Lachlan Forbes collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Navy Antarctic Expedition (Operation Deep Freeze), 1964-1965.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lachlan Maxwell Forbes was born on 19 January 1910 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. He was educated at Edinburgh University and King's College, Cambridge, where he read archaeology and anthropology and English literature. In 1935, he entered the Colonial Service as a cadet district officer in Uganda, later serving as district commissioner in Jinja. In 1942, he married Evelyn Ferrar, daughter of Hartley Travers Ferrar, geologist on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). Between 1955 and 1972, Forbes served as editor of the Polar Record and became curator of the Scott Polar Research Institute's Museum in Cambridge. In 1965, he was appointed the official United Kingdom observer in Antarctica attached to the United States Operation Deep Freeze. In 1972, he was appointed deputy director of Cambridgeshire County Council. He died on 19 October 1987.


The collection 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 'L M Forbes' by Harry Godfrey Rudolf King in Polar Record volume 24 number 149 April 1988 p148-149

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.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, this includes 3 black and white prints of a celebratory dinner held at SPRI in 1960 taken by Forbes and photographs of operation Deep Freeze. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.