Kathleen Scott collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Kathleen primarily regarding her husband Robert Falcon Scott and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (led by Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Kathleen Scott (nee Bruce) was born at Carlton-in-Lindrick, near Worksop, on 27 March 1878, eleventh child of the Reverend Lloyd Bruce. She studied art at the Slade School of Art in London and also at the Academie Colarossi in Paris, (where she learnt to sculpt with Rodin) and in Florence.

She was an established sculptress when she met Robert Falcon Scott in 1907, marrying him in September 1908 and giving birth to their son, Peter, in September 1909. In 1910, she accompanied her husband to New Zealand from where he set off on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913.

In February 1913, whilst travelling back to New Zealand in order to greet the polar party, she learned that Scott had died in late March 1912 on his return journey from the South Pole.

In recognition of her husband's achievements, she was accorded the rank, style and precedence of the wife of a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath.

In 1922, she married Edward Hilton Young, MP for Norwich, by whom she had a son, Wayland, in 1923. In 1935, Young was raised to the Peerage as Baron Kennet. Baroness Kathleen Kennet, who continued to work professionally under the name of Scott, died in July 1947.

A bronze statue of Robert Falcon Scott by Kathleen stands in Waterloo Place, London, and a marble statue of the same design is situated in Christchurch, New Zealand. A bronze statue of Edward Wilson by Kathleen Scott, unveiled by Sir Clements Markham in 1914, is to be found in Cheltenham. Among her many other sculptures is a statue entitled 'They had most to give', which stands in the garden of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. This Institute also has a bust of Robert Falcon.

Published work, Self-portrait of an artist by (Lady) Kathleen Scott, John Murray, London (1949) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, K.]


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

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 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 and A great task of happiness, the life of Kathleen Scott by Louisa Young, Macmillan, London (1995) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, K.] and Scott of the Antarctic by Elspeth Huxley, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1977) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, R.F.]

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.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library. This material includes photographs of Kathleen. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

Further material created by Kathleen Scott can be found amongst the Kennet papers held by the University of Cambridge Library, Department of manuscripts and University archives (ref GB 012 MS. Kennet.)