SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL A.1-A.747
SECTION B WORLD WAR TWO B.1-B.201
SECTION C NATURE CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH C.1-C.1347
SECTION D TRAVEL D.1-D.862
SECTION E PUBLICATIONS E.1-E.349
SECTION F RADIO AND TELEVISION F.1-F.251
SECTION G LECTURES, SPEECHES AND ADDRESSES G.1-G.151
SECTION H SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS H.1-H.262
SECTION J PAINTING J.1-J.443
SECTION K YACHTING K.1-K.104
SECTION L GLIDING L.1-L.154
SECTION M CORRESPONDENCE M.1-M.2949
The papers in the collection cover the period 1916-1993. They are arranged in twelve sections.
Section A, Biographical, is extensive. There is a considerable volume of material covering the earlier part of Scott's life (pre-1940) including his schooldays, his periods studying at Cambridge and at Munich, and his years at East Lighthouse, 1933-1940. Some of this material was assembled by Elspeth Huxley for her biography of Scott and includes reminiscences sent to her by his contemporaries. A record of Scott's wildfowling excursions is provided by his 'wildfowling diaries', dating from his Cambridge years, and by other material. There is personal correspondence with a variety of friends and colleagues, dating from most periods of his life, and a large body of family correspondence and papers which relates to several individuals, in particular his mother Kathleen. In addition there are papers documenting his brief involvement in politics immediately after World War Two; many articles, including interviews, obituaries and tributes; papers relating to honours and awards; and engagement diaries.
Section B, World War Two, principally consists of material documenting Scott's war service in the Royal Navy, from his initial appointment to HMS Broke to his commands in the Steam Gunboat Flotilla of the Coastal Forces, and papers relating to his writings on the war, mostly to The Battle of the Narrow Seas (1945). Included in the war service papers is material relating to Scott's work on camouflage design, to his interviews with a captured German naval officer, and photographs and sketches.
Section C, Nature conservation and research, chiefly comprises administrative papers of the Wildfowl Trust, covering the Trust's operations during Scott's life, and a large sequence of papers (named 'Other Organisations and Topics') which reflect his associations with a great diversity of organisations, campaigns and issues, arranged alphabetically. Included here is significant documentation of his work for the World Wildlife Fund, mostly correspondence with prominent WWF officers and correspondence and papers concerning fundraising, in particular Scott's visits to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970s. A large group of papers relates to Scott's involvement in the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau Ltd and includes drafts of his articles on the evidence for the existence of the 'Loch Ness Monster' and the associated scientific nomenclature. There are also correspondence and papers covering the Hawaiian Goose breeding project, his early years as Chairman of the Survival Services Commission of IUCN, and his involvement in the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau. Also found in the 'Other Organisations and Topics' sequence is correspondence with prominent naturalists such as Richard Fitter, Gavin Maxwell and Gerald Durrell. Small groups of papers document Scott's research on chameleons and reef fish. Concluding the section is material relating to the Peter Scott Memorial Fund for Conservation which was launched soon after his death.
Section D, Travel, principally comprises correspondence and papers covering Scott's extensive foreign travel (some UK travel is included) from 1945 to 1989. Included are manuscript speech notes, conference papers, reports and photographs. There is also a group of correspondence concerning Scott's association with Lindblad Travel Inc. and a series of itineraries, most of which are annotated.
Section E, Publications, presents a chronological series of drafts of various books (some co-authored) and articles by Scott and of his forewords and contributions to other publications. The principal subjects covered are ornithology and conservation, including the Wildfowl Trust; also included are articles on gliding, contributions to publications about his father, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and unidentified drafts. Among the earlier drafts are those of the unpublished account of his expedition to the Caspian Sea in 1938 and of large parts of the books Wild Chorus (Country Life, 1938) and A Thousand Geese (Collins, 1953). Some of his original artwork for Lemuel by Edith R. Gregorson (1947) also survives. There are also significant correspondence and papers relating to his autobiography The Eye of the Wind (Hodder & Stoughton) 1961, Fishwatchers Guide to West Atlantic Coral Reefs, 1972 (by Charles C.G. Chaplin, illustrated by Scott), and to Travel Diaries of a Naturalist (Collins) 1983-1987. Also in this section is editorial correspondence, arranged by publisher or publication, and off-prints and re-prints.
Section F, Radio and television, is organised in three sub-sections: BBC, Anglia Television and Other Broadcasting Work, the latter being slight. The BBC material covers the period 1939-1989 and consists of draft scripts and outlines for programmes, correspondence, and papers relating to contracts and payments. Among the scripts are some from the radio series, Nature Parliament and Birds in Britain, the television series Look and miscellaneous broadcasts, including Scott's commentary for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth in 1947. The Anglia material is much smaller, principally being correspondence and Survival Anglia Ltd Board of Directors papers.
Section G, Lectures, speeches and addresses, comprises drafts of speeches given at a variety of conferences and gatherings, 1948-1989, and related correspondence. Included are lectures and speeches given at conferences on environmental issues, World Wildlife Fund and Wildfowl Trust functions and academic institutions. Some of these highlight Scott's prominent role in the communication of conservation issues to a wider audience.
Section H, Societies and organisations, illustrates the diversity of Scott's commitments outside his main activities and interests. However, it only provides significant documentation of his involvement in a few of some sixty organisations in which he held an official position or was otherwise associated. By far the largest group of papers relates to his period as Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. Most of this covers general university business, though there is material relating to his election, including letters of congratulation.
Section J, Painting, reflects Scott's vast output of paintings and drawings over a period of some six decades and covers most aspects of the marketing of his works and associated reproductions. The bulk of the papers are organised in three sub-sections: Exhibitions and Sales, Commissions, and Reproductions. Significant groups of papers relate to Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd, The Society of Wildlife Artists, Falcon Arts Inc. (Scott's agents in the USA) and the 'Peter Scott at 80 - a Retrospective' exhibition (1989-1990).
Section K, Yachting, includes material relating to Scott's participation in the 1936 Olympic Games at Kiel and his unsuccessful challenge for the America's Cup in 1964. Also of interest are papers concerning his Presidency of the International Yacht Racing Association, 1959-1969.
Section L, Gliding, includes papers documenting Scott's involvement with the British Gliding Association, 1956-1981, drafts of articles and papers relating to broadcasts.
Section M, Correspondence, is exceptional in extent and spans the period 1945 to 1989. It reflects Scott's broad range of activities and interests; the subjects covered include painting commissions, the Wildfowl Trust, the World Wildlife Fund, publications and general ornithological and conservation matters. A number of scientists, including Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, Julian Huxley and W.H. Thorpe, are represented and there is significant correspondence from the general public, much of it expressing appreciation of Scott's work at the Wildfowl Trust and of his paintings, broadcasts and books.