Records of Aberdeen and North of Scotland Zoological Society

Scope and Content

This deposit contains foundation, administrative and financial records of the Society, providing a full account of its establishment and organisation, and details of its involvement with Aberdeen [Hazelhead] Zoo. In addition to institutional records, there is also a quantity of printed papers, including newsletters and publicity for the Society, Zoo Club and Junior Zoo Club, 1962- 1977, and newspaper cuttings relating to the Society and the Zoo, 1962 - 1977. Other records relating specifically to the Zoo include architects' plans, 1962 - 1965, animal stock lists, 1977 and undated, and admission figures, 1967 - 1974. Records relating to the management of the Zoo have not survived.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aberdeen and North of Scotland Zoological Society was formed in Dec 1961, and was incorporated as a Limited Company in January 1966. Its first president was Professor V.C. Wynne-Edwards, Chair of Natural History at Aberdeen University.

The broad objectives of the society were to encourage an interest in animal life and to encourage and facilitate all aspects of the study of zoology in Aberdeen and the north of Scotland, though it is perhaps best known for its contribution to the establishment and management of Aberdeen Zoo. The idea of a zoo in Aberdeen was first mooted at an informal meeting between representatives of the Town Council and Aberdeen University in Sept 1961, and it was largely through the Society's efforts that one was finally opened in Hazelhead Park, in the west of the city, in 1966. For some time it grew in size and diversity, developing links with local schools and organising regular events and newsletters for members of the Zoo Club and Junior Zoo Club. Falling visitor numbers and financial difficulties during the 1970s led to its closure in 1977.

The Society went into voluntary liquidation in December 1977, and its final meeting was held on 19 Sept 1978.


Arranged by record type, and chronologically therein

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University Library in Apr 1979, by Robert Ralph, formerly Secretary of the Society.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen. A copy of this list (reference NRA 22904) is also available at the Historical Manuscripts Commission, Quality House, Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1HP.

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives ( ) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

See Immediate Source of Acquisition, below


No accruals expected. Some attempts were made to trace records relating to the management of Hazelhead Zoo in 1979, but these proved unsuccessful.

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository


No known publication using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names