The collection comprises of correspondence by Bell to Robert Falcon Scott relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).
James Mackintosh Bell collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 James Mackintosh Bell
- Dates of Creation1906
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (1 leaf)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James Mackintosh Bell was born in Canada in 1877. He was educated at Queen's College, Kingston, graduating with an MA in 1899, and continued his studies at Harvard University, receiving his doctorate in 1904. He served as second-in-command on the Canadian Geological Survey expedition, 1899-1900 (leader Robert Bell), sent to the region of Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake to conduct a geological and geographical survey. His uncle, Robert Bell, returned to Ottawa in December 1900, leaving him to continue the survey into the following year.
On his return from the expedition, Bell was offered the post of geologist on the British National Antarctic expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), but declined the offer. In 1904, while teaching at Harvard, Bell was appointed geologist to the New Zealand Mines Department, and in February 1905, was appointed director of the Geological Survey of New Zealand, a post he held until 1911. Bell was invited to participate in the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), but the New Zealand government refused to release him. During the First World War, he served as an officer with the Canadian forces in France, and from 1917 to 1919, was seconded to the British Military Mission to Russia. He was awarded the OBE in 1919. After the war, Bell made a successful career as a consultant in mineral exploration and mine development, working for several Canadian mining companies. He died in Canada in 1934.
Published work, A geographical report on Franz Josef Glacier by James Mackintosh Bell, Reginald Palmer Greville and Leonard Cockayne, New Zealand Geographical Survey Wellington (1910) SPRI Library Shelf Seligman 73
The correspondence is arranged chronologically.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to 'Bell, James Abbott Mackintosh 1877-193' by Alan Mason from Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and Arctic exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Anthony Holland, Garland Publishing Inc. New York (1994) 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.
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