Colin Brown collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Graham Land Expedition, 1934-1937 (leader John Rymill).

Administrative / Biographical History

Colin Chalmers Brown was born on 28 December 1926 at Leatherhead, Surrey. After the Second World War, he was commissioned in the Royal Engineers, training in survey. In 1947, he transferred from the Army to the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS), serving for two years at Base E, Marguerite Bay. He participated in several sledging journeys and was responsible for surveying the southern end of Marguerite Bay, including King George VI Sound south to Ablation Point. Cape Brown is named for him.

Returning to Britain in 1950, Brown assisted Vivian Fuchs in establishing the Falkland Islands Dependencies Scientific Bureau in London, after which he studied aeronautical engineering for two years. In 1955, he joined Hunting Surveys Ltd and served as surveyor with the Falkland Islands Dependencies Aerial Survey Expedition [FIDASE], 1955-1957 (leader Peter Mott). FIDASE surveyed the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula area south to the Loubet Coast.

Brown remained with Hunting Surveys until his retirement, serving as expedition manager to five survey expeditions in Ethiopia, Iran, Libya, Malaya and Algeria between 1957 and 1965. In 1966, he was appointed deputy chief surveyor, and while on an expedition in Liberia in 1969, he contracted cerebral malaria that forced his early retirement. Despite his illness, he became an external examiner for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and was appointed a fellow in 1982. He died on 25 June 1997.


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 'Colin Chalmers Brown' by Bernard Stonehouse in The Polar Record volume 34 number 191 October 1998 p357 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.