Original collection: The papers provide a full account of Southwood's career to date, and illustrate his development from a youthful interest in natural history and especially entomology, via research in population dynamics, insect-plant relationships and pest control to ecological principles, biodiversity and matters of general environmental concern.
Biographical and personal documentation furnishes a full overview of Southwood's career from schooldays onward and includes some family material and his very early diaries and notebooks of natural history observations. There are also press-cuttings and photographs (the majority dated and described on the verso by Southwood) extending over the whole period. There are sequences of correspondence and papers dealing with Southwood's career at Imperial College 1955-1979, appointments, promotions etc., and with the general work of the Department of Zoology and Silwood Park. There is also a sequence of notes and notebooks of his undergraduate lectures, notes and essays 1949-1952, and of his own lecture and teaching courses from 1956. There is good coverage of Southwood's career at Oxford University from 1979-1997, as Linacre Professor of Zoology, Fellow of Merton College, and Vice-Chancellor, including his memoranda and notebooks on Oxford affairs. Research material is not extensive, since Southwood currently retains many of his notes and data, not all of which are published. There is, however, a full account of his work in the 1960s on the ecology of the partridge. Documentation of Southwood's lectures, speeches and addresses begins in 1944 with the teenage Southwood's talks on natural history to school societies and extends to 1995 covering the full range of his ecological and environmental interests, given to professional and learned societies and to less specialised audiences. Publications and editorial papers include useful material on his books: Land and water bugs of the British Isles, Life of the wayside and woodland, and especially of his influential Ecological methods first published in 1966. There is also correspondence, comment and advice exchanged with publishers and journals, such as the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, the Journal of Animal Ecology and Oxford University Press, of which he was a Delegate for fourteen years. Societies and organisations represented in the papers include a number with which Southwood had long associations as member, officer, contributor or advisor such as the British Ecological Society, the British Empire Naturalists' Association, Field Studies Council, the Rhodes Trust, the Royal Entomological Society and the Royal Society. Visits and conferences are documented 1960-1995, and include major extended visits as Visiting Professor in Mexico, California, South Africa and at Cornell.
There is significant material specifically dealing with Southwood's service on official bodies or specific projects. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution papers cover the period from 1974 when Southwood was appointed a Commissioner to 1985 when he took up his appointment as Chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board, the main concentration of the papers being 1981-1985 when he was Chairman of the Commission. There are papers relating to the National Radiological Protection Board 1984-1995. The Surface Water Acidification Programme papers cover the period 1983-1990 and include correspondence with colleagues and officials of the three academies involved, research projects, reports and position papers. The Working Party on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is represented from its establishment in 1988. Although its final report was published in February 1989, the continuing incidence of the disease and the increasing public concern extend the material to 1997. Southwood's involvement with the Round Table on Sustainable Development is documented 1994-1997. The collection also includes a little material relating to Glaxo-Wellcome plc (Southwood was appointed a non-executive director in 1992) and the Central European University where for a period Southwood was Head of the Department of Environmental Studies and Policy. Southwood's general scientific correspondence is extensive and covers the period 1946-1996. Correspondents include scientific mentors, colleagues and students, particularly associated with Rothamsted, Imperial College and Oxford University.
Supplementary papers: Biographical and personal material includes many letters and messages of congratulation received to mark various high points of Southwood's career, and documentation of his continuing career and honours from 1995. There are some additional early school and student notes. Oxford University material includes continuing documentation on the Department of Zoology, on Merton College and on general university affairs during the period of Southwood's Pro-Vice-Chancellorship, with special reference to external affairs and collaborative meetings, committees and electoral boards.
Research material includes data and background material often related to early work and publications begun at Rothamsted Experimental Station where Southwood was a full-time research student funded by the Agricultural Research Council, and which was later developed more fully in his work on the ecology of game birds. Lectures and teaching material documents the regular teaching and examinations conducted by Southwood 1951-1963 for the University of London Department of Extra-Mural Studies Certificate of Proficiency in Natural History. Publications material includes some very early published papers and some recent (2000) publications.
There is a little additional societies and organisations and visits and conferences material, papers re Glaxo-Wellcome plc (Southwood was appointed a non-executive director in 1992) and a little correspondence with staff and former students of the Central European University. The scientific and general correspondence covers the period 1974-2000 and contains relatively short exchanges, some of them Southwood's outgoing letters only.