The Papers of Barrie Rickards

Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence; copies of research papers and ntoes; photographs and negatives; published papers; SEM negatives; and drawings.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Barrie Rickards (known as Barrie) was born in Leeds 12th June 1938, the son of Robert Rickards and Eva Sudborough. In 1960 he married Christine Townsley and they had one son.

Rickards was educated at Goole Grammar School and University of Hull. He was mostly concerned with sports and helped to win the Northern Schools Cross Country Championships. He also had trial for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

He studied Chemistry and graduated in Geology from the University of Hull with a BSc in 1960 and a PhD in 1963. He specialised in an extnct group of zooplankton known as graptolites.

After short-term academic posts in London (University College), Dublin (Trinity College) and Cambridge, he established himself in Cambridge in 1969 after the Woodwardian Professor, Oliver Bulman was impressed with his work.

He was a lecturer, reader and later Professor in Palaentology and Biostratigraphy. He also became a curator of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

As an expert in graptolites, Rickards employed innovative techniques to study the ancient fossils he had collected and studied. Scanning Electron Microsopy demonstrated the fossils relationship with living animals.

Rickards published more than 270 academic papers, and won the Geological Society's Lyell Medal in 1997.

Rickards is also remembered as an angler and angling writer. Although a hobby, Rickards wrote a number of publications and published "Fishing for big Pike" in 1971 with Ray Webb, a university friend.

He was a founder member of the Pike Angling Club of Great Britain, a former president of the Pike Society and later president of both the Lure Angling Society and the Nataional Association of Specialist Anglers.

Rickards son died in 2000. Barry Rickards died November 5th 2009, aged 71. He is survived by his second wife Mandy and two step-daughters.


The collection is still to be arranged and catalogued.

Access Information

As there are no box-lists for this collection, and the papers have not been appraised, this collection is currently closed. Please enquire.

Please contact the Museum to ask about the collection or to make an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Records were transferred from Barrie Rickards office in the Department of Earth Sciences in 2011 and transferred to the Brighton Building.

Other Finding Aids

As of January 2012 the collection is currently being box-listed by a volunteer.

Archivist's Note

This collection level description was created by Sandra Marsh of Sedgwick Museum in March 2012 using information from Barrie Rickards entry in Who Was Who (A and C Black, 1997), obituaries, and the papers themselves.

Conditions Governing Use

For information when collection is open: Photocopies, photographs, and printouts from scanned images may be provided. Charges may apply. Readers may also use their own digital cameras subject to copyright legislation and in-house rules.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Sedgwick Museum Staff.

Please cite as Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, The Papers of Barrie Rickards RKDS

Appraisal Information

The collection is still to be appraised.

Custodial History

Barrie Rickards left instructions for his executors in respect to his archival records. His research archives and material relating to his scientific publications and geological correspondence were all to be deposited with the Sedgwick Museum Archive Unit.

The records were transferred from Barry Rickards office in the Department of Earth Scienes, University of Cambridge to the Sedgwick Museums Geological Conservation Unit [Brighton Building] in 2011.


No more records are currently expected.