Young (John Zachary) Papers

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence of J Z Young including papers from Marlborough College and Magdalen College, Oxford, 1920-1931; lectures drafts for students, medical professional societies and school sixth forms, 1945-1984; transcripts for public lectures, 1941-1977; papers relating to teaching at Magdalen College, Oxford and University College London; papers relating to Young's research both published and unpublished including on nerves and nervous systems, flying spot microscope, cephalopods, memory and learning, evolution, structures and functions of brains and philosophy; papers relating to field research in Naples Zoological Station, 1928-1981, and Duke University, North Carolina, 1970-1983; conference , seminar and symposia papers, 1952-1984; drafts of books by Young, 1950-1987; papers relating to reviews, other published articles, literary refereeing and editing; professional correspondence and papers relating to overseas visits including to the 'Gold Coast' and the USA and research, correspondence and drafts of Young's publication and lecturing activity undertaken during his retirement including research at the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, 1974-1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born, 1907; educated, Wells House, Malvern Wells; Magdalen College, Oxford, 1925-1928; tutor and zoologist, Magdalen College, Oxford, 1929-1945; Vice-President of Magdalen, 1943; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1945; Chair of Human Anatomy at University College, London, 1945-1974; President and Vice-President of the Marine Biological Association of Great Britain; retired 1974; continued to conduct research work at the Wellcome Foundation and later, in the Psychology Department, Oxford; died, 1997.

Publications: 'The Life of Vertebrates' (1950)

'The Life of Mammals' (1957)


The first two accessions have been catalogued and arranged into the following sections: Early years; Academic and professional responsibilities, activities and interests; research; public lectures; conferences, seminars, symposia; books; reviews, other published articles, literary refereeing and editing; and files on individuals (mainly correspondence). The final two accessions are uncatalogued and remain in the original order.

Access Information

Certain restrictions apply

The collection has been partially listed. Due to the nature and age of the collection, access to some files may be restricted. Please contact Special Collections for further information. Please note: we may require up to four weeks’ notice to assess certain files for restrictions inline with data protection legislation.

Acquisition Information

Presented by J Z Young and Lady Young in four accessions: first accession from J Z Young, 1985; second accession from Lady Young via the Wellcome Institute, Dec 1990; third accession from Lady Young, Jun 1998; fourth accession from Lady Young, Jul 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A basic catalogue is available online for the first and second accessions. There are no finding aids for the third and fourth accessions.

Related Material

Correspondence between J Z Young and Bernd U Budelmann (Ref: MS ADD 414).

Further papers of J Z Young can be found in the Smithsonian Institution.