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Correspondence and papers of George Parker Bidder concerning the Ankylostoma Enquiry and the Great Barrier Reef Expedition

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8679-8680

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, minutes of meetings, reports, articles, press cuttings and other papers.


  • Creation: 1902 - 1930


Conditions Governing Access

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 (

Biographical note

George Parker Bidder was educated at Harrow School, University College London and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences (BA 1886, MA 1895). After graduating he carried out research into the biology of sponges, gaining a reputation for the high quality of his work, and became a leading figure in the world of marine biology. Inherited wealth enabled him to live the life of a gentleman scholar (in addition to his scientific studies he was a mathematician and a classicist), but he was also managing director of Cannock Chase Colliery Co Ltd from 1897 to 1908 [1], and an active member of the executive council of the Mining Association of Great Britain. He married in 1899, and three years later settled in Cambridge (at Cavendish Corner, 221 Hills Road). His activities were curtailed for some years by the diagnosis of tuberculosis in 1905, but by 1914 he had made a complete recovery, and survived to the age of ninety.

Historical note about the collection

The Ankylostoma Enquiry, set up by the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1902, was an enquiry into the likelihood of ankylostoma (‘miners’ worm’) becoming a permanent inhabitant of British coal mines. As both biologist and coal-owner, George Parker Bidder served as the committee’s secretary, and he played a major role in preparing the committee’s interim report which was published in December 1904.

Historical note about the collection

The Great Barrier Reef Expedition was set up by the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1927 to organise and raise funds for a scientific expedition to study a section of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, in close co-operation with a similar committee in Australia. Its chairman was Sir Matthew Nathan, sometime governor of Queensland, its secretaries Professor J.S. Gardiner and F.A. Potts, both of Cambridge, and its leader Dr C.M. (afterwards Professor Sir Maurice) Yonge. George Parker Bidder was a member both as a prominent marine biologist and as President of the Zoological Section of the British Association. He acted as an expert witness and representative of the Association before a sub-committee of the Government’s Committee of Civil Research in September 1927, and was a generous financial supporter of the expedition.


0.025 cubic metre(s) (2 boxes) : Paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were presented to the University Library in 1984 by G.P. Bidder’s younger daughter, Dr Anna Bidder

Related Materials

Further Bidder papers will be found at MSS Add.7900, 8657, 8970, 9227 and 9917.

Frank Bowles
July 2019
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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom