Francis Jourdain collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Jourdain to Robert Neal Rudmose Brown relating to the Oxford University Spitsbergen Expedition, 1921

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis Charles Robert Jourdain was born on 4 March 1865 at Adenshaw Lodge, near Manchester. He was educated at Ashbourne Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating in 1887. Following his ordination in 1890, he served as vicar of Clifton-by-Ashbourne, Derbyshire, from 1894 until 1914 when he was appointed rector of Appleton, Berkshire. Interested in ornithology, he collaborated on A practical handbook of British birds, published in two volumes in 1919 and 1924, and later The handbook of British birds, published in five volumes between 1938 and 1941. He acted as assistant editor and, from 1917 to 1919, editor of the journal British Birds.

In 1921, Jourdain served as leader of the Oxford University Spitsbergen Expedition, organized to conduct mainly ornithological work along the north-west coast of Spitsbergen and to attempt to sledge across the ice cap of central Spitsbergen. Owing to delays and illness, the sledging party was obliged to turn back from a point about halfway across the ice cap. Jourdain published the scientific results of the expedition on his return in 1921. After his retirement from his Berkshire parish in 1925, he devoted most of his time to ornithology, travelling widely in Europe and North Africa collecting eggs and studying breeding habits and distribution. He died on 27 February 1940 at Bournemouth.

Published work ' Birds of Spitsbergen' by Francis Charles Robert Jourdain in Transactions of the Oxford University Junior Science Club volume 3 number 8 (1922) SPRI Library Shelf (32)91(08)[1921 Oxford University Expedition] Scientific results of the first Oxford University expedition to Spitsbergen (1921) by Francis Charles Robert Jourdain, Oxford University Press Oxford (1925) SPRI Library Shelf (32)91(08)[1921 Oxford University Expedition]


The correspondence to Rudmose Brown is arranged chronologically

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-1940, Oxford University Press London (1950) and Who was who, 1929-1940, Adam and Charles Black London (1947) and Polar Record Volume 16 number 104 May 1973 p754-755

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible