Alexander Marcet collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Marcet to the Arctic explorer John Franklin.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander John Gaspard Marcet was born in 1770 in Geneva. He was educated at Edinburgh University, graduating with an MD in 1797 and admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians in 1799. In 1804, he was appointed physician at Guy's Hospital in London, where he specialised in medical chemistry, serving briefly at the temporary military hospital at Portsmouth in 1809. He became a lecturer in chemistry at Guy's Hospital, retiring in 1819 to live in Geneva where he was appointed honorary professor of chemistry. He died on a visit to England on 19 October 1822.


The correspondence with Franklin 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) ISBN number 0824076486 and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Dictionary of National Biography volume 36, Smith Elder & Co. London (1893)

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