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Papers of Francis Charles Robert Jourdain


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Papers of Francis Charles Robert Jourdain on the subject of birds, comprising 26 boxes. Includes field notebooks, notebooks and exercise books on various subjects, letters, and photograph albums, 1870s-1954.


  • Creation: 1870s-1954


1.73 Linear metres (26 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 14988/1].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 14988/1-26

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 14988


Papers of Francis Charles Robert Jourdain (1865-1940), ornithologist and oologist.

Biographical / Historical

Francis Charles Robert Jourdain was born on 4 March 1865 at Adenshaw Lodge, near Manchester. He was educated at Ashbourne Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating in 1887. Following his ordination in 1890, he served as vicar of Clifton-by-Ashbourne, Derbyshire, from 1894 until 1914 when he was appointed rector of Appleton, Berkshire. Interested in ornithology, he collaborated on A Practical Handbook of British Birds, published in two volumes in 1919 and 1924, and later The Handbook of British Birds, published in five volumes between 1938 and 1941. He acted as assistant editor and, from 1917 to 1919, editor of the journal British Birds.

In 1921, Jourdain served as leader of the Oxford University Spitsbergen Expedition, organized to conduct mainly ornithological work along the north-west coast of Spitsbergen and to attempt to sledge across the ice cap of central Spitsbergen. Owing to delays and illness, the sledging party was obliged to turn back from a point about halfway across the ice cap. Jourdain published the scientific results of the expedition on his return in 1921. After his retirement from his Berkshire parish in 1925, he devoted most of his time to ornithology, travelling widely in Europe and North Africa collecting eggs and studying breeding habits and distribution. He died on 27 February 1940 at Bournemouth.

Published work: 'Birds of Spitsbergen' in Transactions of the Oxford University Junior Science Club volume 3, number 8 (1922), and Spitsbergen papers: scientific results of the first Oxford University expedition to Spitsbergen, 1921, Oxford University Press Oxford (1925).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.

Catalogue of the papers of Francis Charles Robert Jourdain
Finding aid prepared by Jen Patterson and Marion Lowman
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom