Philip Hall Archive


Archive of Philip Hall (1904-1982)

Philip Hall was elected to membership of the London Mathematical Society on 16 February 1928 and was Honorary Secretary from 1938 to 1941 and 1945 to 1948.  Hall was elected the forty-seventh President of the Society in 1955. He received the Senior Berwick Prize in 1958 and the De Morgan Medal in 1965.  

In his first paper on algebra he proved that the classical Sylow theorems extend in finite soluble groups to a new class of subgroups now known as Hall subgroups.  Ten years later he produced a characterization of finite soluble groups based on this earlier discovery. In 1932 Hall wrote his famous 'A contribution to the theory of groups of prime-power order' which is one of the fundamental sources of modern group theory.  Hall also made significant contributions to infinite group theory in the 1950s; the ideas of these papers continue to be one of the main areas of research in group theory.  Hall supervised a large number of research students many of whom achieved academic distinction in algebra.  J.E. Roseblade said of him: "His students loved him and he them."

When he died in 1982, an extensive collection of his correspondence, lecture notes, notebooks and Hall’s Sylvester Medal was inherited by Dr Jim Roseblade, who offered the collection to the London Mathematical Society in 2007. In December 2007, Peter Harper of the former National Cataloguing Centre for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists (NCUACS) in Bath inspected the archive and reported that Cambridge University Library would be the best place to house the archive, where the collection now resides. The collection is now available for study in the Library and anyone wishing to access it should first seek permission from the Keeper of Archives and Modern Manuscripts.

Further details about the papers can be found at

The London Mathematical Society, together with the Cambridge Philosophical Society and King’s College, Cambridge, contributed a total of £12,000 towards cataloguing the collection.  Under the supervision of Imperial College Archivist, Anne Barrett, and Janet Foster, LMS Archives Consultant, the LMS Annual Library and Archive Student Placement holders in 2019 listed a portion of the correspondence as well as sorting and arranging it by name of correspondent in chronological order.

For any inquiries regarding the collection, please email