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Papers of Nora Barlow

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8904

Scope and Contents

Comprises: [1] Family correspondence; correspondence with her cousin, Gwen Raverat (née Darwin), 1903-50, her sons, Andrew Dalmahoy Barlow, Erasmus Darwin Barlow and Horace Basil Barlow, her daughter, Hilda Horatia Barlow and other members of the Barlow and Darwin familites; and general correspondence. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically and chronologically, with little detail about the content or subject-matter of the letters.

[2] Early genetics research: notebooks, sketches and publications; unpublished notes, essays, lectures, and sketches; and publications notes, drafts, and proofs, 1920-70.

[3] Relations with the Bateson family.

[4] Photographs of Nora Barlow, homes and family; Farrers and Erskines, 1840s-; Darwins and Batesons, 1880s-; and miscellaneous, cousins, and friends.

[5] Publications: journal articles and cuttings, and books annotated with Nora Barlow's notes, mostly on Charles Darwin's life, Darwiniana and related subjects.

[6] Diaries, 1914-81; sketch books and travel notes; and acquisitions of Darwin material by Cambridge University Library.


  • Creation: 1840-1970 (Circa)


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 / Historical

Nora Darwin (1885-1989) was the daughter of Sir Horace and Lady Ida Darwin and the granddaughter of Charles Darwin. She studied botany and the new field of genetics at Cambridge between 1904 and 1910 under Frederick Blackman and William Bateson, and married Sir James Alan Barlow (1881-1968), a civil servant, in 1911. She wrote and edited books on Charles Darwin.


c. 35 archive box(es) (c. 35 boxes)

Language of Materials



The correspondence has been arranged alphabetically and chronologically. The letters have not been calendared or summarised, and there is generally little information about their subject-matter or contents. The names of institutions or societies have been recorded as found; the original names are indicated by the use of initial capitals, for example: Over Forty Association for Women Workers. Modern equivalents have not been provided in the catalogue.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue of the papers can be found online at:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited on permanent loan, 1989

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom