma Ferris of the ABC 1980 re possible broadcast series based on the biography; transcript of broadcast ‘Insight’ no 354 Special Edition on Sir Mark Oliphant / ABC Science Unit broadcast 28/11/1971; transcript of broadcast ‘Oliphant’ in series ‘The Scientists’ 16 September [no year] 9.30pm.
See also Miscellaneous, Nuclear debate.
Transcript ‘The Adelaide Hills: some personal remarks’ / ML Oliphant 14 p.
Oliphant’s student record; copies of personal references from Professor Kerr Grant and Roy S Burdon, 1928; extract of address ‘Presentation for the Degree of Doctor of Science of Sir MLE Oliphant May 7, 1969’ [no author], and Oliphant’s acceptance address including his recollections; typescript notes ‘University of Adelaide Summer School of Physics 30 January 1970: recollections’; booklets ‘Physics and physicists in the University of Adelaide: the first seventy five years’ / SG Tomlin 1975 and ‘The University of Adelaide Centenary 1874-1974’.
Cockburn correspondence re publication of Oliphant biography and other biographical projects,
eg Playford 1981.
Correspondence Cockburn to Aitchison January 1980.
Alvarez, Dr Luis
Biographical notes, article re Alvarez; ms and typescript transcript of interview with Stewart Cockburn with a note to David Ellyard at end, April 1980.
Anecdotal material (miscellaneous)
Oliphant correspondence with Rev. Albert Stephenson 1980.
Correspondence Oliphant to Vice-Chancellor ANU, re appointment of Chair of Astronomy February 1956; carbon copy of memorandum from Professor Bok to Drs Buscombe, Gollnow and Hagemann re dispute; carbon copy of letter from Bok to Vice-Chancellor Huxley re date of resignation 14/12/1965; correspondence between Oliphant and DR FWG White of CSIRO 1955-56 re transfer of Observatory to ANU (photocopies); booklets on ANU Observatories.
Atom, The – basic facts and history
Includes annotated typescript draft articles ‘The creation and disintegration of matter’ and ‘The wave-length properties of particles’ [by Oliphant?]. Also print booklets: ‘Uranium: energy source for the next decade and beyond’ / Australian Uranium Producers Forum [nd]; GB Parliament ‘A programme of nuclear power’ HMSO 1955, Cmd. 9389; ‘Britain uses atoms: atomic energy from discovery to production for the benefit of mankind’ / Central Office of Information, London [1955?]; ‘Nuclear power quick reference’ / General Electric, San Jose CA. [1976?].
Mainly Australian newspaper clippings 1960s and 1970s
Atomic energy (and Australia)
Annotated typescript address(?) ‘Atomic energy in Australia’ / ML Oliphant; article ‘The uranium debate in SA: a Labor view’ / Barbara Wiese from Labor Forum v 2 no 3 (July 1980)
Australian Academy of Science
- Typescript ‘Biographical memoir of DF Martyn’ / JH Piddington and ML Oliphant, with obituary,
- typescript ‘Foundation of the Australian Academy of Science’ / ML Oliphant, 19 May 1967,
- Oliphant’s ms notes on the Committee and finances of the Academy, and on the Fellows of the Royal Society on the founding of the Academy,
- letters Hugh Ward to Oliphant 1951-52 on the establishment of the Academy,
- typescript ‘Points for interview with PM’ / Oliphant 18/12/1951,
- typescript letter from Fellows of the Royal Society on the founding of an Australian Academy of Sciences December 1951,
- letter DF Martyn to Oliphant 17/12/1951 on Charter of proposed Academy,
- typescript ‘Charter for proposed Academy of Sciences: interview with the Solicitor-General and his Advisors January 22, 1952’,
- articles ‘The Australian Academy of Science: the anatomy of a scientific elite’ pts 1&2 Search v 11 nos 7-8, 9 (1980); ‘Sources of political power in academia’ / Brian Martin ANU Reporter v 11 no 9 (August 1980); booklet ‘The Australian Academy of Science building, Canberra’ 1959.
Australian National University
1979 Annual Report
See also Biographical, Cockcroft, Coombs, CSIRO material, Drift of scientists …, Elitism, Florey, Fusion, Hancock, House, Lewis, Political views, Rivett, Robertson, Russian science, Rutherford, Titterton, Trendall, University House, Wright.
Bainbridge, Prof K.T.
Photocopies of Bainbridge/Chadwick correspondence re Leo Szilard’s ideas re neutron chain reactions and his visit to Rutherford’s Cavendish Laboratories, copy letter Oliphant to Bainbridge 1973 re Szilard; printed report on Rutherford talk by AF from Nature October 16 1933 mentioning Oliphant’s experiments re hydrogen isotopes; biography, CV and bibliography of Bainbridge.
Bakewell, RD (Bob) (SA Ombudsman, Head of SA Dept of Economic Development)
Correspondence between Oliphant and Bakewell 1978-1979 re Oliphant’s relationship with Don Dunstan, and state of the economy in SA.
Barwick, Sir Garfield
Typed extracts from, and newspaper reviews of David Marr’s book on Barwick, 1980.
Biographical (Mark Oliphant) – for Chapter 1
Includes copies of newspaper profiles; ANU press release on Oliphant’s resignation from Head of Dept of Particle Physics; typescript CVs; biographical notes from News and Information Bureau 1963; biographical entries from Australian Encyclopaedia 1977, Current Biography 1951 and Who’s Who in Australia 1977; ms biographical notes by J. Blainey 1979; Chapter 9 from One story of radar / AP Rowe (Cambridge 1948).
See also Genealogy
Ms transcript of interview with David Ellyard recorded September 1979.
Correspondence Bolton and Cockburn August 1980 containing Bolton’s impressions of Oliphant’s personal aspects, and his social and intellectual concerns.
- Copies of US official communications (including minutes of Military Policy Committee Meeting 9/9/1943 urging that the services of Dr Chadwick and Dr Oliphant be secured for the development of the weapon, and that they should meet with Drs JR Oppenheimer and RF Bacher on 13/9/1943,
- Memorandum from Oliphant to Major General LR Groves 23/8/1944 re alpha 3 conversion programme at Berkeley,
- memorandum 25/9/1941 by ML Oliphant, British Central Scientific Office, re possibilities of developing chain reactions and urging the development of a nuclear bomb as a joint enterprise by America and Britain,
- memorandum by Major General LR Groves 1945 on the first full scale atomic bomb test, and ‘Thoughts by EO Lawrence’ on the test),
- article ‘Atomic doldrums’  on the effects of the use of the bomb on the scientists who developed it,
- book extracts from The great decision: the secret history of the atomic bomb / Michael Amrine (NY, 1959), The new world 1939-1946 / Hewlett & Anderson, and The birth of the bomb / Clark,
- transcript of interview of Oliphant by David Ellyard concerning Rutherford and the development of atomic energy, the development and use of the bomb, war radar work, early career in physics at University of Adelaide and Cavendish Laboratories, Birmingham University, Manhattan Project, and Pugwash movement,
- ms and typescript notes/draft sections by Cockburn.
See also Groves, General.
Brode, Dr Bernice
Correspondence 1959 with Oliphant re the visit of Peter and Ana Kapitza to Berkeley; and article ‘Tales of Los Alamos’ / Bernice Brode, LASL Community News (June 1960).
The Bulletin 1961-
Article ‘The White Oliphant’ / Conrad Roberts (January 25 1961) and associated correspondence January-June 1961.
Burdon, Dr Royce
Article about retirement of Burdon by Cockburn, January 1959.
Copy of memorandum from Bush to The President of the US on ‘Scientific interchange on atomic energy’ September 25, 1945, and covering letter to The President.
Copy of letter from Oliphant to Caldicott 1975 re dangers of microwave ovens.
Booklet ‘The University of California’ Winter 1978-79.
Letter from Cameron to Oliphant 28/9/1976 recording Cameron’s personal regard for Oliphant.
Chadwick, Sir James
Oliphant/Chadwick correspondence 1948-1974 (photocopies).
See also Bainbridge, Groves
Childhood influences and memories
MS and typed notes by Cockburn; typescript notes from interview with Mrs Vivian Wilson (daughter) and others; address ‘Ballarat College Speech Night 9/12/1967’ by Oliphant on his career in scientific research.
Letter Oliphant to Professor ‘Percy’ Andrade 29/10/1964 re Andrade’s book on Rutherford and Oliphant’s trip to China; copy of article ‘Overpots of tea: excerpts from a diary of a visit to China’ / Mark Oliphant, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May 1966; Oliphant’s correspondence file on ‘Science in China and USSR’ talk to the Institution of Engineers, Newcastle, March 1967 [transcript of talk not included].
Cockcroft, Sir John
Correspondence 1958-1967 with and re Cockcroft, including letters from Prime Minister Menzies and others re Cockcroft’s 1959 visit to Australia, invitation to Cockcroft to be Chancellor of ANU, testing of the homopolar generator, etc; correspondence re Oliphant’s visit to England in 1965; also correspondence between Oliphant and Lady Elizabeth Cockcroft and others following the death of Sir John 1967 and Oliphant’s assistance with the sorting of Cockcroft’s papers; Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society on Cockcroft; transcript of interview with Lady Cockcroft by David Ellyard; obituary of Sir John Cockcroft by Oliphant (typescript, 3 p).
Conant, James B
Copy of ‘The third report of the National Academy Committee’, attributed to Conant by CE Dewing, concerning 1941 visit of Oliphant to United States and the development of the atomic bomb; copy of memorandum from James B Conant, Office of Scientific Research and Development, Washington DC, to Dr Vannevar Bush on ‘Progress of work on interchange with the British on the S-1 project’ Sept 15, 1943.
