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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
NICL The Papers of Davidson Nicol
NOTT The Papers of Sir John Nott
NRTH The Papers of Admiral Sir Dudley North
NVRT The Papers of the Naval Radar Trust
NVRT AS The Naval Radar Trust Associated Papers
OATL The Papers of Sir Charles Oatley
OCON The Papers of Sir Nicholas and Lady (Minna) O'Conor
OHBC The Papers of Lieutenant Octavius Bonham-Carter
OHPN 'Sir Warren Fisher, Head of the Civil Service 1919 - 1939'
OLVR The Papers of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Oliver
ONSL The Papers of Nina, Lady Onslow
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The Papers of Sir Charles Oatley

Title The Papers of Sir Charles Oatley
Reference GBR/0014/OATL
Creator Oatley, Sir Charles William
Covering Dates 1935–1998
Extent and Medium 1 archive box
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

Charles Oatley was born 14 February 1904, the son of William Oatley and Ada Mary Dorrington; he was educated at Bedford Modern School and St John's College, Cambridge. In 1930 he married (Dorothy) Enid West; they had two sons.

After his graduation, Oatley spent two years as a research physicist, working for Radio Accessories Limited, making thermionic radio valves. After this firm collapsed in 1927, Oatley's former supervisor, Professor Edward Appleton, offered him a post in the Department of Physics at King's College London, first as Demonstrator, then later as a lecturer (1927-39), though he also continued to work as a consultant in the valve manufacturing industry, for Lissen Limited. During the war, Oatley worked on the development of radar at the Ministry of Supply Air Defence Research and Development Establishment, (1939-45), becoming Acting Superintendent in charge of scientific work, (1944-45). Back in peace-time Oatley came to Cambridge, first as Lecturer, later Reader, at the University Department of Engineering (1945-60), carrying out his early research into the Scanning Electron Microscope. He then became Professor of Electrical Engineering, (1960-71), while he was also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1945.

Outside his research work, Oatley was Director of the English Electric Valve Company, (1966-85). He was also a member of various institutions, including: Council, Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1954-56, 1961-64 (Chairman of the Radio Section, 1954-55); Council, Royal Society, (1970-72); Foreign Associate, National Academy of Engineering, United States, (1979).

Oatley's honours and awards include: Honorary Fellow, Royal Microscopical Society (1970); FKC (1976); Achievement Award, Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, (1966); Duddell Medal, Institute of Physics and Physical Society (1969); Royal Medal, Royal Society (1969); Faraday Medal, IEE, (1970); Mullard Award, Royal Society, (1973); James Alfred Ewing Medal, ICE, (1981); Distinguished Scientist Award, Electron Microscopy Society of America, (1984); Howard N. Potts Medal, Franklin Institute, (1989). He was knighted in 1974; OBE 1956; MA; FRS 1969, FEng, FIEE, FIEEE. Oatley died on 11 March 1996.

Oatley's publications include: Wireless Receivers, (1932); The Scanning Electron Microscope, (1972); Electric and Magnetic Fields, (1976); papers in scientific and technical journals.

The papers include: account of Oatley's wartime work in the development of radar; papers and correspondence on the development of the Scanning Electron Microscope at the University of Cambridge Engineering Department; papers on Oatley's development of the Electrical Sciences Tripos at Cambridge.

The main part of the papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Sir Charles Oatley in 1990, while additional biographical information and Oatley's account of his work in radar, were given by his biographer, Dr K C A Smith, in 1999.

The papers retain Oatley's original arrangement.

The papers are owned by Churchill Archives Centre.

Access and Use

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder(s) and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Sir Charles Oatley, OATL

Further information

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London and on the Janus website, http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/.

This fonds level description and catalogue was prepared by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in July 2003 using information from the papers themselves, biographical information and notes on the papers provided by Sir Charles Oatley and from Oatley's entry in "Who Was Who 1897-1996" (A&C Black).

Index Terms
Engineering
Science
University of Cambridge. Department of Engineering
Oatley, Sir Charles William (1904-1996) Knight, engineer
Churchill/OATL contains:
1 Biographical information. Includes: copy and transcript of a letter from Oatley to Dr T H Going on his work for Lissen Limited as a consultant in valve manufacture, 1927-c 1933; Royal Society biographical memoir of Oatley, by K C A Smith; paper by Dennis McMullan on Oatley and the development of the Scanning Electron Microscope; list of Oatley's publications and awards.
1 file.
1986–1998
2 My work in radar, 1939-1945. Account by Oatley on the development of radar, particularly his work for the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment. Includes a copy of a paper by Professor Sir John Cockcroft [former Chief Superintendent at the Establishment] on his memories of radar research.
1 volume.
1985-c 1995
3 Stereoscan I. Correspondence, mainly between Oatley and representatives of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company Limited, Associated Electrical Industries Limited and the Cambridge Instrument Company Limited on the commercial manufacture and sales of the Scanning Electron Microscope, including correspondence on royalties and the establishment of the Stereoscan Fund. . Also includes: design specifications; copy of a letter from Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, Master of Trinity College, on the gift to the college of some of the Stereoscan royalties.
1 file.
Dec 1955-Apr 1970
4 Papers on the history of the Scanning Electron Microscope. Papers by Oatley, including "The Early History of the Scanning Electron Microscope" and copies and reprints of papers by others, including Manfred von Ardenne, Dennis McMullan, K C A Smith, T E Everhart and R F M Thornley. One file of articles and papers by Frisch, Cosslett & Thomas, Pawley, Comins & Hengstberger & Thirlwall, Autrata, with annotations and comments by Oatley.
3 files.
1935–1988
5 The Establishment of Electronics in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. Includes: account by Oatley of his teaching work and establishment of the Electrical Sciences Tripos, 1945-71; papers on his proposals and alternative ideas for the new Tripos.
1 file.
Nov 1960-c 1974

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