Carl Chun collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Chun to fellow Antarctic explorer William Speirs Bruce (leader of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904).

Administrative / Biographical History

Carl Chun was born in 1852. He studied zoology under Rudolf Leuckart at the University of Leipzig, where he was appointed professor of biology. In 1897, at a meeting of Deutsche Naturforscher und Aertze in Leipzig, Chun proposed that a deep-sea expedition for zoological observation should be organized, later enlarging the scope to include chemical and physical observations. Setting out from Hamburg in the steamship Valdivia on 1 August 1898, he led the German Deep Sea Expedition, 1898-1899, sponsored by the German government. After visiting Cape Town, the expedition headed south to Bouvetøya, accurately fixing its position and size for the first time. On 16 December, the ship achieved a farthest south of 64°15 minutes South, dredging from a depth of 2540 fathoms erratic boulders of granite, gneiss and sandstone. These sedimentary rocks provided additional evidence that the land reported by previous expeditions further south 'Enderby Land' was likely to form part of a continent. The expedition visited Iles Kerguelen, Ile Saint-Paul, and Ile Amsterdam, before continuing through more temperate latitudes. Valdivia returned to Hamburg on 30 April 1899. Chun died in 1914 after a distinguished academic career.


The correspondence is arrange chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

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 V W B and Cothenus Medal and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library () and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.

Personal Names