British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material collected during the expedition.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 (Captains James Clark Ross and Francis Crozier) carried out Hydrographic and magnetic surveys of the southern oceans. The expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror made three southern voyages.

During the 1841 voyage the expedition charted part of the Victoria Land coast, discovering Ross Island and the great ice barrier (Ross Ice Shelf). The second voyage south in 1842 called at the Falkland Islands, while on the final southern voyage, 1842 landings were made along the Antarctic Peninsular.

During the expeditions stay in Hobart a geophysical observatory was established with the Governor's (Sir John Franklin) co-operation.


The collection 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.