Thomas H Manning collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of maps by Manning made during his time with the British Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1936-1941 (led by Manning) and other maps and papers relating to the Canadian Arctic

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Henry Manning was born on 22 December 1911 in Northampton. He was educated at Harrow and Jesus College, Cambridge, but did not take his degree. Manning first visited the Arctic in 1932 when he travelled with Reynold Bray by reindeer sledge through Swedish and Finnish Lapland. Between 1933 and 1935, he travelled on a one-man expedition to Southampton Island in the Canadian Arctic, conducting surveys and zoological work in addition to learning the arts of igloo-building, dog-driving and hunting.

After the expedition, Manning organized and led the British Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1936-1941, charting many miles of coast, discovering several islands and conducting scientific work around Foxe Basin, on Baffin Island, Southampton Island, and Melville Peninsula. Between 1940 and 1941, Manning and his wife, Ella Wallace [Jackie], made an epic journey by boat and dog team of nearly 4550km, during which they traversed the entire Foxe Basin coast. The expedition was terminated by the Second World War and Manning was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy, retiring from the Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander in 1945. During the winter of 1945 to 1946, he participated in Operation Musk Ox, organized to test equipment and vehicles in the Canadian Arctic. Between 1945 and 1947, Manning was employed by the Geodetic Survey of Canada, travelling to the shores of Hudson Bay where he established astronomical stations. In 1949, he was appointed to lead Operation Nauja, an expedition organized by the Canadian Geographical Bureau to make landings on and survey three unmapped islands in Foxe Basin.

After spending the summer of 1950 engaged in a further expedition conducting zoological and geographical work on James Bay, Manning was invited to lead the Canadian Defence Research Board's expedition to the Beaufort Sea in 1951, returning on two further Defence Research Board expeditions to Banks Island in 1952 and 1953. Between 1953 and 1957, Manning devoted much of his time to writing up the results of his expeditions to Banks Island. Under the auspices of the Canadian National Museum, he spent the summer of 1957 on Adelaide Peninsula and King William Island, and the 1958 summer on Prince of Wales Island. He remained active in the field until the 1980s, in the later years concentrating his zoological interests in James Bay and the southern shores of Hudson Bay. For his Arctic work, he received the Bruce Memorial Prize of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1944, the Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1948, and the Massey Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 1977. He made a generous donation towards the new Shackleton Library at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, which was officially opened 12 days after his death on 8 November 1998 in Ontario, Canada.


The collection is arranged in the order it was deposited with the Institute

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) Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and 'Thomas Henry Manning' by Andrew Macpherson in Arctic 1999 p104-104 and 'Tom Manning' by G Hattersley-Smith in Polar Record 1999 volume 35 p149-152

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