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Biographical papers, c.1859-1935 & 1972

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8634/A.1-A.84
Biographical papers
Biographical papers

Scope and Contents

This series, 'Biographical', includes some of Bateson's childhood letters to his parents, with school reports and part of a 'scholarship essay'. There is a substantial quantity of family correspondence, almost all letters from Bateson to his wife (1886-1925), his sons (1911-1925), his mother (1883-1914) and his sisters (1888-1904).

The largest group of papers in the section relates to Bateson's important tour of western central Asia, 1886-1887, concentrating on the Aral Sea area, which enabled him to further his investigations of variation in flora and fauna. The material consists of seven of his field notebooks, letters to his mother and two of his sisters, general correspondence, travel documents etc, and his photographs and drawings.

General material covering Bateson's career includes papers appertaining to candidature for the Linacre Professorship at Oxford University (1890), letters of congratulation on the award of the Darwin Medal (1904), and notification of the offer of a knighthood. There are a number of photographs of Bateson showing him at different stages of life, including childhood, many with family members and colleagues such as R.C. Punnett, W.F.R. Weldon, Edith Saunders and N.I. Vavilov. In addition, there is one handwritten volume of the catalogue of Bateson's scientific collections.


  • Creation: c.1859-1935 & 1972


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


5 archive box(es) (5 boxes, paper) : paper

Language of Materials