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Additional papers of James Allitt Hancock


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Comprises articles, correspondence and notes mostly regarding wading birds


  • Creation: 1956-1994


0.41 Linear metres (3 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15578/1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 15578/1-3

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15578


Additional papers of James Allitt Hancock (1921-2004), businessman and ornithologist

Biographical / Historical

James Allitt Hancock was educated at Solihull School in Warwickshire, and then at a business sixth form, frrom where he went on to briefly work in a bank. In the Second World War he served in India and China, and he ended the war as a colonel.

After the war he joined oil company Edwin Cooper, eventually becoming President, and using business trips as a means of travelling across the world and concentrating his interests on herons. When the company was absorbed into a large American conglomerate, Hancock took early retirement, enabling him to spend more time on his birds, his photography and his fishing.

Hancock co-wrote a number of books, including Herons of the World (1978) with Sir Hugh Elliott and illustrated by Robert Gillmor, Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World (1992) with James Kushlan and Philip Kahl and The Herons (2005) with James Kushlan.

Hancock was also heavily involved in the work of ornithological and conservation bodies, serving on Councils of RSPB and the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, as Treasurer of the British section of the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICPB), and as President of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) from 1985 to 1989. He was also President of the Hampshire Ornithological Society, from 1986 until 2000.

He was also an accomplished photographer and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1982. He was awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Ornithology’ in 1991 and the BTO’s Jubilee medal in 1992, elected a Corresponding Member of the American Ornithologists’ Union in 1995 and given an honorary Doctorate by Southampton University in 1999.


Material arranged as received from the Alexander Library of Ornithology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.

Related Materials

See also Papers of James Allitt Hancock (MS. 14978)

Catalogue of Additional Papers of James Allitt Hancock
Finding aid prepared by Francesca Alves
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom