The collection comprises of material relating to three Arctic expeditions, the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, 1926, the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, 1930-1931 (leader Henry Watkins) and the British East Greenland Expedition, 1935-1936 and correspondence by Courtauld with the geographer and meteorologist Hugh Robert Mill
Augustine Courtauld collection
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- ReferenceGB 15 Augustine Courtauld
- Dates of Creation1926-1935
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (9 volumes) correspondence (2 leaves)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Augustine Courtauld was born on 26 August 1904 at Bocking, Essex. He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied engineering and geography. Following his graduation in 1926, he joined the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition (leader James Wordie) as photographer. The party spent the summer surveying the coastline of the Franz Josefs Fjord area of east Greenland. In 1929, Courtauld returned north with the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition (leader James Wordie), assisting R C Wakefield in the survey of Nordenskilds Gletscher and Petermann Bjoerg.
Courtauld joined the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, 1930-1931 (leader Henry Watkins), organized to investigate the possibilities of an air route between Britain and Canada across Greenland. Sailing in Quest from London in July 1930, the expedition reached Angmagssalik in East Greenland, where a base camp was established. The following month a meteorological station was established on the ice cap from which continuous meteorological observations were conducted. Between December 1930 and May 1931, Courtauld spent five months alone at the station conducting meteorological observations. He was awarded the Polar Medal for his achievements in 1932. His final visit to Greenland was with the British East Greenland Expedition, 1935-1936 (leader Lawrence Wager), organized to explore the Watkins Bjerge in the Kangerdlugssuak district. During the Second World War, Courtauld served with the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve and, in later years, became successively deputy lieutenant and High Sheriff of Essex. Between 1948 and 1951, he served as honorary secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. He died on 3 March 1959 in London.
Published work Man the ropes by Augustine Courtauld, Hodder and Stoughton London (1957) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Courtauld, A.] From the ends of the Earth, an anthology of polar writings by Augustine Courtauld, Oxford University Press London (1958) SPRI Library Shelf (2)91(091)[pub.1958]
The collection is split into four sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively
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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) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Dictionary of National Biography, 1951-1960, Oxford University Press London (1971) and Polar Record volume 9 number 63 September 1959 p609-610
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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