Edwin Balch collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Balch to William Speirs Bruce and Hugh Robert Mill.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edwin Swift Balch was born in 1856 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of the distinguished lawyer Thomas Balch. He was educated in France and Germany and studied at Harvard University. Although qualified as a lawyer, Balch chose to travel around the world and became an authority on polar history and exploration. Between 1909 and 1910, Balch served as chairman of the Committee on South Polar Exploration. He was appointed president of the Philadelphia Geographical Society and was a fellow of the American Geographical Society. He died in 1927.

Published work, The North Pole and Bradley Land by Edwin Swift Balch, Campion and Co. Philadelphia (1913) (3)91(08)[1907-1909] and Antarctica by Edwin Swift Balch, Allen, Lane & Scott, Philadelphia (1902) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(091)[1902]


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient

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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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

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.