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Papers of Christopher Swabey


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Travel diaries, correspondence, drafts for a history of the Colonial Forestry Service, memoranda etc. relating to work in the Colonial Forestry Service, and as director of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau, in Trinidad, British Guiana, Canada, Sudan, Australia, Jamaica, America, Fiji, Solomon Islands, North Borneo and the West Indies, with two memoirs on colonial service, 1928-1971.


  • Creation: 1928-1971


7 boxes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 459].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 459

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4423

Biographical / Historical

Christopher Swabey (1906-1972), forestry adviser and conservator, took the post of Assistant Conservator of Forests, Trinidad, 1928. He then became Conservator of Forests, Jamaica, 1937, Conservator of Forests, British Guiana, 1946, Chief Conservator of Forests, Uganda, 1951, Forestry Advisor, Colonial Office, 1957-1964 and to the Ministry of Overseas Development, 1964-1965. From 1965 to 1970 he was Director of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau. In 1947 he married Gabrielle Patricia Markham, with whom he had one daughter.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 621 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Custodial History

The papers, collected by Swabey as research for a planned book on the Colonial Forestry Service, were initially held on loan pending any decision regarding the book's possible publication after his death in Ethiopia in 1972. The papers were sent from Ethiopia to his widow, who donated them to the library. They were only accessioned after October 1981, when a final decision not to proceed with publication was reached. Consequently they were not accessioned until 1981.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Dr. H.C. Dawkins of the Department of Forestry, Oxford University, on behalf of Mrs. G.P. Swabey on 14th February 1972.

Papers of Christopher Swabey
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Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom