George Murray collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the early voyage of Discovery on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and correspondence by Murray regarding the expedition and Antarctica in general.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Robert Milne Murray, FRS, was born in 1858. He was keeper of the botanical department at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington with which he had been connected since 1876. He took part in several scientific voyages for the collection of marine organisms, organizing a cruise in the Atlantic west of Ireland in 1898 that brought back valuable scientific results. Murray had been directing the compilation of the Antarctic Manual, a guide for scientists on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), when he was appointed temporary scientific director to the expedition. He accompanied the expedition on its outward journey as far as Cape Town, assisting the observers at the outset of their duties. He died in Stonehaven on 16 December 1911.


The collection is split into two sub-fonds. Comprising of expedition papers, and Murray's correspondence respectively.

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 signs the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to The Geographical Journal (February 1912) volume 39 number 2 p168 and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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

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.