October 22, 2021

Report: “Stephen Hawking’s Archive, Office Acquired For UK Public”

From the Associated Press:

The Cambridge University library and London’s Science Museum said Wednesday they have acquired a large collection of items belonging to late physicist Stephen Hawking, from his personalized wheelchairs to landmark papers on theoretical physics and his scripts from his appearance on “The Simpsons.”

The entire contents of Hawking’s office at Cambridge — including his communications equipment, memorabilia, bets he made on scientific debates and office furniture — will be preserved as part of the collection belonging to the Science Museum Group.

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The £4.2m AIL agreement between HMRC, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Cambridge University Library, Science Museum Group, and the Hawking Estate, will see around 10,000 pages of Hawking’s scientific and other papers remain in Cambridge, while objects including his wheelchairs, speech synthesisers, and personal memorabilia from his former Cambridge office will be housed at the Science Museum.

Under the terms of the historic agreement, Professor Hawking’s extensive Cambridge archive will be cared for and made available to current and future generations of scientists hoping to continue his ground-breaking work in theoretical physics, and will provide future biographers and science historians with an extraordinary gateway and insight into Hawking’s life and work.  

The work to make Professor Hawking’s Cambridge archives available to all follows the now famous 2017 digitisation of his PhD thesis which crashed the University Library’s servers following unprecedented global demand to view and download his 1965 Cambridge doctoral research. 

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The archive also includes a computer print-out of his most famous work A Brief History of Time (then titled From the Big Bang to Black Holes. A Short History of Time) which would go on to sell 25 million copies, as well as other pre-publication proofs. 

Learn MUCH More From U. of Cambridge, Multiple Images, Scans (Steven Hawking Archive Website)

See Also: Report from BBC

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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