Aubyn Trevor-Battye collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Exploring and Sport hunting expedition, 1894 (led by Trevor-Battye) to the Russian Arctic and correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

Aubyn Bernard Rochfort Trevor-Battye was born in 1855 at Hever, Kent. He was educated at St Edward's School in Oxford and Christ Church College, Oxford, where he studied natural science and became particularly interested in ornithology. In 1894, he served as joint leader and naturalist on the British Exploring Sporting Expedition, a private venture for zoology and geographical studies and for sport hunting on the little-known Ostrov Kolguyev. Between June and July, Trevor-Battye and his assistant, Thomas Hyland, made an extended excursion on the northern part of the island, during which they met parties of nomadic Nenets hunters who remained with them for much of their visit. Soon after returning to their camp, they set out again with the Nentsy for Peschanka, then for a harbour on the southeast coast of the island, where Trevor-Battye hoped to find a ship bound for the mainland. During much of July and August, the two Britons travelled, and waited, between there and Peschanka River. After a Russian trading vessel arrived at the harbour in August, they travelled on the island with the traders until September, when they sailed for the mainland, later returning to Britain in November 1894. His narrative of the journey was published in 1895.

Trevor-Battye returned north in 1896 on the British Exploring Expedition (leader Sir William Conway), joining the expedition at Sassendalen after making his way from Adventfjorden to Sassenfjorden by boat. He examined Ekmanfjorden and Dicksonfjorden by boat before making an excursion to the north coast of Spitsbergen on the tourist steamer Expres. After returning to Adventfjorden, Trevor-Battye sailed to Horsund with Edmund Johnston Garwood to climb Hornsundtind.

Trevor-Battye spent much of his later life travelling, reaching Central Africa and North America among other places. In 1897, he became proprietor and editor of The Artist, later editing the natural history sections of the Victoria History of the Counties of England. He died in 1922 at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Published work Ice bound on Kolguev, a chapter in the exploration of Arctic Europe to which is added a record of the natural history of the island by Aubyn Trevor-Battye, Constable London (1895) SPRI Library Shelf (50)91(08)[1894] The first crossing of Spitsbergen by (Sir) Martin Conway, J W Gregory, Aubyn Trevor-Battye and E J Garwood, JM Dent & Co. London (1897) SPRI Library Shelf (32)91(08)[1896 Conway] and A northern highway of the Tsar by Aubyn Trevor-Battye, Constable London (1898) SPRI Library Shelf (50)91(08)[1894-95]


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 'Profile, Aubyn Trevor-Battye' by Ian R Stone in Polar Record volume 23 number 143 May 1986 p177-181 Who was who, 1916-1928, Adam & Charles Black London (1947)

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