Aberdeen Arctic Co collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of papers of the company relating to William Penny

Administrative / Biographical History

The Aberdeen Arctic company was founded by the whaler William Penny who wished to establish a British colony in Cumberland Sound in order to prolong the whaling season, Penny formed the Royal Arctic Company in 1852, later renamed the Aberdeen Arctic Company. With the company's purchase of the brigs Lady Franklin and Sophia, Penny led the first whaling expedition to winter deliberately with ships in the Baffin Bay and Davis Strait region between 1853 and 1854, introducing the practice of floe whaling which allowed whalers to commence work earlier in the season.


The papers are 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 'Penny, William' by Clive Holland in Dictionary of Canadian Biography volume 12 edited by Francess G Halpenny, University of Toronto Press Toronto (1990) SPRI Library Shelf 92(08)[pub.1966-] and 'William Penny (1809-1892)' by W Gillies Ross in Arctic volume 36 number 4 1983 p380-381 and 'William Penny, 1809-1892 Arctic whaling master' by Clive Holland in The Polar Record volume 15 number 94 January 1970 p25-43

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

Corporate Names