Correspondence Oliphant/Coombs May 1971 with 2 p. typescript comments by Oliphant on the Office of Vice-Chancellor (14/5/1971); copies of correspondence from Treasury files including: letter from JPV Madsen to Professor RC Mills 2/4/1946 re establishment of a Physics Institute; Coombs-Oliphant correspondence May/June 1946; files re possible appointment of Oliphant to ANU and funding for experimental physics; typescript transcript of extracts(?) from interview with Dr Coombs re establishment of ANU and Oliphant’s impact.
Coulter, Dr John
Includes typescript draft of ‘Open letter to those who shape Australia’s destiny with suggestion on what that destiny might be and how we might fulfil it’ by scientist members of the Town and Country Planning Association of SA, proposed for publication in ‘The Australian’ 1970; and correspondence August/July 1970 between Oliphant and Coulter re the letter; also policy of Australian Conservation Fund and Conservation Council of SA on nuclear hazards; typescript address by John Coulter ‘Nationhood, responsibility and nuclear power’ 10/3/1975; newspaper article ‘Labor promises an inquiry into SA Medical Institute’ The National Times 20-26/7/1980.
Selected correspondence 1958, 1960-63, 1976 from various correspondents of unusual or eccentric nature, mainly received in Oliphant’s term as Governor.
See also Crank in Series 3
Crawford, Sir John
Letter Cockburn to Crawford 16/10/1980 requesting interview and questions for Crawford.
Crocker, Sir Walter
See Defence, Elitism, Governor, Miscellaneous, Political views, The Queen.
- Copies official records and of Oliphant/ANU material from CSIRO Archives and associated correspondence with Colin Smith and others of CSIRO,
- typewritten notes on research,
- report ‘Suggestions for an Australian nuclear power project’ / members of the Australian CSIRO Group stationed at AERE Harwell 1953,
- reports etc on development of nuclear physics research in Australia,
- carbon copy of 1942 memorandums to Minister JJ Dedman re Oliphant’s appointment,
- reprint ‘The CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry 1940-1952 / Ian W. Wark 1979,
- Oliphant/Law correspondence 1965 re biography of WB Lewis,
- copy of typescript statement written by Oliphant while on board SS Desirade November 1942: ‘The physical sciences in Australia in war and in peace’ and copies of official correspondence re the statement,
- copies of proceedings of Jubilee Seminar ‘Science in Australia’, Canberra July 1951.
Defence (MLO’s views on)
Copies of letter Oliphant to Crocker 28/5/1980 with enclosed letter 28/5/1980 from Oliphant to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser re relationship of proposed defence academy with University of NSW
Drift of scientists from Australia 1955-1956 (Oliphant’s ANU correspondence file)
Correspondence AP Rowe (Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University) with Oliphant 1955, and between IW Wark CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry 1955.
Economics (MLO’s views on)
Statement by Karmel on Oliphant’s views on economics in Australia; newspaper clippings etc; letters between Oliphant and C Allen on MLO’s views on economics, misquoted statements by The New Economics and Sydney Morning Herald 1963, and Oliphant’s actual wording from a lecture given in Perth.
Education (MLO’s views on)
Correspondence between Oliphant and Dr Hopgood 1975 re open space teaching and Oliphant’s recollections of his schooling; Oliphant’s speech to Kingston College of Advanced Education July 1976 on freedom of speech, significant influences on the development of his thinking, and recollections of early childhood; typescript speech(?) ‘Science as part of education’ / Oliphant (n.d. 15 p); newspaper article ‘Education is not about equality: it is about excellence’ / Paul Johnson, News Weekly May 28 1980.
Letter from Oliphant to Claire [and Walter] Crocker 21/9/1955 re Crocker’s donation for the high table of University House [marked Elitism by Cockburn], appointment of Professor of International Relations at ANU, Michael(?) Lindsay, Canberra University College, Florey and Hancock, budget for the accelerator, and nostalgia for Europe; letter Oliphant to Hedley Marston 8/9/1955 re problems of egalitarianism, budget cuts at ANU, and the loss of Florey; copy of letter Oliphant to Professor AN Hambly, ANU 2/1/1975 re democratic decision making; copy of book review ‘The quality of Australian Universities’ / Oliphant re AP Rowe ‘If the gown fits’.
Letter Oliphant to Premier of Tasmania 11/8/1967 re nuclear power for Tasmania; Mt Lofty Ranges Association Inc September 1975 ‘Viewsletter’ containing Oliphant’s address ‘Governor’s address to Annual General Meeting’.
Typescript notes from Hasluck ‘Diplomatic Witness’ 1980 on Evatt; articles on Evatt and the Petrovs from The Bulletin 1980.
Reprint article: ‘1851 science research scholarship awards to Australians’ / IW Wark, Records of the Australian Academy of Science v 3 no 3/4/ November 1977.
Notes and 1975 correspondence between Oliphant and the Premier re the changing of the Governor’s flag.
Florey, Howard (Oliphant’s ANU file)
- Correspondence 1954-68, largely re ANU and in particular the appointment of Hancock, Florey’s resignation as Advisor and ANU administration, Florey’s memorandum to Council, the JCSMR,
- also correspondence with Lady Florey following Florey’s death,
- typewritten statement by Oliphant re Florey’s role in the embryonic ANU 23/2/1968,
- also correspondence between Oliphant and LG Melville (VC of ANU) 1956-58 re possible appointment of Florey as Director of ANU and Head of Medical School,
- Oliphant correspondence with Professor EP Abraham 1968 re Florey’s memorandum and connection with the ANU,
- print copy of Florey’s memorandum ‘Report to Council by Sir Howard Florey, FRS’ 2/1/1956,
- article on Florey by Professor RD White in Howard Florey Institute … Annual Report 1979,
- Cockburn’s typed extracts from Oliphant/Crocker correspondence re Florey and ANU.
Typescript annotated report ‘Thermonuclear reactions’ by Oliphant to ANU(?) 1958 on international developments; reprint ‘Can we harness to power in hydrogen?’ / Oliphant, in Atomic Energy December 1957; newsletter Atoms for Peace v 1 no 35 1955, on ‘The revolution in nuclear power’ Bulletin no 2; article ‘Laser fusion to solve energy crisis?’ in ANY Reporter v 5 no 17 (25/10/1974) re Oliphant’s research on thermonuclear reactions used for current research on laser fusion.
Includes ms original and annotated typescript of Oliphant’s ‘Personal recollections … family, hand-written for Cockburn September 1979’; 1980 correspondence re family history from W.T. (Bill) Olifent including a family tree; correspondence from Cockburn to Lands Title Office etc; extracts from books; copies of parish registers, newspaper clippings etc.
- Newspaper clippings 1974-78 re Oliphant’s term as Governor,
- Cockburn’s typed extracts from correspondence,
- letters between Oliphant and Don Dunstan April/May 1968 following the defeat of the Dunstan government re nomination of Oliphant as Governor,
- original and copies of correspondence received and sent by Oliphant while Governor 1971-76 (includes his nomination as Governor by Dunstan, correspondence re the Governor’s flag, the Hans Heysen estate, dress at Government House functions, signing of land leases, resignation letter of 6/8/1974, uranium policy, aides-de-camp, gardens of Government House and other official concerns, the suggested use of Government House grounds for a concert hall); correspondents include Lady Paquita Mawson, Sir Walter Crocker, Don Dunstan (Premier), Rev PW Barnett re pornography, Geoff Harcourt re Joan Robinson, Attorney-General re the constitutional role of the Governor, Chris Hurford, Prof Luxton on wind energy, Archbishop Rayner,
- copies of letters Oliphant to the Premier after his retirement 1977 and 1980,
- typescript ‘The preservation of our national traditions: memorial to His Excellency, Sir Mark Oliphant … from the Thirtyniners’ Association (SA) Inc [3 p].
Photocopies of Groves/Oliphant/Chadwick correspondence 1943-45; also typescript ‘The disposition of the atomic bomb’ 9/7/1945 [analysis by Goldthwaite H Dorr for John J McLoy].
See also ‘The bomb’
Hancock, Sir Keith
Letter Hancock to Oliphant 16/8/1955 re Hancock’s possible appointment as Director at ANU; letter Oliphant to Hancock 16/1/1956 re ‘Communist’ appointments at ANU; typed extracts and photocopies from Hancock’s ‘Country and calling’.
See also Political views
House [residence in Canberra]
Copies and originals of ANU correspondence re building of house for Oliphant 1949-50; and with Moir and Sutherland, Architects, re design and specifications 1948-1950 [1 p].
See also Houses file in Series 3
India and Japan
Typescripts of Oliphant’s trips: [Travel diary of trip to India] 18/10/1969; Extracts from a diary of a trip to Japan [11/9-12/10/1953].
Oliphant/Kamen correspondence 1948-51 (photocopies), 1955, 1975 (including typescript ‘Redbirds, bluebirds and the principle of unknowability’ / JE Mayer), 1976; photocopies of newspaper clippings 1948-1955 re the US State Dept’s rejection of passport application by Kamen; correspondence Kamen to Cockburn 1980 re Oliphant biography; interview questions for Kamen, and ms and typescript transcripts of interview of Kamen by Cockburn April 1980; ‘Difficulties experienced by scientists in obtaining passports and visas from the US Department of State / William H Pearlman (address presented to Annual Meeting AAS 30/12/1915 (typescript, photocopy).
Typescript transcript of interview with George Lagos by Cockburn October 1980
Oliphant/Lawrence correspondence 1944-57 copied from the Bancroft Library re atomic project, synchrotron development etc; publications: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Overview 1980, and various leaflets on Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory at University of California.
Lewis, Prof Brian
Typescript notes by Lewis on the early days of ANU, annotated by Cockburn; typescript ‘thesis’ by Lewis on the early days of ANU, prepared July/December 1969 (129 p) and photocopied extracts from the thesis annotated by Cockburn.
Lofgren, Dr Edwin
Ms notes of interview with Lofgren by Cockburn at Berkeley April 1980.
McMillan, Dr Edwin M
Ms notes and typed transcripts of interview of McMillan by Cockburn at Berkeley April 1980; letter McMillan to Cockburn 1982 re reference in biography.
Letters 17/8/1980 and 27/9/1980 containing reminiscences of Oliphant, in answer to questions presented by Cockburn.
Letters between Oliphant and Marston 3/12/1962, 5/12/1962 and 6/8/1963 re David Rivett Memorial Lecture, proposing Florey as first lecturer, Florey’s proposed visit to Australia, also re travel plans and ‘Oliphant’s difficulties’; also ‘Speak’ newsletter July 1969 includes reference to Oliphant and science and Christianity.
See also Elitism
Photocopies and extracts from Medawar’s ‘Advice to a young scientist’ 1979.
Melbourne visit (Cockburn)
Cockburn correspondence re prospective interviews for the biography June 1980; copies from University of Melbourne Archives of letters from WS Robinson to Oliphant 2/4/1962, Oliphant to Robinson 25/7/1963, and from Oliphant to Professor RD Wright 2/2/1956 re Florey.
Messel, Prof Harry
Newspaper articles 1980 re Messel’s breach of Northern Territory wildlife and conservation laws, and the payment of his legal costs by Sydney University
Correspondence Millhouse/Oliphant 1977 on Oliphant’s retirement; address by Oliphant to 1st Australian Democrats National Conference 16/2/1980 3 p. (typescript, photocopy).
Includes reprint: ‘Science, technology and religion: a radio talk for the ABC on 12th January 1970’ published in ‘The Australian Church Quarterly September 1970; letter Oliphant to Arthur Caldwell 13/7/1955 re disposal of packaged fission products; copy of letter from Oliphant to Crocker 10/2/1978 re Churchill; letter to Cockburn from Australian War Memorial 1980 re no resources found on Oliphant.
National Library of Australia
Cockburn correspondence 1980-82 with the National Library re research, deposit of interviews recorded for the Oliphant biography and legal deposit. Includes bibliography of Oliphant compiled by the NLA. Some material also from the Library of Congress.
‘Proposals in support of the candidature of Professor Sir Mark Oliphant, FRS for the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics’ and accompanying letter from EW Titterton 9/1/1976 to the Nobel Prize Committee (photocopies).
Nuclear debate (pro and con)
Newspaper clippings and articles on the anti-nuclear debate and the bomb; address to the Geological Society 6/8/1976 [by Oliphant?] (11 p., typescript); address to the Australia Party, Canberra 7/8/1969 ‘Nuclear weapons and the non-proliferation treaty: Australia’s stance’ / Oliphant (16 p. typescript); transcript of ‘The nuclear dilemma’ Four Corners 2/11/1968 (studio discussion included Oliphant and Titterton).
Oliphant, ‘Baron’ (Harold George)
Transcript of an interview with L Hunkin (former SA Service Commissioner) re Baron Oliphant; Cockburn’s ms and typed notes; 1980 correspondence Cockburn and SA Probate office re estate of HG Oliphant, and letter from Register-General’s Office re change of name from Olifent to Oliphant.
Transcript of an interview with Keith Oliphant (brother) by Cockburn September 1979; letter from Keith to Mark Oliphant 23/4/1978 re Salisbury affair; obituary article on Keith Oliphant ‘A man with no thought of personal gain’ / Jim Robbins ‘The Advertiser 23/10/1981.
Typescript transcript of interview with Lady Oliphant by Cockburn, March 1980 [3 p]and ms list of questions, notes; newspaper clippings re Lady Oliphant as Governor’s wife 1971-72.
Letter Monica Oliphant to Stewart Cockburn 17/11/1980 re the biography.
Oliphant, RH and NB (Mark Oliphant’s brothers)
Newspaper article ‘Adelaide’s Edisons’ from Smith’s January 21 1950 re MLO’s brothers and their Laboratory Supplies company and the development of a radio-activity detector.
Interview with Dr Frank Oppenheimer by Stewart Cockburn at The Exploratorium, San Francisco, April 6, 1980, on Rutherford, Mark Oliphant, and sharing of information with Russia; issues of The Exploratorium Magazine Feb/March 1980 & June/July 1979 containing information on Oppenheimer
Typescript review by Oliphant of ‘J Robert Oppenheimer’ / Peter Goodchild; typed extracts and photocopies made by Cockburn of articles and correspondence from the Oppenheimer Papers in the Library of Congress, and elsewhere, including copies of letters Oliphant to Oppenheimer 18/4/1954 and 30/5/1962; photocopied extract from ‘The swift years: the Robert Oppenheimer story’ / Peter Michelmore re Oliphant’s influence on the development of the atomic bomb.
Political views (MLO)
Newspaper clippings; typescript transcript (partial?) of interview with Oliphant by Stewart Cockburn Canberra September 1979; correspondence includes letter WK Hancock to Professor Albert (ANU) 30/11/1955 re appointment procedure for ANU positions, and appointment of Oliphant as an ex-Communist; letter Oliphant to Rev Dr DW Menzies 3/2/1967 containing his views on communism and disarmament; extracts from Hansard September 1976 on retirement of Oliphant as Governor; letter Oliphant to Mary McLean 24/1/1955 on world government; letter Oliphant(?) to Dr JW Burton 11/10/1956 re Labour policy; copies of letters and articles sent by Oliphant to Sir Walter Crocker including copy of article by Paul Johnson on ‘Brotherhood of national misery’ New Statesman 16 May 1975?, with underlining by Oliphant; article ‘The growing revival of the communist smear’ / Dennis Altman from The National Times May 4-10, 1980.
