SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL NCUACS 96.1.01/A.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/A.25
SECTION B RESEARCH NCUACS 96.1.01/B.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/B.74
SECTION C OXFORD UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF EARTH SCIENCES NCUACS 96.1.01/C.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/C.62
SECTION D LECTURES AND CONFERENCES NCUACS 96.1.01/D.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/D.9
SECTION E PUBLICATIONS, EDITORIAL AND ADVISORY NCUACS 96.1.01/E.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/E.54
SECTION F SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS NCUACS 96.1.01/F.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/F.16
SECTION G CORRESPONDENCE NCUACS 96.1.01/G.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/G.73
SECTION H REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS NCUACS 96.1.01/H.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/H.27
SECTION J NON-TEXTUAL MATERIAL NCUACS 96.1.01/J.1-NCUACS 96.1.01/J.104
The material is presented as shown in the List of contents. It covers the period 1951-1998. Preponderantly, however, it dates from Cox's time at Oxford from 1972 to his death. There are no direct remaining records of his work at Edinburgh, and only his doctoral thesis commemorates the Leeds period.
Section A, Biographical and personal, includes Cox's incomplete autobiographical account of his career, his doctoral thesis at Leeds, and correspondence showing his concern with the life, work and gardens of Jesus College Oxford where he was Senior Research Fellow and Garden Master. The account of his death and the many tributes received from school friends, research students and senior colleagues give insights into his friendliness, dry humour, unpretentious charm and integrity, as well as the scholarly achievements throughout his career.
Section B, Research, covers Cox's work on volcanic basalts in diverse regions of the globe. Beginning with Southern African and the Karoo basalts, Cox extended his field work to Aden, Yemen, the Deccan, Brazil, Scotland and the Falklands, while his research students contributed work in Siberia and Italy. The material includes correspondence, research proposals, plans and results, data, analyses, calculations, and drafts for papers (though these are few). Diagrams, charts and maps have been left in place when closely related to the work, although additional non-textual material, maps or photographs are in Section J. The interpretation of results promoted the devising of techniques such as x-ray fluorescence and the computerisation of complex experimental data at whose elucidation Cox was an acknowledged master.
Section C, Oxford University Department of Earth Sciences, includes teaching and lecture material, which follows the development of Cox's research interests and methodology. The importance he attached to accurate geological mapping can be seen in the material for student field trips, his own introductory information for participants, and the detailed maps provided.
Section D, Lectures and conferences, is a scanty section which does not adequately record Cox's activities. He was a lively lecturer to conferences but virtually never wrote or delivered a prepared text.
Section E, Publications, editorial and advisory, is also deficient in drafts or manuscripts for Cox's own publications, but gives quite a full picture of his extensive involvement in editorial and refereeing work. He had a long association with the Journal of Petrology of which he was Managing Editor from 1972 and where many of his papers were published. He was also highly regarded as a prompt and careful referee and reviewer by many other journals in the UK and overseas.
Section F, Societies and organisations, is another somewhat thin section. Cox did not actively seek out participation in the public life of science or in general advisory work. There is documentation of his Chairmanship of the Scientific Advisory Board of GEOMAR (the Research Centre for Marine Geosciences at Kiel) and some of his appointments and work at the Royal Society.
Section G, Correspondence, often provides a useful complement to the research material, being almost entirely concerned with research and publications, though it is mainly confined to the Oxford period. Cox adopted electronic communication enthusiastically in his later years, leaving 18 disks of miscellaneous outgoing material from which the correspondence of the 1990s has been assembled. Cox appears not to have retained all his incoming letters.
Section H, References and recommendations, deals with academic or institutional appointments.
Section J, Non-textual material, comprises transparencies, maps, diagrams and photographs, the latter including a famous photograph of the Deccan Traps which was frequently borrowed and reproduced. Cox was a talented amateur water-colourist and several of the maps and diagrams show his skill.