Frederick Du Cane Godman

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Du Cane to the polar explorer William Speirs Bruce.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Du Cane Godman was born in Godalming in 1834. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he became interested in ornithology. In 1861, he explored Guatemala with his friend Osbert Salvin, with whom he subsequently edited a major series of studies on the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America entitled Biologia centrali-americana. Between 1865 and 1870, he examined the fauna of the Azores, publishing his book Natural History of the Azores or the Western Islands in 1870.

Godman was a founder member of the ornithological magazine Ibis and served as a trustee of the British Museum until his death in 1919.

Published work includes, A monograph of the petrels (order Tubinares) by Frederick Du Cane Godman, Witherby & Co. London (1907-1910) SPRI Library Shelf Special Collection 598.421


The correspondence 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 and Who was who, 1916-1928, Adam & Charles Black London (1947) and Ye old Sussex and The Darwin correspondence

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.

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Further accessions possible.