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Papers of Stanley Cramp


  • How to

The papers comprise: notebooks, bird censuses in the London area, and some correspondence, notes and publications.


  • Creation: 1932-1989


0.52 Linear metres (4 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, where available, e.g. MS. 14961/1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 14961/1-4

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 14961


Papers of Stanley Cramp (1913-1987), ornithologist.

Biographical / Historical

Stanley Cramp was born in Stockport, Cheshire, in 1913. He started work at the age of 16 as a Clerk in the Borough Treasurer's department at Manchester Town Hall, 1929-1934. He obtained a BA in Business Studies from Manchester University, studying at night school, 1931-1934. In 1934 he was appointed Customs and Excise officer, a position he would hold until his retirement, with the exception of two years' service in the RAF during World War II, 1944-1946. In 1938 he moved from Manchester to London, where he spent the rest of his life.

Cramp started bird-watching at the age of 14 and wrote his first paper when he was 19. From 1937 to 1943 he worked as a statistician and advisor for the Mass Observation organisation in his spare time, so his bird studies decreased. In 1942 he joined the London Natural History Society and in 1943 conducted a year-long study of the territorial behaviour and nesting of Coots in St James's Park. Following his wartime service in the RAF he returned his energies to ornithology again and joined the British Trust for Ornithology. He became an active member of several committees during his life, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Council, and the British Ornithologists Union Council. He was closely associated with the journal of British Birds, joining the notes panel in the mid-1950s, the editorial board in 1960, and becoming Senior Editor in 1963. In 1970 he took early retirement from his job with the civil service to devote his time to the project he is probably best known for, the book The Birds of the Western Palearctic, of which he was Chief Editor. He died in 1987.

Biographical history written with reference to:

Nicholson, E.M. (Jan 1988), Stanley Cramp OBE, BA (1913-1987), British Birds, vol. 81, pp. 10-13.

Simmons, K.E.L. (Oct 1989), Stanley Cramp (1913-1987), Ibis, vol. 131, no. 4, pp. 612-614.

Simmons, K.E.L. (Jul 1992), A life for ornithology: Stanley Cramp (1913-1987), British Birds, vol. 85 (special supplement), pp. 387-414.


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 Stanley Cramp
EAD version 2019 by Sarah Thiel 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