Catalogue description Catalogue of the papers of Robert George Spencer Hudson, FRS (1895 - 1965) and others relating to THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION 1956-63

This record is held by Natural History Museum Library and Archives

Details of CSAC 66.4.79
Reference: CSAC 66.4.79
Title: Catalogue of the papers of Robert George Spencer Hudson, FRS (1895 - 1965) and others relating to THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION 1956-63

SECTION A Correspondence and papers October 1956 - March 1963 CSAC 66.4.79/A.1 - CSAC 66.4.79/A.133


CSAC 66.4.79/A.1 - CSAC 66.4.79/A.5 Preliminary and Inaugural meetings


CSAC 66.4.79/A.14- CSAC 66.4.79/A.22 Hudson's fund-raising correspondence 1957-59


CSAC 66.4.79/A.6 - CSAC 66.4.79/A.13, CSAC 66.4.79/A.23 - CSAC 66.4.79/A.133 General Association correspondence and committee papers


SECTION B Reports and correspondence on MSS submitted for Palaeontology CSAC 66.4.79/B.1 - CSAC 66.4.79/B.7


SECTION C Minutes, circulars, printed material CSAC 66.4.79/C.1 - CSAC 66.4.79/C.7


The material consists of the papers of R.G.S. Hudson relating to the Association, which were in his charge, and additional material supplied by past and present officers of the Association.


The assembled material has been collated and presented chronologically as far as possible (though see CSAC 66.4.79/A.14 - CSAC 66.4.79/A.22, CSAC 66.4.79/A.54), and the correspondence is indexed.


The main sequence deals with meetings of the various committees and the Council of the Association, its Demonstration and Exhibition Meetings and outings, and the publications policy, refereeing of manuscripts and editorial matters concerning its journal Palaeontology. Agenda and Minutes remain in the chronological sequence where they occur; many of these documents, especially those received from N.F. Hughes, bear annotations and additional information. Section C contains photocopies of all remaining Minutes and Circulars, 1956-63.


Compiled by Jeannine Alton, Harriot Weiskittel and Julia Latham-Jackson

Held by: Natural History Museum Library and Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

The Palaeontological Association

Access conditions:

Note: Not all the material is yet available for consultation. Enquiries should be addressed in the first instance to The Librarian, Department of Palaeontology, British Museum (Natural History), London.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The material was received from Dr. W.S. McKerrow, a founder member of the Palaeontological Association.

  • Hudson, Robert George Henry, 1895-1965, scientist
  • Palaeontology
Administrative / biographical background:



The Association developed from the intiative of a group of young palaeontologists who had begun meeting at a Dining Club at the Gardenia Restaurant, London, early in 1955. At this time, Hudson was geologist and palaeontologist with the Iraq Petroleum Company and a Vice-President of the Geological Society of London; he was invited to join the group and played an important part in the early organisation and financing of the Association. An Interim Committee was formed in November 1956, with Hudson as Chairman, and after a public discussion meeting on 30 January 1956 (also chaired by Hudson), the Inaugural Meeting was held on 27 February 1957.


The first officers of the Association were:


President: R.G.S. Hudson


Vice-Presidents: L.R. Cox, N.F. Hughes


Secretary: F. Hodson (until June 1957, when G. Thomas took over the office)


Treasurer: W.S. McKerrow (until January 1960)


Editor: W.H.C. Ramsbottom


For further information on Hudson and his career, see the Memoir by Sir James Stubblefield, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 12, 1966 pp.321-333.


As President, Hudson played an active part in the affairs of the Association. Many of the early meetings were held in the offices of the Iraq Petroleum Company and A.14 - A.22 contain his correspondence with oil companies and industrial firms to raise financial support as a basis for the new enterprise.


The aims of the Association were to advance the study of palaeontology by discussion and demonstration meetings, by field trips or joint meetings with other bodies, and by the publication of a new journal Palaeontology, in which 'the fullest possible illustration' was to be an essential feature. The consequent importance of the Publications Sub-Committee, and the duties of the Editors, are reflected in the weight and detail of the correspondence in Sections A and B.


The first Editor was W.H.C. Ramsbottom. As from 20 January 1960 a three-man editorial team was in operation, the two new members being N.F. Hughes and W.S. McKerrow, P.C. Sylvester-Bradley replacing the latter as Treasurer. This arrangement involved frequent three-cornered exchanges of letters between the editors, as well as with other officers and members of the Association, and authors of manuscripts submitted for publication in Palaeontology. Some professional correspondence, information about research in progress and the like is also included in the correspondence.


From March 1962, W.H.C. Ramsbottom relinquished the office of Editor on his election as Vice-President; G. Thomas joined N.F. Hughes and W.S. McKerrow on the editorial team, and C.H. Holland became Secretary.


Note: Additional material relating to the launching of Palaeontology, contributed by W.H.C. Ramsbottom, is included as CSAC 66.4.79/A.130- CSAC 66.4.79/A.133.

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