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cover of 1946 edition cover of 1998 edition
Bedfordshire Naturalist 1946 to 1998

Digital Journals

The BNHS has published Bedfordshire Naturalist annually since 1946, probably making it the most complete record of Bedfordshire Wildlife throughout the second half of the 20th Century.

Originally published on paper, these journals are now available here as searchable PDFs.

OCR and Searches

Every page of every edition, from No. 1 (1946) to No. 53 (1998), has been individually scanned to present the appearance of the original document, and also Optically Character Recognized (OCR'd) to provide a computer-reading of the text that can be searched and copy-pasted into other documents.

The OCR process is very effective, but imperfect. Humans are good at reading a smudged print, in odd fonts, as italics, camouflaged by an assortments of blotches and paper blemishes, but these can fool software that attempts to interpret this mess. Hence you will find that the searchable text does contain some "mistakes". So if you are searching for something specific and not getting what you expect, try searching for parts of words. Some journals have fewer interpretation errors than others, depending upon the clarity of the original printing.

If you download the PDFs and save them in a folder on your computer, then the advanced search facility of Acrobat Reader can be used to search through them all, returning links to every reference to the search term in every journal! This can be invoked using Shift-CTRL-F, or by clicking on the small black triangle to the right of the Find box of Acrobat Reader.

A word of caution

The smallest PDF (1968, No. 23) is 3.5Mbytes in size and the largest (1998, No. 48) is 33Mytes in size. They total 539MBytes, so please don't download lots of them one after another.

Copyright and Credits

Please be aware that the copyright of these electronic documents remains, as with their paper counterparts, with the BNHS and the authors of the content.

If making reference to any of the material in these journals the journal(s), the author(s) and the BNHS must be credited as the source.


We are indebted to David Kay, a volunteer at the BRMC, who researched and refined the techniques needed to turn paper journals into searchable PDFs and who then took every scanned document through the process to produce all the documents presented here. Most paper journals were sourced from the BRMC and the Wildlife Trust, but thanks go to Pam and Sue Raven for making copies of the rare "gold-dust" editions available for scanning to complete the set.