George Douglas collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921-1922 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton) and correspondence by Douglas.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Vibert Douglas was born on 2 July 1892 in Montreal, Canada. His education at McGill University was interrupted by military service in France and Flanders during the First World War, for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Returning to Canada in 1919, he resumed his studies receiving his MSc from McGill University in 1921. Shortly afterwards, he accompanied the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1920-1921 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), as geologist in Quest.

On his return from the expedition, Douglas became the first research student to work at the Scott Polar Research Institute, preparing his report on the geology of South Georgia and other areas. He subsequently lectured in geology at Harvard University until 1926 when he became chief geologist for the Rio Tinto Company. In 1932, he was appointed professor of geology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, retiring from the chair in 1957. He died on 8 October 1958 in Toronto.

Published work, 'Geological observations' by George Vibert Douglas in Shackleton's last voyage. The story of the Quest ... from the official journal and private diary kept by Dr A.H. Macklin by John Robert Francis Wild, Cassell and Company London (1923) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1921-1922 Shackleton]


The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively.

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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 The Polar Record (May 1959) volume 9, number 62, p488 and 'Prof. G.V. Douglas' by G.C. Milligan in Nature (March 1959) volume 183, p860 SPRI Library Shelf 92[Douglas, G.V.]

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.