Papers of Robert Ogle Barnes and R.S.W. Barnes

Scope and Content

Working papers, field notes, sketches, graphs, plans, maps, drawings, calculations, lecture notes, and correspondence relating to Barnes' work on soil and water conservation in Kenya, Mauritius, Basutoland and Iran. Also, some printed material relating to soil and water conservation, and notebooks used by Barnes whilst serving with the Royal Engineers during World War I.

The collection also includes letterbooks kept by R.S.W. Barnes, Robert Ogle Barnes' father, relating to his work as a contractor for the Durban Waterworks Corporation and as a civil engineer in Natal (April 1892-June 1894). One of the letterbooks has been started by R.S.W. Barnes in South Africa (April 1925-February 1926) but includes a few later letters written by R.O. Barnes in Kenya (May 1947-July 1947).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Ogle Barnes, OBE (1961), was born in 1895 and educated at Repton School. Between 1937 and 1960 he worked for the Colonial Service in Kenya as a Soil Engineer, later becoming Senior Soil Conservation Engineer.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled with reference to A Biographical Dictionary of the British Colonial Service 1939-1966 by A.H.M. Kirk-Greene (1991).

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.