Papers relating to Sir Norman Boyd Kinnear

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence and papers on various ornithological issues, 1901-1945, and includes correspondence with William Eagle Clarke (1853-1938) between 1900 and 1911, also Kinnear's obituary of W. E. Clarke.

Administrative / Biographical History

The ornithologist Norman Boyd Kinnear was born on 11 August 1882. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Trinity College, Glenalmond. In 1905 he became a Volunteer Assistant with the Royal Scottish Museum, and from 1907 he was Curator of Bombay Natural History Society Museum. Prior to joining the Zoology Department at the British Museum, Natural History, in 1920, he organised a survey of mammals in India, Myanmar, (then Burma) and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). From Assistant at the British Museum in 1920, he became Assistant Keeper in 1928, Deputy Keeper in 1936, and Keeper of Zoology in 1945. From 1947 until 1950 he was Director of the Museum. Between 1943 and 1948 he was President of the British Ornithological Union. Kinnear was knighted in 1950. He published various papers on ornithology and he had been Assistant Editor of the Bombay Natural History Society Journal, 1908 to 1919, and Editor of the Bulletin of the British Ornithological Club, 1925 to 1930. Sir Norman Boyd Kinnear died on 11 August 1957.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

The collection bears the Accession no. E58.10, indicating acquisition in 1958. Presented by Lady Kinnear.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: letter books, journal of whaling voyage, notes, 1901-1935, Natural History Museum, Ref. L MSS KIN