Æneas Mackintosh collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material created during the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea Party] 1914-1917 (Captains Mackintosh and Stenhouse), correspondence by Mackintosh and biographical information on him.

Administrative / Biographical History

Æneas Lionel Acton Mackintosh was born on 1 July 1879 in Tirhut, India. He was educated at Bedford Modern School and in 1894, joined the Merchant Navy, serving in the skysail yard ships Cromdale and Mount Stewart, in which he advanced to third officer. In 1899, he was appointed junior officer in RMS Victoria of the P&O Company, obtaining his first officer's and master's certificates. He was granted leave to join the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), as navigator and second officer of Nimrod on her initial voyage to Lyttelton, New Zealand, and later as a member of the shore staff.

While unloading stores at McMurdo Sound, Mackintosh lost his right eye in an accident and returned in Nimrod to New Zealand for medical treatment before rejoining the shore party in January 1908. After the expedition, he was despatched by Shackleton as a member of an unsuccessful gold-mining expedition to the Carpathians and spent three months on the Cocos Islands in the South Pacific in search of Spanish treasure. In 1914, he resigned his post as assistant secretary to the Imperial Merchant Service Guild in Liverpool to join the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea Party], 1914-1917 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton).

Mackintosh was appointed captain of Aurora and leader of the Ross Sea party, with the task of laying a chain of depots across the Ross Ice Shelf towards the Beardmore Glacier, providing supplies for Shackleton's trans-polar party. Landing at Cape Evans in the summer of 1915, Aurora was prevented by fast ice from anchoring off Cape Royds and was then blown out to sea in a storm, leaving a party of ten to establish a base with inadequate stores and equipment. Against all odds, the men laid their quota of depots across the Ross Ice Shelf as far south as Mount Hope, but Victor Hayward and Mackintosh died on the return journey while crossing sea ice between Hut Point and Cape Evans in May 1916.

Published work Shackleton's Lieutenant; the Nimrod Diary of A.L.A. Mackintosh, British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 edited by Stanley Newman, Polar Publications Ltd (1990) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1907-1909 Shackleton]


The collection is split into four sub-fonds comprising of expedition material correspondence and biographical material 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 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 Shackleton's Lieutenant; the Nimrod Diary of A.L.A. Mackintosh, British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 edited by Stanley Newman, Polar Publications Ltd (1990) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1907-1909 Shackleton] and British polar exploration and research, a historical and medallic record with biographies 1818-1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Neville W. Poulsom and Rear Admiral John A.L. Myres, Savannah Publications London (2000) SPRI Library Shelf 737.2 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)

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, some of which covers the expeditions Mackintosh served on. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.