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Papers of John Sidney Ash


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Correspondence, data and notes relating to ornithology, with a particular focus on the birds of East Africa. Many of the papers relate to research for the books Birds of Somalia and Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea.


  • Creation: 1842-Jun 2011


10.1 Linear metres (64 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Italian

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. 14901/1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 14901/1-64

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 14901


Papers of John Sidney Ash (1925-2014), ornithologist.

Biographical / Historical

John Sidney Ash (26 May 1925-6 Jan 2014) was an English ornithologist. Educated at the University of Durham and Imperial College London, he went on to conduct extensive fieldwork in Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and Indonesia, during which time he discovered and named the Ankober serin finch and co-discovered the Liben lark. In collaboration with John Miskell and John Atkins he authored two landmark books, Birds of Somalia (published 1998) and Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea (2009). He died three days after his wife of 63 years, the botanist and artist Jonquil Gudgeon.


Material arranged as received from the Alexander Library of Ornithology.

Custodial History

Presented to the Alexander Library of Ornithology by Dr. Caroline Ash, 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Alexander Library of Ornithology, 2018.

Papers of John Sidney Ash
Finding aid prepared by EAD version by Meg Woodward 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