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This series is the largest section in the catalogue and reflects the diversity of Nicholson's activities, associations and ideas chiefly from the early 1950s to the last years of his life and his international standing as a conservationist during this period.

Papers and correspondence from his years as Director-General of the Nature Conservancy, and immediately before, are not extensive. There is his correspondence with officials at the Nature Conservancy Scotland, various committee papers, papers and correspondence appertaining to the Monks Wood Experimental Station and the Biological Records Centre, including later correspondence, 1988-1990, in connection with financial difficulties at the Centre. There are also photographs from Conservancy trips, most annotated by Nicholson.

All the other material (non-Nature Conservancy) in this section is presented in an alphabetical sequence of organisations, projects and topics, with some miscellaneous papers at the end. There are groups of correspondence and papers documenting important European conservation / national park projects in the following locations: the Camargue, France; Coto Donana, Spain; and especially S'Albufera, Mallorca, Spain, Earthwatch Europe's first major contribution. Nicholson's wider international roles are represented by organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, International Biological Programme, World Conservation Strategy and International Council on Bird Preservation.

Organisations concerned with British ornithology include the British Trust for Ornithology, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Oxford Ornithological Society and Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust. Other places which were the focus for specific conservation activities include the Falkland Isles (1981-1984) and the Isle of Rhum (1958-1997). Among the UK-based bodies concerned with environmental conservation more generally are Land Use Consultants, 'Countryside in 1970' conferences, Environmental Data Services, Trust for Urban Ecology and, especially, the New Renaissance Group (NRG). A very large body of papers and correspondence documents the seven year existence of the NRG, 1995-2002, including many drafts and notes by Nicholson and minutes of meetings. 'Biodiversity', 'Culture', 'the Environmental profession' and the future direction of the conservation movement were some of the principal topics on which the NRG focussed its attention. A large proportion of the miscellaneous material consists of notes and jottings by Nicholson on various subjects; in many cases these are ideas or plans which he seems to have noted down outside of his official activities.


  • Creation: 1926-2002

Language of Materials

  • English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom