Papers of Christopher Swabey

Scope and Content

Travel diaries, correspondence, drafts for a history of the Colonial ForestryService, memoranda etc. relating to work in the Colonial Forestry Service, andas director of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau, in Trinidad, British Guiana,Canada, Sudan, Australia, Jamaica, America, Fiji, Solomon Islands, NorthBorneo and the West Indies, with two memoirs on colonial service, 1928-1971.

Administrative / Biographical History

Christopher Swabey (1906-1972), forestry adviser and conservator, took the postof Assistant Conservator of Forests, Trinidad, 1928. He then became Conservatorof Forests, Jamaica, 1937, Conservator of Forests, British Guiana, 1946,Chief Conservator of Forests, Uganda, 1951, Forestry Advisor, Colonial Office,1957-1964 and to the Ministry of Overseas Development, 1964-1965. From 1965 to1970 he was Director of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau. In 1947 he marriedGabrielle Patricia Markham, with whom he had one daughter.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


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

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 621 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford,Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

The papers, collected by Swabey as research for a planned book on theColonial Forestry Service, were initially held on loan pending any decision regarding the book's possible publication after his death in Ethiopia in 1972.The papers were sent from Ethiopia to his widow, who donated them tothe library. They were only accessioned after October 1981, when a finaldecision not to proceed with publication was reached. Consequently they were not accessioned until 1981. On 13th March 2002, fourfiles were withdrawn by Mrs. G.P. Swabey.