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Papers of Bernard William Tucker


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Papers of Bernard William Tucker, comprising typescripts, notes, cuttings, correspondence, handwritten manuscripts, notebooks, diaries, photographs, negatives, glass slides and maps relating to ornithology, c.1901-1948.


  • Creation: c.1901-1952


2.32 Linear metres (12 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. 15490/1].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 15490/1-12

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15490


Papers of Bernard William Tucker, c.1901-1952.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard William Tucker was born at Northaw, Hertfordshire in 1901 and spent most of his childhood in Chewton Mendip in Somerset. He was educated at Harrow School, where he won the Lord Claud Hamilton Biology Prize and the William Roundell Leaving Scholarship, and at Magdalen College, Oxford where he graduated with 1st class honours in Zoology in 1923. Upon graduation Tucker won a scholarship to spend the next year working on parasitism in crustacea at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples. In 1925 he was appointed Demonstrator in Zoology at Cambridge University, and then in 1926 he returned to Oxford as Demonstrator and Lecturer in Zoology and Comparative Anatomy. He held this post for the rest of his life becoming Browne Research Fellow of Queen's College 1944-1947 and Reader in Ornithology in 1946.

When the Oxford Ornithological Society was formed in 1921, he became the first Honorary Secretary. He maintained involvement in the Society and was later Vice President (1926-1934) and President (1934-1950). He was influential in founding the Oxford Bird Census, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. He also worked with H.F. Witherby on the Handbook of British Birds (1938-1941), being responsible for the sections on field characters, general habits, voice, display and habitat. In 1940, he became assistant editor of the journal and editor-in-chief in 1943.


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 Bernard William Tucker
EAD version 2019 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