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Papers of Reginald Ernest Moreau


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Moreau's papers were catalogued by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre (CSAC), with the catalogue reference CSAC 19.13.74. Their reference numbers have been retained as 'Former reference', but Bodleian shelfmarks have been added as the main reference number and the latter should be used to order the papers and to quote from them.

The four series in the CSAC catalogue have been preserved, and consist of:

  1. Biographical
  2. Correspondence
  3. Work for The Palaearctic-African Bird Migration Systems
  4. Diaries, journals and working notes

Of special interest are the notebooks (MSS. 15037/88-101) in Kiswahili by native observers trained by Moreau in Tanganyika, and Moreau's extensive correspondence with Dr. James Chapin (MSS. 15037/11-27) which is remarkable not only for its wealth of ornithological information but also for the beautiful calligraphic drawings of animals and birds in which Chapin 'spelled out' his own name or that of others.

Moreau had relied on an extraordinarily global network of correspondents for data and information; the later material in the files (1970-1973) is Dr. James Monk's continuation of this correspondence and his own notes and drafts.


  • Creation: c.1897-1973


2.25 Linear metres (106 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

English, Kiswahili

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, where available, e.g. MS. 15037/1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 15037/1-106

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15037


Papers of Reginald Ernest Moreau (1897–1970), ornithologist.

Biographical / Historical

Moreau was not a professional ornithologist. He was employed in the Army Audit Office in England and Egypt, later in the Colonial Service agricultural research unit in Amani, Tanganyika, and pursued his ornithological studies and observations in his leisure time. On his retirement, he devoted his time wholly to ornithology, as editor of Ibis and working in the Edward Grey Institute, at first in an honorary capacity.

Summary of Career

b. 1897 Kingston-on-Thames

1906 Educated Kingston Grammar School

1914 Entered the Civil Service (Army Audit Office)

1920 Move to Egypt (Army Audit Office)

1924 Marriage

1928 Move to Amani, Tanganyika (Colonial Service agricultural research unit)

1946 Retirement from Civil Service; return to England

1947-1960 Editor of Ibis

1947-1966 Work at Edward Grey Institute, Oxford

1951 Honorary M.A. Oxford

Custodial History

The papers were assembled from various sources. The early correspondence (MSS. 15037/5-34) and the African diaries, journals and working notes (MSS. 15037/86-106) were retained in the library of the Edward Grey Institute, Oxford, by David Lack after Moreau's death; MS. 15037/4 gives a full account of Dr. Lack's disposition of Moreau's papers. The material on Palaearctic-African migration (MSS. 15037/35-85) was received from Dr. James Monk, Moreau's literary executor, who edited the manuscript of The Palaearctic-African Bird Migration Systems for publication.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology (the library of the Edward Grey Institute), 2018.

Catalogue of the papers of Reginald Ernest Moreau
Finding aid prepared by Original catalogue by Jeannine Alton and Harriot Weiskittel. EAD version by Jen Patterson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom