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Zoology Archive


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The Archive of Zoology comprises the following:

Papers of Oxford Zoologists (MSS. 21069/1-86, 115-117), such as:

  1. drafts, proofs and manuscript notes of published papers
  2. notes and abstracts relating to research and papers of others
  3. illustrations, drawings and photographs
  4. laboratory notebooks
  5. lecture notes (on lectures given and lectures attended)
  6. correspondence
  7. papers relating to the Oxford Zoologists but not necessarily created by them.

A number of boxes of the papers of H.N. Moseley comprise photographic material relating to the H.M.S Challenger expedition, 1872-1876, the first expedition to undertake global oceanographic research. Other material relating to the H.M.S Challenger expedition is also in this series, including a visual index at MS. 21069/6.

The archive also comprises records of the Zoology Department (formerly the Department of Comparative Anatomy) and its library (MSS. 21069/87-114) such as meeting minutes, planning sketches and departmental notes and photographs.


  • Creation: 1839-2004 (predominantly mid 19th cent.-mid 20th cent.), n.d.


17.55 Linear metres (117 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin
  • French
  • Spanish; Castilian
  • German
  • Italian
  • Chinese
  • Russian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 21069/1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 21069/1-117

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 21069


Archive of Zoology, relating to Oxford zoologists and the Zoology department of Oxford University.

Biographical / Historical

The archive features papers of the following eminent Oxford Zoologists. More details are given in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

  1. Gilbert Charles Bourne (1861-1933) zoologist and oarsman
  2. Philip Herbert Carpenter (1852-1891) palaeontologist and zoologist
  3. Sir Gavin Rylands De Beer (1899-1972) historian and zoologist
  4. Edwin Stephen Goodwich (1868-1946) zoologist
  5. Henry Nottidge Moseley (1844-1891) naturalist
  6. Nikolaas Tinbergen (1907-1988) animal behaviourist.

There are also papers of and relating to John Wilfred Jenkinson (1871-1915), first lecturer in Embryology and the namesake of the J.W. Jenkinson Memorial Lectureship at Oxford.


Arrangement is by original order; the papers were already loosely categorised into two series: papers of Oxford Zoologists and records and papers of the Zoology department.

Custodial History

The archive was originally housed at in the Zoology Department Library, later the Bodleian Zoology Library. Collections were transferred to the Radcliffe Science Library when the Zoology Library closed in 2010. Where the history of donation to the Zoology Department Library is known, this has been noted at file level.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Radcliffe Science Library, 2021.

Related Materials

See also the Zoology Map Archive, MSS. 21682/1-4 for additional maps and charts that came from Zoology to the Radcliffe Science Library but were not part of this main Zoology Archive.

Catalogue of the Zoology Archive
Kelly Collins. Original inventory recorded by Oliver Bridle.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom