William Lofley collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Lofley with Benjamin Leigh-Smith regarding the British Exploring expedition, 1881-1882 (led by Leigh Smith) to the Russian Arctic (Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa)

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1880, William Lofley served as ice master in Eira on the British Exploring Expedition (leader Benjamin Leigh Smith), a private venture to Svalbard and Russian Arctic waters, exploring 176 km of new coast in Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa. He returned as ice master in Eira on the British Exploring Expedition, 1881-1882 (leader Benjamin Leigh Smith), a private expedition to extend the exploration of Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa. After Eira was nipped in the ice and sank off Mys Flora in August 1881, the crew lived in a makeshift hut for ten months, setting out in the ship's four boats in June 1882 and reaching Novaya Zemlya, where they met Hope commanded by Allen Young. The expedition sailed back to Aberdeen in August 1882.


The correspondence with Leigh-Smith 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.

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Further accessions possible

Personal Names