Richard Humphreys collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Humphreys regarding the British Relief Expedition, 1836 (leader James Clark Ross) to whalers in the Davis Strait

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard W Humphreys served as captain of Isabella on the British Whaling and Relief Expeditions, sailing with William Lee to Lancaster Sound and Prince Regent Inlet in search of traces of John Ross's missing Northwest Passage expedition. In August 1833, Humphreys picked up Ross and his crew in Lancaster Sound. Humphreys was appointed master of HMS Cove on the British Relief Expedition (leader James Clark Ross) in 1836, sponsored by the Admiralty and private subscription to rescue the crews of eleven whaling vessels that had been beset and forced to winter in Davis Strait in 1835.


The correspondence 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

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

Personal Names