Papers and correspondence of Reginald Ernest Moreau, 1897-1970

Scope and Content

The papers contain diaries and journals, correspondence and working papers for Moreau's book The Palaearctic-African bird migration systems, which was completed after his death by Dr James Monk. Moreau had relied on a global network of correspondents for data and information and the later material in the files, 1970-1973, is Monk's continuation of this correspondence and his own notes and drafts. During his service in Africa, Moreau had trained African observers and there are 88 notebooks of observations and records on individual nests compiled 1937-1944. The notes are in Kiswahili but are accompanied by Moreau's own notes and summaries. There is also Moreau's extensive correspondence, 1941-1960, with J.P. Chapin, American Museum of Natural History, New York City. This is remarkable not only for its ornithological information but also for the beautiful calligraphic drawings of animals and birds with which Chapin signed his letters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Moreau was a distinguished ornithologist, but with no official or academic post. He was born in Kingston-on-Thames and entered the Civil Service (Army Audit Office) from Kingston Grammar School in 1914, serving in Britain and Egypt. He was later, 1928-1946, in the Colonial Service Agricultural Research Unit in Amani, Tanganyika, pursuing his ornithological studies in his spare time. On his retirement from the Civil Service in 1946, he returned to England and devoted his time wholly to ornithology, editing Ibis, 1947-1960, and working at the Edward Grey Institute, Oxford, 1947-1966.


By section as follows: Biographical, Correspondence, Work for Palaearctic-African Bird Migration Systems, Diaries, journals and working notes. Index of correspondents.

Access Information

Access to all bona fide researchers. Contact the Librarian.

Other Finding Aids

Printed Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Reginald Ernest Moreau (1897-1970) by J. Alton and H. Weiskittel, CSAC catalogue no. 19/13/74, 12 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing in 1974 from the Edward Grey Institute, Oxford and Dr James Monk. Placed in Alexander Library, Edward Grey Institute, Oxford in1974.