Graphical version

Natural History Museum

CLARK, Doug and Jean (fl 1929-1971)


Reference code(s): GB 0060 DF 5013

Held at: Natural History Museum

Title: CLARK, Doug and Jean (fl 1929-1971)

Date(s): 1930s-2006

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 3 boxes + 1 oversized item

Name of creator(s): Clark | Douglas John | 1929-1971 | arachnologist
Clark | Jean | fl 1953 | nee Boyer | wife of Douglas Clark


Administrative/Biographical history:

Douglas John Clark was born on 4 Dec 1929 in Devonport, Plymouth although he spent much of his childhood in Portsmouth, Hampshire. He studied at the Technical School of Building, Portsmouth, Hampshire, 1943-1946; Fulham Men's Institute, Jan-Jun 1951 and University Correspondence College, Burlington House, Cambridge, Feb-Jun 1953.

He was first employed by the BM(NH) in 1947 as an Scientific Assistant in the Diptera Section (flies, mosquitoes, gnats and midges) of Entomology. However, he had to leave the next year to complete two compulsory years of National Service. Therefore, from 1948-1950 he served as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 1953 he began studying spider systematics. He was transferred to Zoology Department in 1958 as the Arachnida officer and the next year was promoted to assistant experimental officer at the BM(NH). In 1963 he was made British correspondent for the Centre Internationale de Documentation Arachnologique. In 1964 he was promoted from assistant to the position of experimental officer. Doug Clark's career was cut short by his sudden death on 29 Sep 1971. Doug married Jean Boyer on 24 Oct 1953 and they lived in Wimbledon, London.


Scope and content/abstract:

Professional and personal papers of Doug Clark and his wife Jean Clark. The majority - correspondence, research and records from professional associations - relate to Doug Clark's work on arachnids at the British Museum (Natural History) from the mid-1950s until his death in 1971. There are records from after this date as his wife, Jean, continued correspondence, collecting articles and published Doug's work posthumously. There are more general employment records from the Army and Civil Service as well as photographs (of people and spiders) and personal papers, mainly correspondence and newspaper cuttings. Jean Clark was also employed by the British Museum (Natural History) and published articles in her own right and therefore her records - academic articles, correspondence and collected momentos - also form a small part of this collection.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Little original order was apparent when the collection was received into the archive and many papers were loose in the boxes. An order has been imposed by considering how Doug Clark may have organised his papers during his lifetime.

The collection starts with records from his working life at the Museum. His correspondence was already divided into in-letters and out-letters and the in-letters have been arranged alphabetically by sender surname.

An original file of Doug's notes was left largely unaltered. There is also a separate series for the three files of Doug's research which Jean Clark worked to have published posthumously. Those papers that were loose were divided into 6 main categories:

Rough notes; Images of spiders; Records from field trips; Work for articles; Receipts, loan forms and payment slips; Professional associations.

There are two separate subseries for Doug Clark's army records and more general Civil Service employment records. These have been arranged chronologically. All loose photographs of people were gathered together. Any photographs of spiders were included in the research series. Those sent, for example, as an enclosure to a letter were not removed and a cross-reference has been added.

All items which seemed of a personal rather than professional nature were gathered together in a separate series, and many related to Jean as much as Doug Clark. The two main files are personal correspondence, such as birthday and Christmas cards, and (non-scientific) newspaper articles. Most of Jean Clark's material has been placed in a distinct series. Some items were left with the bulk of Doug Clark's records if it appeared that she was continuing his previous work. There is a file for Jean Clark's academic articles and her correspondence, which was arranged alphabetically by sender surname. The small number of other, more miscellaneous items and collected mementoes, have been given a broadly chronological arrangement.

Conditions governing access:

Conditions governing reproduction:

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Entry copied from the Natural History Museum online catalogue by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Obituary from the Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 1972:2.
DF5013/6/4, Doug Clark's Application form for Civil Service.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Sep 2008

Arachnida | Arthropods | Organisms

Personal names
Clark | Douglas John | 1929-1971 | arachnologist

Corporate names
British Museum