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Nicholson, (Edward) Max, CB, CVO

  • Nicholson, Max, 1904-2003
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Material, including lealfets, correspondence, published and unpublished papers, and reports, on population issues, including Simon Population Trust, and correspondence with Dr C P Blacker, 1945-1991.



Physical description

3 boxes Paper


Arranged by sections as follows:

GC/142/1-4, 23-24 E M Nicholson items

GC/142/5-8, 25 Simon Population Trust

GC/142/9-10, 26 Population Statistics and Trends

GC/142/11-20, 27 Other bodies concerned with population

GC/21-22, 28-29 Miscellaneous papers relating to population questions

GC/142/30-32 Related issues

Acquisition note

The first accession (Acc 432), correspondence between Nicholson and CP Blacker (1895-1975) of the Eugenics Society, was given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (now the Wellcome Library Archives and Manuscripts Department) in August 1992 by Mr Nicholson. Additional material (Acc 462), mainly generated by Nicholson's connection with the Simon Population Trust, was received from him in January 1993, and an additional group of miscellaneous material (Acc 698) in March 1997.

The CMAC was in contact with David Hubback, Secretary of the Simon Population Trust, in 1989 about their archives but it is not clear, following his unexpected death in 1991, whether many of these now survive.

Biographical note

Nicholson's career was primarily in ornithology, natural conservation and questions of the relationship between development and the environment. These papers relate to his concern with issues of population.

Carlos Paton Blacker and Nicholson were both founder members of the Simon Population Trust (f.1957), but had already been in correspondence on matters relating to population and eugenics.


Sedbergh School, Cumbria

1920s Read history at Hertford College, Oxford


1926 Birds In England

1927 How Birds Live

1931 (As assistant editor of the Weekend Review) wrote supplement A National Plan For Britain

1932 Created the British Trust for Ornithology

1937 Songs Of Wild Birds (with gramophone records). Produced with Ludwig Koch

1938 Helped found the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology

1938-1941 Handbook Of British Birds (helped H F Witherby)

1940 Joined the civil servicr, heading the allocation of tonnage division at the Ministry of War Transport

1945 Given a post in the deputy prime minister's office, which led to him chairing the committee for the 1951 Festival of Britain

1947-48 With Julian Huxley (the then director general of the United Nations scientific and education organisation Unesco) involved in forming the Scientific International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now the World Conservation Union

1949 Setting up of the Nature Conservancy

1952 Contracted polio whilst leader of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation survey team in Baluchistan

1952-1966 Director-general of the Nature Conservancy

1958 Instrumental in setting up the Council For Nature

1959 Helped found the Conservation Corps (the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and to develop the Wildlife Trusts Movement

1961 With Peter Scott and others, helped create the World Wildlife Fund

1963-74 Convenor for conservation of the International Biological Programme

1967 The System

1970 The Environmental Revolution

1977 Initiated what is now the Trust for Urban Ecology

1977-1994 The Birds of the Western Palearctic

1980-1985 President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

1985-1993 Trustee of Earthwatch Europe

1994 Created The New Renaissance Group

Also founder member and chairman of Common Ground International, Head of the world conservation section of the International Biological Programme.

Had three sons: Piers, Tom (by first wife Mary Crawford) and David (by second wife Toni)

Related material

Related material held by the Archives and Manuscripts Department:

Additional material on Blacker and the Simon Population Trust may be found in the Eugenics Society archives (SA/EUG) and among the papers of CP Blacker (PP/CPB). Sources Leaflet no. 8 'Birth Control' lists further collections containing material of interest concerning population questions.

Related material held elsewhere:

Royal Geographical Society

Ornithological papers relating to British Giuana expeditions, 1929-1987

Reference : AR 13U

Papers relating to various expeditions, 1928-1963

Linnean Society of London

Correspondence and files relating to World Wildlife Fund, 1960-1993

Aberdeen University, Special Libraries and Archives

Papers relating to International Biological Programme, 1961-1977

Rice University: Woodson Research Center

Correspondence (90 items) with Sir Julian Huxley, 1927-1971

Reference : Julian S Huxley papers

University of East Anglia Library

Correspondence (59 items) with JC Pritchard, c1931-1880

Reference : PP/4/1/16

Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

Correspondence with Sir Peter Markham Scott, 1948-1990


  • English

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