Archives of Cornelius Jacobus Zilverschoon (1923-2012) - 300 GeV Lab site surveys

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)

CERN-ARCH-CJZ-001 to 032


Archives of Cornelius Jacobus Zilverschoon (1923-2012) - 300 GeV Lab site surveys


1953 - 1986

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

21 boxes, 32 items, 2 linear meters

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Cornelius Jacobus Zilverschoon

Biographical history

Cornelius Jacobus "Kees" Zilverschoon was born in Dordrecht (Netherlands) in 1923. In 1945, after studying electrical engineering at the Middelbare Technische School in the Netherlands, he entered the University of Delft and obtained a degree in physics. In 1949 he joined the University of Amsterdam (Zeeman Laboratory) to work on isotope separators. He obtained his doctorate early in 1954, and spent three months in Argentina, setting up a group to construct the new isotope separator in Buenos Aires. Zilverschoon came to CERN in May 1954 and was assigned to Proton Synchrotron construction as head of the PS mechanical engineering group.

In 1959, the PS machine was commissionned and Zilverschoon transferred to the Accelerator Research Group. He was a member of the special study group set up in December 1961 to investigate designs and cost estimates for possible future accelerators: the Instersecting Storage Rings (ISR) and the 300 GeV synchrotron.

In 1961 the AR Group became a Division, and Zilverschoon was appointed divisional leader for the year 1963. He was also appointed a member of a working party of the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) to examine the situation concerning the future of High Energy Physics machines in Europe. The group submitted a report in June 1963 (FA/WP/23/Rev.3 known as the Amaldi Report), which recommended:

  • "the construction of a pair of a storage rings for operation in association with the existing CERN-PS
  • the construction of a new proton accelerator of a very high energy.

Both these projects should have high priority".

The CERN Council approved the ISR in December 1965 and Zilverschoon joined the ISR Department as deputy project leader while still leading the group examining proposals from Member States for possible locations of the 300 GeV Project in Europe (surveys and site studies had began in 1961).

In 1970, with the ISR near completion, Zilverschoon became Director of the PS department, which included the Machine Proton Synchrotron (MPS) and Synchrotron Injector (SI) divisions. He also became Director for Programme and Budget until 1975.

In 1976 he joined the ISR Division where he was co-leader of the Large Electron Positron Collider (LEP) study. In 1983 he joined the LEP Division until his retirement from CERN in 1988.

In 1980 he was appointed as a member of the Working Group in charge of the reform of the CERN Pension Fund.

In 1981, he became Chairman of the Staff Insurance Scheme, and he was Chairman of the Pension Board from 1984 to 1987.

He died in 2012.

* Source: 

Annual reports, CERN Bulletin, CERN Courier and Council documents (CERN/0761, CERN/0644, CERN/695, CERN/0943, CERN/0958/Rev.). 

Reports of the Study Group of Accelerator Research Division:

CERN/AR/Int/SG-63-4 "Draft cost estimate for a 300-GeV proton synchrotron"
CERN/AR/Int-SG-63-5 "Draft cost estimate for a 150-GeV proton synchrotron"
CERN/AR/Int/SG-64-15-V1 &
CERN/AR/Int/SG-64-15-V2 - "Report on the design study of a 300 GeV proton synchrotron".

Brochure: The European 300 GeV accelerator programme" edited in September 1970.

History of CERN by A. Hermann, J. Krige, U. Mersits and D.Pestre

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received from Scheelbeek-Turksma, W F D

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

The collection mainly comprises files concerning the search for a site for a new 300 GeV accelerator in Europe, including: minutes of the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), geological and geotechnical studies of the sites proposed by the Member States, answers to questionnaires (CERN/0485/Rev. and CERN/CC/0635) about technical requirements of possible sites, investigations concerning housing possibilities for staff, and reports on the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) in Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). It also contains some files relating to Zilverschhoon's other activities, including minutes of staff meetings and CERN Pension Fund matters.

The choice of a site for the proposed new 300 GeV laboratory was a major issue affecting acceptance of the project, and in June 1964 the CERN council invited proposals from the Member States (CERN/0485/Rev). Some twenty-two official offers (out of an initial list of about a hundred sites) were investigated by experts from the Member States and CERN. In February 1966 a further questionnaire (CERN/CC/0635) was distributed asking for more information on social and administrative matters. The results were submitted to the 34th session of Council in June 1967 (CERN/0644/RevCERN/0644/Vol.1 & CERN/0644/Vol.2).

In 1969, five candidates were selected for on-site visits: Göpfritz (Austria), Le Luc (France), Doberdo (Italy), Drensteinfurt (Germany) and Focant (Belgium). However, no decision could be reached, and in early 1970 the 300 GeV programme was recast with an alternative (cheaper) project to build the new laboratory adjacent to the existing CERN laboratory in Geneva.

  • Project A, which was based on the 300 GeV Programme submitted to Council in 1969, quoted a fixed cost of 1480 M CHF and 5 potential sites. The machine would be constructed within eight years and would initially run at an energy of 250 GeV, to be later raised to 500 GeV if additional money became available.
  • Project B, which emerged from the 1970 studies, was for a smaller machine (300 GeV, as in the ECFA recommendations) to be constructed on a site adjacent to the existing CERN laboratory. The use of major installations at the existing laboratory would make construction quicker and cheaper. The cost was estimated at 1150 M CHF, and the construction period at six years.

Project B was presented to the CERN Council at its June 1970 session (CERN/0943), and was adopted at the December 1970 session.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Some duplicates of Council documents were destroyed.


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The classification plan follows the original order of the files.

Conditions of access and use [Top]

Conditions governing access

See file level description and the CERN operational circular No 3: rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN. In general, records on any subject that are over 30 years old, and all records of a purely scientific nature, may be consulted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by CERN, no reproduction without permission.

Language / scripts of material

Most of the material is written in English, with some in French and German.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archive Database.

Allied materials [Top]

Related units of description

Letters of the Member States adressed to the CERN Council President to confirming their participation in the 300 GeV project in 1970.

Directors of Administration files from 1960 to 1973. Leon van Hove files (CERN-ARCH-DGR-LVH-185), John Bertram Adams files (CERN-ARCH-JBA-095) and the files "The 300 GeV Proton Synchrotron Project from 1954 to 1973. Mervyn Hine files (CERN-ARCH-MGNH-013 to CERN-ARCH-MGNH-019).

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Sandrine Reyes.

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 4th October 2012.