Catalogue description Papers of DAVID LAMBERT LACK, F.R.S. 1910 - 1973

This record is held by Oxford University: Alexander Library of Ornithology

Details of CSAC 20.14.74
Reference: CSAC 20.14.74
Title: Papers of DAVID LAMBERT LACK, F.R.S. 1910 - 1973

Dr. Lack kept his papers in used quarto envelopes with a Ms. indication of the contents; these in turn were kept in cardboard filing-boxes whose labels were often defaced or faded. The papers have been grouped by subject-matter into a roughly chronological sequence.


Almost all the notes were made on the back of typescript drafts (themselves often bearing Ms. corrections) of earlier articles, books or letters. The handlist items refer to the manuscript notes; no attempt has been made to identify or collate the originals of the typescripts.


The notes and records made on copy paper are often very fragile, and had sometimes been damaged by being crammed into envelopes too small for them. They have been straightened, and protected by wax envelopes, but not guarded and filed.


Correspondence referring to specific investigations was always kept with the relevant data. Many collaborators, including amateur ornithologists and members of the general public as well as professional colleagues, contributed data, observations and amendments to Lack's research and published work. Except for items 142-146, 148, all correspondents are indexed; where information of special value occurs in the correspondence an indication is given in the appropriate entry in the handlist.


Items 406-412 refer to 34 notebooks of observations made by Lack and his collaborators of migration movements monitored by radar at various R.A.F. stations. These books have been cleared as unclassified material by the Ministry of Defence.


Titles etc. in inverted commas are those which appear on the manuscripts or related published work.


Unless otherwise stated, all work is in Lack's manuscript or typescript.


I. Biographical 1 - 3


II. Diaries, albums and journals 4 - 35


III. Work on Galapagos (Darwin's) finches 36 - 54


IV. Work on speciation 55 - 60


V. Work on clutch size 61 - 69a


VI. Work on titmice 70 - 86


VII. Work on swifts 87 - 138


VIII. Work on robins 139 - 180


IX. Work on migration 181 - 219


X. Work for The Natural Regulation of Animal Numbers, Population Studies of Birds and Enjoying Ornithology 220 - 240


XI. Work for Ecological Adaptations for Breedings in Birds 241 - 268


XII. Work on island birds 269 - 289


XIII. Work for Ecological Isolation in Birds 290 - 300


XIV. Work on Jamaican birds 301 - 341


XV. Work for Evolution Illustrated by Wildfowl 342 - 347


XVI. Work on various ornithological subjects 348 - 378


XVII. Work on evolution and religion 379 - 389


XVIII. Conferences and committees 390 - 400


XIX. Correspondence 401 - 404


XX. Radar work 405 - 412


XXI. Publications and broadcasts 413 - 416


Listed by Jeannine Alton and Harriot Weiskittel

Date: 1925 - 1973
Held by: Oxford University: Alexander Library of Ornithology, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Lack, David Lambert, 1910-1973, scientist and ornithologist

Physical description: 4 linear metres
Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers cover the years 1925 - 1973; they were collected from Dr. Lack's study at the Edward Grey Institute, Oxford, and from Mrs. Lack.

  • Ornythology
Administrative / biographical background:

b.1910 London


1924 - 28 Gresham's School, Holt


1929 - 33 Magdalene College, Cambridge


1933 - 40 Zoology master, Dartington Hall School


1938 - 39 Expedition to Galapagos


1940 - 45 Army Operation Research Group


1945 - 73 Director,Edward Grey Institute, Oxford


1948 Conversion to Christianity


1949 Married Elizabeth Silva


1951 Elected to the Royal Society


1963 - 73 Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford

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