The collection comprises of material relating to the British Expedition to Graham Land, 1920-1922 (leader John Lachlan Cope) the first voyage of the RRS William Scoresby (1926-1927) during the Discovery Investigations, 1925-1951 and correspondence by Lester.
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Maxime Lester
- Dates of Creation1920-1928
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (9 maps, 122 leaves and 15 volumes) and correspondence (107 leaves)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Maxime Charles Lester was born on 25 September 1891. He joined the Merchant Navy, and served in the Canadian and British Navies during the First World War, seeing service in the North Atlantic. He joined the British Expedition to Graham Land, 1920-1922 (leader John Lachlan Cope) and, along with Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe, travelled south in a whaling ship to Deception Island ahead of Cope and second-in-command George Hubert Wilkins. The party transferred to Andvord Bay, on the Danco Coast of Graham Land where they intended to set up a base. However, insufficient finance curtailed the expedition, and Cope and Wilkins withdrew. Lester and Bagshawe decided to remain, setting up a base at Waterboat Point on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula between January 1921 and January 1922. Though ill equipped and with few comforts, they carried out scientific observations, including a study of the breeding biology of the neighbouring gentoo penguins.
Lester returned to the Merchant Navy, but spent more time in Antarctica with the Discovery Investigations, 1926-1927 (Captain George Metcalf Mercer), in RRS William Scoresby. The expedition conducted extensive surveys of the whaling grounds off South Georgia. He died in London on 3 March 1957.
The collection is split into three sub-fonds, covering the two expeditions and correspondence respectively.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to The Polar Record (September 1957) volume 8, number 57, p562 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.
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