Fred Hoyle Project

Professor Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) was one of the most distinguished, creative and controversial scientists of the twentieth century. He was a Fellow of St John’s College (1939-1972, Honorary Fellow 1973-2001), was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1957, held the Plumian Chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy (1958-1972), established the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge (now part of the Institute of Astronomy), and (in 1972) received a knighthood for his services to astronomy. Hoyle was a keen mountain climber, an avid player of chess, a science fiction writer, a populariser of science, and the man who coined the phrase 'Big Bang'.

The Project

Information about the Hoyle Collection and details of outreach and schools initiatives.

Online Exhibition

See some of the most interesting items from the Hoyle Collection in this online exhibition and learn a little more about Fred's life and work.


The Hoyle Project has held many public events, displaying the Hoyle Collection in St John's College Old Library, culminating the Project Grand Finale on 19 March 2011.

A summary of the Hoyle papers, preprints, reprints, and artefacts can currently be viewed on the Personal and Family Papers page of this website . The full catalogue of the papers may be found here. The books from Hoyle’s library are catalogued in the iDiscover Catalogue as the 'Hoyle Collection'.

Contact information

If you have any questions about the Fred Hoyle Collection please contact the Special Collections Librarian (01223 339393).


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Supported by a grant from the Friends of the Center for the History of Physics, American Institute of Physics