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Letters from Alfred Newton to Philip Manson-Bahr

 Single Item
MS. 15697/1
Held in our offsite storage facility

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26 letters from Alfred Newton to Philip Manson-Bahr and transcription of letters from Alfred Newton.


  • Creation: 1903-1907


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15697/1].

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MS. 15697/1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15697


Letters from Alfred Newton (1829-1907), zoologist, to Philip Manson-Bahr (1881-1966), physician and zoologist

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Newton (1829-1907) was born in Geneva. He graduated BA from Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1853. He was appointed to the Drury Travelling Fellowship and spent ten years studying ornithology, involving expeditions to northern Scandiavia and Iceland with John Wolley, and to the West Indies, North America and Madeira. He played a leading role in the foundation of the British Ornithologists' Union. In 1866 he was appointed professor of zoology and comparitive anatomy at Cambridge, a post which he held until his death. He contributed to many books and journals, including the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Brtiannica, the Zoological Record (1871-1873) and volumes 1 and 2 of British Birds (1871 and 1882). He was editor of the journal Ibis from 1865-1870. In 1864 he published the first volume of Ootheca Wolleyana, a catalogue of the collection of eggs left to him by John Wolley, with further volumes being published in 1902, 1905 and 1907. Newton chaired the British Association's committee for studying bird migration (1880–1903), was vice-president of the Zoological Society and the Royal Society, was elected FRS in 1870, and received its medal, and that of the Linnean Society in 1900.

Sir Philip Manson-Bahr (1881-1966) was born Philip Bahr in Oxted, Surrey and educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences, specialising in zoology and later becoming assistant to Alfred Newton. He went on to study medicine at the London Hospital, and on qualifying he was appointed House Physician. There he met Edith Manson, the daughter of Sir Patrick Manson, and on marrying her in 1909 he changed his surname to Manson-Bahr. In 1909 he took the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and led the Stanley Research Expedition to Fiji to investigate dysentery and filariasis, and in 1912 he went on an expedition to Ceylon [Sri Lanka] to investigate tropical sprue. In the First World War he served in Egypt, Palestine and the Dardanelles and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1917. On being demobilised he was appointed the the staff of the Albert Dock and Tilbury Hospitals and as a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Physicians in 1923, and was appointed physician to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in 1923 and director of the clinical division of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1947-1949. He maintained an interest in zoology and ornithology throughout his life. He was on the council of the Zoological Society, was president of the British Ornithologists' Club, and is credited with discovering how the common snipe creates its drumming sound.


Arranged as found

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.

Related Materials

The main collection of the papers of Alfred Newton is held at Cambridge University: Department of Zoology Balfour and Newton Libraries.

The main collection of the papers of Philip Manson-Bahr is held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Catalogue of Letters from Alfred Newton to Philip Manson-Bahr
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