Papers of the Cotton Research Corporation, 1921-1976

Scope and Content

The archive of the Cotton Research Corporation reflects its primary interest in all aspects of cotton cultivation. The papers cover scientific, economic, climatic and other factors affecting the growing of cotton in a wide range of countries from Africa (the Sudan in particular) to the West Indies and the Indian sub-continent. There are extensive research reports and records of field trials, including research papers on cotton breeding and cotton pests. There is an especially noteworthy collection of photographs from research stations.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Cotton Research Corporation evolved from the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation, founded in 1921 by Royal Charter. The purpose of this body was to grow cotton in countries within the then British Empire, chiefly in Africa. It soon became apparent that in order to achieve this goal specialist knowledge and research was needed. Thus the Corporation abandoned its direct involvement in cotton growing projects and directed its attention toward research.

The Corporation gradually extended its area of interest to local farming systems and the crops associated with them.

Following the Second World War the Corporation's work was increasingly geared to the improvement of the agricultural economies of the producing countries. The Corporation became solely an instrument of development, a change in function which was formalised in 1966 by the change in name from the now British Cotton Growing Corporation to the Cotton Research Corporation. During the final ten years of its existence, the CRC acted as a British technical assistance organization charged with supplying information, advice and practical help on cotton growing to developing countries. It did this through a team of agricultural scientists in collaboration with overseas governments in research programmes.

In 1974 it became clear that the CRC was no longer financially viable and its overseas operations were wound down. It was formally dissolved in 1976.


The arrangement of the collection by subject and administrative series reflects the active life of the files.

Access Information

ACCESS: Advance written notice and an appointment are essential; unlisted series not available to the public.

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • Partial in-house lists of some series, not available for public use.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

LANGUAGE: English.

Custodial History

The papers came to Nottingham University Library from the Corporation and its agents in 1976 and 1978.

Geographical Names