An Oxford graduate, he was librarian of the London Institution from 1873. In 1881 he became the first professionally experienced head of the Bodleian. Nicholson found it ‘underroomed, undermonied, undermanned’, and addressed such problems combatively, with a vigour that antagonized many of his managing committee. He died in office after years of ill health, having made some progress in his programme of reforms.
From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.