Geoffrey Summers collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Merton College (Oxford) Arctic Expedition to Svalbard, 1923 (leader George Binney) and correspondence by Summers

Administrative / Biographical History

Geoffrey Summers was born on 2 September 1891 in Greenfield, Yorkshire. He was educated at Uppingham School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, graduating with a degree in engineering. In 1912, he joined the family firm, John Summers and Sons Ltd., Steel Manufacturers, later serving as its director from 1921 until 1967. During the First World War, he served with the Royal Engineers. In 1923, he joined the Merton College (Oxford) Arctic Expedition to Svalbard (leader George Binney), as ship's carpenter and engineer. He was an experienced mountaineer, climbing in Norway, the European Alps, the Canadian Rockies and the Andes. In 1942, he was awarded the CBE and, in 1952, he was given a baronetcy for his public work, which included the chairmanship of Flintshire County Council, and the offices of High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Flintshire. He died on 17 January 1972.


The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively

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) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and 'Sir Geoffrey Summers' in Polar Record volume 16 number 101 May 1972 p284-285 and Who was who, 1971-1980, Adam and Charles Black London (1989)

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