SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL A.1-A.61
SECTION B EXPEDITIONS AND RESEARCH B.1-B.38
SECTION C LONG RANGE DESERT GROUP C.1-C.32
SECTION D MAPS D.1-D.196
SECTION E PHOTOGRAPHS E.1-E.81
The material is presented in the order given in the List of Contents. There is good documentation of Bagnold's desert expeditions and a substantial collection of maps and photographs supplementing the manuscript and printed material in sections A, B and C.
Section A, Biographical, includes two drafts of Bagnold's autobiography, published by the University of Arizona Press in 1991. There is a fascinating sequence of Bagnold's childhood letters to his family from St Wilfrid's School, Bexhill-on-Sea, and Malvern College. Of especial interest is a letter to Bagnold from T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') dated 7 March 1928.
Section B, Expeditions and research, provides good documentation of Bagnold's early explorations with fellow officers in the Middle East and North Africa 1926-32. The expedition of 1932 is particularly well represented. There is also a little material from other overseas visits 1933-38. Bagnold's scientific research is less well documented; most of the material dates from the post-war period and the work best represented is Bagnold's later research on random distributions. There is also a set of Bagnold's publications.
Section C, Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), presents documentation of the history and activities of the Group. Bagnold intended to write a history of the LRDG from an early date and assembled material likely to be of interest. This includes original instructions for and reports of many LRDG operations and draft chapters of a 'war diary and narrative'. A lecture by Bagnold on 'Early Days of the Long Range Desert Group' was published in The Geographical Journal 105. nos. 1 and 2 (1945), but the contemporary history of the unit was written by W. B. K. Shaw, LRDG Intelligence Officer, and published as Long Range Desert Group (Collins, London, 1945).
Section D, Maps, is the largest in the collection. It principally consists of the contents of Bagnold's large map cabinet and includes maps relating to his First World War service in France and Belgium, his explorations in North Africa and the Middle East (the 1932 expedition in particular) and the LRDG.
Section E, Photographs, includes an extensive collection of photographs and negatives chiefly relating to desert exploration and the Long Range Desert Group. This section also presents sets of glass photographic plates used by Bagnold in the 1930s for recording results of experiments on wind-blown sand.