Newspaper clippings 1978-80 re Oliphant’s views on pornography, and comments and articles on pornography in SA; annotated typescript address/article on pornography and Dr Court [nd].
Photocopies and original press articles concerning Oliphant and related subjects 1943-79.
Correspondence between Secretary to the Governor-General May 1954 re offer and confirmation of Oliphant’s knighthood; ; letters Oliphant to Sir Walter Crocker 21 & 24/10/1976 reporting on Oliphant’s talk with the Queen; official appointment of Oliphant as Governor of SA (photocopy); instructions re reports and other communications to the Queen (photocopy); Dormant Commission appointing Oliphant to administer the Government of Australia in the absence of the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, signed by the Queen (photocopy).
Lists of questions compiled by Cockburn for Sir Mark and Lady Oliphant, Monica Oliphant, Dr Coombs, Tritterton etc; miscellaneous newspaper clippings; correspondence Cockburn/Oliphant, including 1959 letters re the retirement of Dr Burton, with Cockburn’s article; copies of 1945 correspondence Oliphant/CSIR re Australian thorium deposits; also chapter outline of the biography.
Randall, John Turton (co-discoverer magnetron)
Transcript of interview with David Ellyard.
Rayner, Archbishop [and others on Oliphant’s views on God and religion]
Correspondence Rayner/Cockburn 1980; transcript of ‘Monday Conference no 180’ broadcast entitled ‘The Governor and the Archbishop: Church and state [in] Australia in the year 2000’; transcript of interview with Dr Keith Rayner, Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, re Sir Mark Oliphant / Stewart Cockburn; address ‘Science and Christian belief’ [by Oliphant?] 6 p. typescript; also Cockburn’s ms and typed notes on Oliphant and religion, newspaper clippings and correspondence from Rev DJ Conolly, BU Byles, HG Quinlan, Mrs M Forrest, and Dr T Quinlan-Watson.
Address ‘A physicist’s concept of God’ / Oliphant (St Mark’s Lunch Hour Lecture 10/10/1963) 8 p. typescript, with typescript notes on the address by Archbishop Reed (2 p.), and Reed’s impressions of Oliphant (3 p, typescript); also Archbishop’s Reed’s typed and ms comments on the draft of the biography.
Religion (Oliphant’s views on)
See Marston, Rayner, Reed files
See also Series 2
Research notes and interview write-ups (Cockburn file)
Typed and ms notes on contacts, extracts from interview transcripts etc; includes notes from interviews with Emilio Segre, Dr WKH Panofsky, Oliphant on his early days, ms notes from interview with Oliphant 20/2/1980, WH Schneider, Dr Kenneth Bainbridge, Dr Harold Fidler, Dr Robert Brode, Dr RC Helmholz, Prof Henry E Guerlac, Wallace Reynolds, Ross Hohnen etc; list of books borrowed by Cockburn from Sir Mark Oliphant and Vivian Wilson.
Cockburn/Rigby correspondence 1980 re approach by Rigby to publish the biography.
Rivett, Sir David
Copies of correspondence between Sir David Rivett (Chief Executive Officer, CSIR) and Dr HC Webster, JS Duncan, ML Oliphant and Dr E Marsden re Oliphant’s visit to Australia re scientific liaison, war research work, the RP Laboratory etc 1942, and 2/1/1943 letter from Rivett to Sir George Knowles re Oliphant’s information on the use of uranium for power and weapons of war; letters Oliphant/Rivett 4/7/1956, 15/10/1956 and 18/10/1956 re Oliphant’s Russian visit, economic conditions, ANU situation, Bowen’s election to the Royal Society and the Academy and Hedley Marston; correspondence Rohan Rivett (Editor, News, Adelaide) and Oliphant re Oliphant’s review f Rowe’s book and the trial of Rivett for libel; Oliphant’s review of the biography ‘David Rivett: fighter for Australian science’ by his son, 1972 (typescript, 4 p).
Transcript of interview with Mr AA Robertson of ANU, by Cockburn; letter from ‘Robbie’ to Cockburn 29 July [no year].
Robertson, Dr David
Correspondence from Robertson to Cockburn 29/3/1981 commenting on draft of Oliphant biography, and 12/6/1979 on Salisbury book including comments on Oliphant and the campaign to save the radio telescope.
Robinson, Dr Dennis
Transcript of interview with Dr Dennis Robinson by Cockburn at Harvard University, April 1980, with a ms page of comments by Oliphant; also CV of Robinson, letter Cockburn to Oliphant June 1980 asking for his comments on the interview, and letter Robinson to Oliphant 11/7/1982.
