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Papers of Thomas Alfred Coward


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Archive of Thomas Alfred Coward, on the subject of ornithology, comprising of field notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings and obituaries, and 2 volumes of private letters and list of letters, 1883-1933.


  • c.1867-1933


6.23 Linear metres (50 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. 14947/1].
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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 14947/1-50

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 14947


Papers of Thomas Alfred Coward, c.1867-1933.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Alfred Coward was born 7 Jan 1867 in Bowden, Cheshire. He was educated at Brooklands School in Sale, Cheshire and Owens College Manchester. He then worked for his father's textile bleaching firm, Messrs. Melland and Coward, for nineteen years. When the firm was taken over by The Bleachers Association he was able to retire from business and pursue his interests in natural history. He supplemented a private income by writing articles for journals and newspapers.

Coward also published a number of books on birds and local history. His first book, , was written jointly with an old school friend, Charles Oldham, and was published in 1900. His most well known work, , was published in 1919. He travelled widely in Britain and further afield in order to observe birds. He was closely associated with the Manchester Museum and was acting keeper from Mar 1916 to Jan 1919 and for a short time in 1922. In 1921 Manchester University conferred on him the degree of Master of Science in recognition of his services. He was a Kingsley Medallist of the Chester Society of Natural History, Literature and Art, a Fellow of the Zoological and Entomological Societies, a member of the Manchester Literary and Philsophical Society, of which he was president from 1921-1923, and elected a member of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1920.


Material arranged as received from the Alexander Library of Ornithology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.
Catalogue of the papers of Thomas Alfred Coward
EAD version 2019 by Jen Patterson
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom