Archives of Mervyn G. N. Hine (1920 – 2004)

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)

CERN-ARCH-MGNH-001 to 185


Archives of Mervyn G. N. Hine (1920 – 2004)


August 1950 – March 2004

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

185 boxes; 185 Items; 21 linear metres

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Mervyn G. N. Hine

Biographical history

Born on 26th May 1920 in Berkhamstead, England, Mervyn Hine went to King’s College, Cambridge, at the age of 16 to study physics, and was awarded a 1st class degree after only two years. During the Second World War, he worked on radar research in the United Kingdom with John Adams, who was later Director-General of CERN. After the war he completed his doctorate at King’s College and afterwards carried out pioneering work on particle accelerators at Harwell Laboratory. In 1953 he and Adams moved to Geneva to work at CERN, where he played a leading role in the design, construction and commissioning of the Proton Synchrotron (PS).

In 1961, Hine became Director of Applied Physics. Between 1963 and 1968 he designed and implemented CERN’s Functional Programme Presentation (FPP), a high-level planning instrument with a formal 4-year rolling procedure. This helped to convince CERN’s Member States to fund three CERN programmes simultaneously, including the ISR (Intersecting Storage Rings), which was regarded as “unwise” by laboratories in the United States.

From 1964 to 1971, he supervised CERN’s computer development and arranged for CERN to receive one of the first CDC 6600 supercomputers, after long discussions with the American designer, Seymour Cray. He also helped to develop the CERN pension scheme.

After serving as Director of Applied Physics (1961 - 1965), Director of the 300 GeV Lab Project (1966 - 1968) and Director of the Department of Applied Physics (1966 - 1971), Hine ceased to serve as a Director in 1971. He then joined the Data Handling Division (DD) and worked on several projects, such as the launch and development of CERNET, a fast file transfer service between a number of mainframes and minicomputers, and the STELLA satellite project, interconnecting the laboratories of CERN, DESY, Pisa, Rutherford and Saclay via associated computer centres.

He retired from CERN in May 1985.

* Sources: CERN Bulletin 17th May 2004

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mervyn G. N. Hine, CERN

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

This collection includes:

  • Minutes, reports and notes
  • Correspondence and chronofiles
  • Files about the Proton Synchrotron (PS)
  • Files about computing and communications including the Satellite Transmission Experiment Linking LAboratories (STELLA) project
  • Documents on the CERN pension fund

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Nothing was destroyed.


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The original order has been preserved.

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 or French, but some also in German. A few documents are written in Italian, Dutch or Russian.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archives Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Caroline Hofer.

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 21th August 2013.