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Sub-Series 2: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 Sub-Series — Box: MS-019 Box 6
Identifier: MS-019-3-2

Content Description

From the Collection:

The Collection primarily includes research material related to birds, herpetofauna, fish, insects, vertebrates and flora in India – the Western Ghats, the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands – and Barro Colorado Island in Panama. This largely takes the form of field notes, sketchbooks, book-drafts, illustrations, photos, slides, maps, graphs, transparencies, and hundreds of index cards detailing information about birds in the Uttara Kannada region (including local names), Goa and the Nilgiris and their habitat, photographs and slides. It also contains a list of key studies in ecology as reference material and habitat heterogeneity data on frogs in Panama.

The Collection, which spans papers from 1977 until the mid 2000s, also includes material about Daniels’ education and career such as college notes on agricultural botany and horticulture, correspondence, summaries of lectures on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, newspaper articles referring to Daniels’ work on birds, and a memoir about Daniels’ time in Uttara Kannada with text, photographs and illustrations. The Collection indicates work done at institutions including the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, and the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation.

The Collection has been arranged into the following series and sub-series. Series 1: Research Sub-series 1: Field diaries and field notebooks Sub-series 2: Research notes and data Sub-series 3: Sketchbooks and illustrations Sub-series 4: Reports and lectures Sub-series 5: Manuscripts and publications Sub-series 6: Index cards Series 2: Correspondence Series 3: Photographs, slides, negatives Sub-series 1: Uttara Kannada Sub-series 2: Andaman and Nicobar Islands Sub-series 3: Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Lakshadweep Series 4: Media clippings about RJ Ranjit Daniels

Series 1 includes all material related to RJ Ranjit Daniels’ research, a significant chunk of which pertains to birds and habitat in Uttara Kannada (formerly named North Kanara) district in Karnataka. All material in this series is arranged chronologically.

The first sub-series includes field diaries and notebooks with handwritten notes that largely list sightings of birds, amphibians, fish and insects between 1978 and 1990.

The second sub-series includes handwritten as well as typed research notes and data collected on plants, birds, amphibians and insects, with data on species, location, habitat, and notes on literature and research references. It also includes bird and frog checklists and data sheets – filled ones as well as a few empty ones have been included as samples. The third sub-series has three sketchbooks filled with drawings and sketches primarily of birds, but also including plants, insects and assorted animals, generally drawn from life, as well as a set of fish illustrations largely created for the book Freshwater Fishes of Peninsular India. These include over 70 sheets of different sizes – most are original illustrations made on paper, while a small number are printed copies re-sized for the book.

The fourth sub-series contains a report on vertebrate diversity in the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve, a compilation of lecture summaries from a summer course on principles of biodiversity conservation and sustainability development, and notes for a lecture on Sálim Ali along with transparencies.

The fifth sub-series includes manuscripts such as a draft paper on insect classification and on spatial distribution and habitat use of frogs on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, drafts for short articles for a column on birds in the Deccan Herald, and an unpublished memoir with photographs about Daniels' time spent in Uttara Kannada district, including descriptions of the landscape, work with collaborators, communities in the region and their customs. It also includes drafts and proofs of books on birds, fish and amphibians, some with annotations, as well as a number of maps, graphs and plots related to Daniels’ PhD thesis and draft paper on frogs in Barro Colorado Island. In addition, it has published items such as newspaper clippings with articles authored by Daniels. The draft articles and illustrations for a column on birds are slightly fragile as many have adhered to one another during storage over the years, and require careful separation with a conservator’s help before these can be viewed individually.

The sixth sub-series comprises index cards, most of which record the common names of birds spotted in Dharwad, Goa, IISc Bangalore, the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve and Uttara Kannada. It also has a small set of cards with the weight in grams of a few bird specimens, identified by common name, location and date and a small set of data punch cards retained as an example of how data was commonly processed by ecologists until the 1990s. Other sets include information on distribution and description of bird habitats in Uttara Kannada, Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, and Hangul taluk in Haveri district, Karnataka, as well as a substantial set with local names of birds, reptiles and mammals in Uttara Kannada. Several of the cards carry numbers that correspond to research grids that are recorded and indexed in a book that the donor is yet to locate. The index cards also include a set on herpetofauna species with corresponding grid numbers in the Eastern Ghats, and a large volume of research references used in Daniels’ PhD. Many of the sets of cards in this sub-series have an introductory card with notes about the contents by Daniels.

Series 2 relates to correspondence, largely written to Daniels, about his fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to study frogs on Barro Colorado Island; from staff at Oxford University Press about the development and publishing of a field guide on birds of Southwestern India; and regarding an invitation to present a plenary lecture at the XXI International Ornithological Congress. This series has no sub-series.

Series 3 contains photographs, slides and negatives created by Daniels. The first sub-series contains photos and slides in Uttara Kannada related to landscapes and habitat, people, communities, festivals, local customs, and other miscellaneous photographs, including two satellite images of north and south Uttara Kannada. The second sub-series contains photos, slides and negatives of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These include images of frogs, lizards, crabs, plants, markets, landscapes and other scenes from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including the loading of a ship carrying local goods, elephants transporting logs, and so on. A significant portion of the photographs here pertain to the eastern coast of Great Nicobar Island. The third sub-series contains photographs and slides with miscellaneous images from the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, including Silent Valley in Kerala, and the Lakshadweep Islands.

Series 4 contains three clippings from newspaper articles that mention Daniels and his work. This series has no sub-series.


  • Creation: 1977 - 2004

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for access.


From the Collection: 3 Linear Feet (5 Hollinger-style archival boxes and 1 oversized storage )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

From the Collection: Kannada

Repository Details

Part of the Archives at NCBS Repository

National Centre for Biological Sciences - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Bangalore Karnataka 560065 India
+9180 6717 6010
+9180 6717 6011