See Melbourne visit.
Rowe, Professor AP
Correspondence Rowe/Oliphant 1948, 1964 (includes reprint of article by Rowe ‘From scientific idea to practical use’ published in Minerva 1964, and many letters commenting on Rowe’s often controversial time as Vice-Chancellor at Adelaide University); also correspondence with Geoffrey Badger and others re Rowe, and correspondence following Rowe’s death, newspaper clippings re Rowe, and an address by JA Radcliffe at Rowe’s memorial service.
Russian science & Peter Kapitsa / Russian trip diaries
Includes letters from Oliphant to WS Robinson 13/1/1956 and 12/1/1956 commenting on Russian progress in atomic energy science; press clippings 1956 re Oliphant’s attendance at the 1956 Soviet-sponsored atomic energy conference and his comments on Russian atomic science; ‘Report on visit to Russia’ to the Australian National University / ML Oliphant 1956 (5 p, Roneo copy); Oliphant’s speech at launch of ‘Peter Kapitsa on Life and Science’  (4 p, typescript) and Peter Kapitsa’s speech to USSR Academy of Sciences published in Australian Left Review no 4 1969; ‘The Scientific Achievement’ address by Oliphant to the University of Western Australia Adult Education Board 22/1/1968 (13 p, typescript); ‘Science in the USSR / ML Oliphant [article for Australian Left Review 26/6/1967] (2 p, typescript); ‘Science and defence’ / Oliphant 1951 [note to ANU prompted by cuts in the building programme] (94 p, photocopy of typescript); travel diary of Russian trip 1956 (10 p, typescript); 1980 newspaper clippings.
Includes ‘Recollections of the Cavendish laboratory’ address(?) AIP Canberra 29/11/1968 [by Oliphant?] (9 p. typescript); ‘Some personal recollections of Rutherford, the man’ / ML Oliphant (address to Rutherford Centenary Celebrations of the Royal Society 2/10/1971) 33 p, typescript; review of ‘Rutherford: recollections of the Cambridge days’ by Oliphant; ‘The two Ernests: some personal recollections of Ernest Rutherford and Ernest Lawrence in the period 1927-1939’ / ML Oliphant [ANU, 1965] 53 p, typescript (Roneo copy).
Science and morality/non-violence/environmental management
Addresses by Oliphant
- ‘Man is an earth-bound creature’ Lunch-hour lecture, St Mark’s Library, Canberra 5/11/1964 (typescript, 8 p),
- ‘The present position about some problems of survival and morals considered by Albert Einstein (annotated typescript, 12 p),
- Address to Gandhi Centenary Conference on science and non-violence, Ahmedabad, India 14-18/10/1969 (typescript, 13 p).
Science, secrecy and security
The Harricks Address 1965 by Oliphant ‘Science and technology in China and the USSR’ from The Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, December 1965; address by David Rivett ‘Science and responsibility’ 1947 and article ‘Science, secrecy and security’ / Rivett (The Herald 20/1/1949); article ‘National security and scientific research’ / Australian Association of Scientific Workers 1948; Extract from Dunk-Coombs report on Council for Scientific and Industrial Research 1948 (typescript), with copy of the Bill and speech by JJ Dedman on the Science and Industry Research Bill, 1948; copy typescript letter from SH Bastow to Prime Minister 26/10/1948 re the spirit of research and the position of the CSIR; address to the American Physical Society ‘Freedom versus security in the modern world’ / Dr Robert E Cushman of Cornell University (typescript); general newspaper clippings 1979-80.
Seaborg, Dr Glenn
Articles on Seaborg from ‘California Monthly’ June-July 1979; letter to Cockburn and questions compiled by Cockburn
Speeches (miscellaneous / by Oliphant)
- What is the desirable population of Australia (Bancroft Oration, 1970) 14 p. Typescript,
- Duhig Memorial Lecture (Brisbane 8/9/1980) 8 p. Typescript,
- Science, technology and society (3rd Charles Joseph La Trobe Lecture,25/10/1977) Booklet,
- Natural resources of Australia (lecture [nd]) 12 p. Typescript,
- Water for Australia [nd] 3 p. Typescript,
- The dissemination of knowledge of science and technology (Adelaide Press Club 14/8/1970) 9 p. Typescript,
- South Australian Rostrum Dias Inc. (5/12/1974) 12 p. Typescript,
- Opening ceremony [new Physics Laboratories, Birmingham University nd] 9 p. Typescript,
- Civilization and science: in conflict or collaboration [1973?] 4 p. Typescript,
- The British contribution to atomic energy, 1939-1945 [at launch of ‘Britain and atomic energy, 1939-1945’ / Margaret Gowing 1964) 6 p. Typescript,
- Speech to Adelaide Children’s Hospital medical Officers Association 23/7/1976 9 p. Typescript,
- [Article for The Australian 9/12/1969 on advancement in science and technology] 5 p. Typescript,
- Science and the development of South Australia 9Rotary Club Adelaide 20/8/1960) 3 p. Typescript,
- Narrabundah High School Speech Night (14/12/1970) 8 p. Typescript,
- Is there a tolerable future for mankind? (Rotary Club of Melbourne 4/2/1970) 6 p. Typescript,
- Woden valley High School Speech Night (10/12/1969) 7 p. Typescript,
- Welcome to Sir John and Lady Crawford (Faculty Dinner 9/2/1968) 6 p. Typescript,
- Some personal recollections of science in the making (1st National Symposium of the Vacuum Physics Group of the Australian Institute of Physics. Article ‘Vacuum’ v 18 no 12 Dec 1968
- See also addresses in files Adelaide Hills, Adelaide University, Atomic energy, Childhood influences and memories, Education, Environment, Millhouse, Miscellaneous, Nuclear debate, Reed, Russian science, Rutherford, Science and morality, Science, secrecy and security.
