National Library of Wales

Herbert John Fleure Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 HERURE

Held at: NLW

Title: Herbert John Fleure Papers

Short title: Fleure, Herbert John, papers

Dates of creation: 1869-1970

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.126 cubic metres (9 boxes, 1 wallet and 2 rolls)

Name of creator(s): Professor Herbert John Fleure (1877-1969)


Administrative and biographical history: Herbert John Fleure (1877-1969), zoologist and geographer, was born in Guernsey on 6 June 1877. He was the son of John Fleure (1803-1890) and Marie (nee Le Rougetel). In 1897, he obtained a scholarship to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He founded the Student Representative Council, published articles in the college magazine and obtained a first-class honours degree in zoology in 1901. He was awarded a fellowship to further his marine biology studies at the Zoological Institute Zurich, Switzerland, 1902-1904, and gained a D.Sc. (Wales). He returned to Aberystwyth as a lecturer in botany, geology and zoology, 1904-1917, Head of the Department of Zoology, 1908-1910, and the first and only Professor of Anthropology and Geography, 1917-1930. He was the first Professor of Geography at Victoria University, Manchester, 1930-1944. In 1905, he began an anthropological study of the Welsh people. His paper on the geographical distribution of anthropological types in Wales appeared in 1916, 'Regions Humanies' published in Paris was translated into several languages and was joint author with H. J. E. Peake (1867-1946) of the series The Corridors of Time, 1927-1956 (Oxford). He was the secretary of the Geographical Association, editor of its journal, Geography, 1917-1946, and President, 1948. He was also President of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1924, elected FRS in 1936 and President of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1945-1947. He married Hilda Mary Bishop of Guernsey, 1910, and had three children. He moved to London after retiring in 1944, and later to Surrey where he died in 1969.


Scope and content: The 1976 group comprises: autobiographical data, reminiscences and impressions of Aberystwyth, 1900-1904, recollections of Welsh colleagues, correspondence, 1951-1967, notes and working papers, 1904-1910, notes and drawings for lectures, 1906-1907, copies of addresses, slides, maps, and ordnance survey charts of Aberystwyth, 1905 and 1912; brief manuscript and typescript account of life in the Channel Islands under German occupation during World War II mainly Guernsey, 1944-1954; letters of condolence to Mrs. Fleure; cash books, 1869-1914, which, for the period 1869-89, was kept by Fleure's father; research papers and correspondence relating to the distribution of blood groups in the United Kingdom, with particular reference to Wales. The 1982 group comprises the research notes of Herbert John Fleure, 1966-1967, mainly concerned with the distribution of blood groups in the United Kingdom, with special reference to Wales, comprising notes and drafts for Ada C. Kopc, The Distribution of the Blood Groups in the United Kingdom (London, 1970), lecture notes of Dr. Kopc, 1963-1965, and offprints of articles by Elizabeth S. Brown and I. Morgan Watkin, 1963-1967; correspondence, 1963-1968, mainly from Ada C. Kopc, A.E. Mourant and R.A. Pelham; miscellaneous papers and correspondence on the archaeology of the Channel Islands, Cornwall and Devon, 1963-1965.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: 1976 group: biographical and personal; printed material; bibliographies and studies; notes and working papers; manuscripts, papers and addresses; correspondence; and slides, maps, charts. 1982 group: research notes, lecture notes, offprints of articles, correspondence.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogues are available at the National Library of Wales: Herbert John Fleure Papers; and NLW, H. J. Fleure Papers in Minor Lists and Summaries, 1982, p. 22. The catalogues can also be accessed on-line from:
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: THe main group was deposited by his son Mr J. Fleure, Great Bookham, Surrey, per Mrs J B Alton, M.A., Oxford in 1976, and an additional group was donated by Dr Elwyn Davies, Butts Field, Tenby, Dyfed, in January 1982.


Related units of description: Fleure's anthropometric record cards are at the Royal Anthropological Institute, London; Fleure's medals, bound set of reprints, books and journals from his library are at the Geographical Association, Sheffield, and there are references to him in the minutes of the Association. The H. J. Fleure Papers at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth contain contains typescripts of anthropological and geographical essays written by H J Fleure, entitled 'The Advance of the Chinese in China', 'Drifts of Mankind in Africa and Europe', and 'Megaliths and Beakers'. Further papers of H. J. Fleure can be found at the National Library of Scotland.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley and J. Graham Jones for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Herbert John Fleure Papers FRS and Minor Lists and Summaries 1982; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970 (London, 2001); National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists website (, viewed 12 February 2003.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: February 2003 and September 2006



Aberystwyth (Wales) | History

Anthropologists | Wales | Archives

Anthropology | Research


Blood groups | Wales

Channel Islands | History | German occupation, 1944-1954

Fleure, H. J. | (Herbert John), | 1877-1969 | Archives

Geographers | Wales | Archives

Zoologists | Wales | Archives

Personal names

Fleure, H. J. (Herbert John), 1877-1969

Corporate names