Tryggve Gran collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and correspondence with Robert Falcon Scott's widow Kathleen.

Administrative / Biographical History

Tryggve Gran was born in Bergen, Norway on 20 January 1889. He entered the Norwegian naval Cadet College straight from school, but left before completing his training.

In 1910 Gran was introduced to Captain Robert Falcon Scott in Norway and volunteered to join the forthcoming British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (led by Scott), as ski instructor. From November 1911 to February 1912 during the absence of the polar party, Gran accompanied the geological expedition to the western mountains led by Griffith Taylor. In November 1912 Gran was a member of the search party with Charles Wright that discovered Scott's tent 11 miles from One Ton Depot. His final adventure before leaving Antarctica was an ascent of Mount Erebus with Raymond Priestley and Frederick Hooper in December 1912, an occasion which nearly ended in disaster when an unexpected eruption caused a shower of huge pumice blocks to fall around him.

On return to Norway he became an aviator, and in the First World War flew with the Royal Flying Corps, commanding RAF units in north Russia during the allied intervention. In 1928 he led the Arctic search for Roald Amundsen, lost flying while trying to discover the fate of Nobile's North Pole expedition on board the airship Italia. He retired from the Norwegian Air Force with the rank of major and his latter years were spent in writing and lecturing on Scott's last expedition. He died in Norway on 8 January 1980.

Published works, Mitt liv mellom himmel og jord (Norwegian) by Tryggve Gran, Ernst G.Mortensens Forlag Oslo (1979) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Gran, T.] Fra tjuagutt til sydpolfarer (Norwegian) by Tryggve Gran, Ernst G.Mortensens Forlag Oslo (1974) SPRIL Library Shelf 92[Gran, T.]


The collection is split into two sub-fonds. The first comprising of expedition papers, the second sub-fond covers Gran's correspondence.

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 The Polar Record, (May 1980) volume 20, number 125, p180 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) 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.