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Additional Papers of Arthur Whitaker

 Single Item
MS. 15656/1
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

Photocopy pages from and notes on an 1892-1943 notebook by Arthur Whitaker, with covering letters


  • Creation: [1892-1943] 2000-2001


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15656/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 15656/1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15656


Additional papers of Arthur Whitaker (1881-1949), ornithologist

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Whitaker was a Sheffield architect with a particular passion for spending all of his spare time hunting for birds' nests. He was born in 1881 and died of a heart attack in Jul 1949 aged 68 years old, having retired to a country life at Longridge, Gloucestershire, in 1946. He is recorded as being a man of retiring disposition who sought happiness in the company of birds. He was noted as the writer of poems, which he would read to fellow birders in dark evenings.

Further biographical notes, including an example of his poems and a photograph can be found in box MS. 15496/1.

He is also responsible for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story 'The Case of the Man who was Wanted'. Whitaker had sent his story to Doyle in hopes of a colloboration. Doyle replied he thought Whitaker should publish it as his own with his own characters, or sell the plot to Doyle for £10. Whitaker, an unemployed architect, took the money and Doyle filed it away. After the story had been discovered after Doyle's death, it was revealed that Whitaker had actually written the story 38 years earlier.


Material arranged as received from the Alexander Library of Ornithology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.

Related Materials

See also Papers of Arthur Whitaker (MSS. 15496/1-7)

Catalogue of the Additional Papers of Arthur Whitaker
Finding aid prepared by Francesca Alves
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom