The collection comprises of material relating to the British Naval Expedition, 1828-1831 (leader Henry Foster) and correspondence
Joseph Kay collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Joseph Kay
- Dates of Creation1828-1847
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (3 volumes) and correspondence (Circa 5 leaves)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Joseph W (Henry) Kay served as midshipman on the British Naval Expedition, 1828-1831, on board Chanticleer. The expedition visited Isla de los Estados, and the South Shetland Islands to make pendulum and magnetic observations on Deception Island. Deception Island was charted and the expedition made surveys of Isla de los Estados and southern Tierra del Fuego. Maximum and minimum thermometers were left at Port Foster, Deception, Island, which were later collected by the United States Sealing Voyage (from Newport), 1841-1842 (leader William Horton Smyley).
Kay later served as lieutenant on the British Naval Expedition, 1839-1843 (leader James Clark Ross), on board HMS Terror under Francis Crozier. The voyage was organized primarily to conduct a series of magnetic observations in the Southern Hemisphere. A geophysical observatory 'Rossbank' was established at Hobart in 1840 with the co-operation of the Governor, Sir John Franklin (Kay was a nephew of Franklin's first wife).
Kay was left in charge of the observatory with two other officers and remained there until 1853. The position of the South Magnetic Pole was calculated as 75.83°South, 154.13°East. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his work and after leaving the Observatory he continued to pursue a scientific career.
The collection is split into two sub-fonds covering the expedition and later correspondence respectively.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Ross in the Antarctic; the voyages of James Clark Ross in Her Majesty's ships Erebus and Terror 1839-1843 by M.J. Ross, Caedmon of Whitby (1982) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1839-1843 Ross] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.
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