See also Series 4
Symonds, Dr John
Ms transcript of interview with Symonds by Cockburn; list of questions for interview.
Printed extracts from ‘Leo Szilard: his version of the facts’ (1978) from The Bulletin (April 1979) which describes Oliphant’s role in development of the atomic energy project in the USA
See also Bainbridge.
Thornton, Dr RL
Typescript transcript of Cockburn with Dr RL Thornton of Berkeley, about Sir Mark Oliphant (April 1980).
Titterton, Prof EW (ANU)
Correspondence Titterton, the Vice-Chancellor of ANU 1967-1969 re Oliphant’s travel, his request to remain at ANU for 2 years as Honorary Fellow, his accommodation at ANU; 1971 letter Oliphant to Crawford re attendance of Brisbane ANZAAS Congress.
See also Nobel Prize, Nuclear debate
Tizard, Sir Henry
1956 correspondence Oliphant/Tizard re Taffy Bowden’s nomination for the Royal Society, and WS Robinson and mining.
1980 correspondence Cockburn/Tonkin and the Premier’s Dept re access to SA Premier’s Dept files relating to Oliphant’s term as Governor 1971-76.
Trendall, Prof AD (ANU)
Typescript transcript of interview with Trendall 15/9/1980; occasional address at La Trobe University degree ceremony by Trendall May 1980, from La Trobe University Record June/July 1980.
University House, ANU
Letter 27/2/1957 Oliphant to Vice-Chancellor ANU re punishment inflicted on students following disturbances at University House; booklet ‘University House: portrait of an institution’ / Francis West with description of the incident p. 30-31; 1980 Cockburn correspondence re staying at University House during research for the Oliphant biography; general pamphlets and publicity material.
1966 correspondence Dr JF (Jim) Cairns with Oliphant re concerns about Australian involvement in the war in Vietnam and support for a referendum on conscription for Vietnam service; transcript of a discussion between Oliphant and the Leader of a North Vietnamese trade union delegation at Government House [197?].
‘Ode to our Prof’ from “The Boys’ [by Jimmy Edwards] 22/12/1966; ‘The Knight whose NaK tanks didn’t leak’ [by Jimmy Edwards] with apologies to AA Milne … ; verses on ‘Song of an atom’ sent to Oliphant by Terry M of the Office for the High Commission for Canada 1954.
Visa (delay in granting US visa)
Typescript verses ‘Lines written on the occasion of the inexplicable delay in the granting of a visa by the American State Department to Professor Marcus Oliphant for the purpose of attending a conference on nuclear physics’ / Sawer 22/9/1951; letter Oliphant to LH Martin re delay; copies of correspondence Oliphant/FWG White April 1952 re Australian science, CSIR, security difficulties and the atomic energy programme; typescript ‘Draft message for Department of External Affairs’ re visa for Professor ML Oliphant [annotated in pencil ‘ANU personal file’]; copies of letters between FWG White, Sir John Cockcroft, Oliphant, JE Cummins April/May 1952; newspaper clippings from The Washington Post 1945-1955 re visa problems, Oliphant on atomic energy etc; Cockburn’s typescript notes, extracts from House of Representatives proceedings re Oliphant and visa problems etc.
Watt, Sir Alan
Typescript ‘Comment by Sir Alan Watt, former Secretary of the Dept of Foreign Affairs … on Sir Marcus Oliphant, June 16 1980’, with associated correspondence and notes by Cockburn; newspaper articles by Watt from the Canberra Times ‘What are the limits, if any, of Soviet ambition?’ 5/3/1980 and ‘A policy of neutrality means nothing to super-powers’ 10/6/1980.
Correspondence between Oliphant and WC (Bill) Wentworth 1963 re encouragement of use of gas over electricity for domestic use, and sewage recycling using atomic reactor plant.
Wright, Prof Roy D
Agenda of ANU Interim Council meeting 11/4/1947 with copy of Wright’s ‘Report by Professor RD Wright on a visit to Britain and North America, March 1947’ commenting on discussion re the establishment of the University with Florey, Oliphant, Hancock and Firth; also comments on the report by LFC; correspondence between Oliphant and Wright 1955-56, 1960 mainly re Florey, ANU budget issues and the development of ANU.
See also Melbourne visit (Cockburn).