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This series presents a chronological sequence of Nicholson's drafts, 1925-2000, which encompasses the range of his work and interests, with a strong emphasis on ornithology.

A sizeable body of ornithological papers is from the 1920s and 1930s and includes papers relating to the 1928 Census of heronries and drafts resulting from other studies undertaken by Nicholson in the late 1920s. Also from the 1930s are a series of articles on exploration, with particular reference to Greenland, various articles for The Times on economics, industry and population, and an unpublished book titled 'England Has No Plan'. Bird notes from surveys are sometimes found with drafts of papers, such as those on North Atlantic birds (1946) and shearwaters (1952), and there are also papers and correspondence, 1955-1998, relating to the long-running controversy over the 'Hastings Rarities'.

From the 1960s the topics of articles broaden to cover environmental conservation, ecology, land use etc. Some draft material for The System: The Misgovernment of Modern Britain (1967) survives and there are related articles by Nicholson as well as considerable correspondence arising from the book's publication. There are notes, synopsis etc for his next book, The Environmental Revolution: A Guide…etc (1970), and a large body of notes for The Big Change: after the Environmental Revolution, published in the USA only in 1973.

Other draft material by Nicholson includes many review articles, letters to The Times and other publications on various subjects, obituaries and a few unpublished books on environmental conservation. The section is completed by editorial correspondence, much of this documenting Nicholson's long-standing commitment to Birds of the Western Palearctic (BWP); some of his draft material for BWP is included. His editorial role and involvement in British Birds is also covered and there is further correspondence relating to his 1987 book The New Environmental Age and his position as a Trustee of The Observer.


  • Creation: 1925-2003

Language of Materials

  • English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom