Hawking’s 10,000 page archive will be stored in the University LibraryDiscovery Channel

The papers and possessions of the late Cambridge physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking, will be saved in a 10,000 page archive at the Cambridge University Library.

The items include his research into black holes, scripts from his TV appearances and his childhood letters.

His office will also be reconstructed at the Science Museum in London next year and selected items from the archive will be displayed. The contents of Hawking’s office will be transferred to the Science Museum, including his custom-built wheelchairs and communications equipment.

Hawking was a prolific letter-writer whose correspondence included letters to popes, US presidents and Nobel Prize winners. His TV scripts include documents from his appearances on The Simpsons and Star Trek.

Dr Jessica Gardner, director of library services at Cambridge, feels that the TV scripts reflect the importance of Hawking’s contribution to popular science and scientific communication.

“He was willing to be in the Simpsons, to let fun be taken, if what that did was to help communicate science and help people get excited about it,” Gardner said.

Professor Paul Shellard, one of Hawking’s colleagues at Cambridge, feels that these papers will be significant for studying the history of science and of human understanding of space and time.


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Shellard commented: “It’s a wonderful thing that historians of science can get an idea of how Stephen thought about these problems. He saw further than others and I hope that [his] intuition and way of thinking will come through in the archive and be remembered in perpetuity.”

Sir Ian Blatchford, the museum’s director, noted that spaces relevant to scientific discovery are rarely saved. He stated: “By preserving Hawking’s office, future generations will be able to delve deep into the world of a leading theoretical physicist who defied the laws of medicine to rewrite the laws of physics and touch the heart of millions.”