Dmitriy Girev collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Girev to Cecil Meares regarding the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Dmitriy Semenovich Girev was born on 1 June 1889 in Aleksandrovsk, Sakhalin, the son of a convict. In 1897, his family moved to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, where he was employed as a trainee at an electric station. In his spare time Girev became a skilful dog driver, and in 1910, was recommended to Cecil Meares, who was in Nikolayevsk buying dogs for the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). Meares recruited Girev for the expedition, and together they purchased thirty-three dogs before joining the expedition in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Girev was a member of the support party which accompanied Scott's Polar Party as far as the lower depot of the Beardmore Glacier, before turning back with the dogs on 11 December 1911. He was also one of the team that discovered the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers in November 1912.

After the expedition, he spent almost two years in New Zealand before returning to Siberia, where he was employed in various capacities in gold mining and dredging. In 1930, he was arrested by agents of the NKVD and taken to Vladivostok, where he remained under arrest for eighteen months. On his way home after his release, Girev died of a heart attack in December 1932.


The correspondence 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 'Northern Sakhalin to the Antarctic, the story of a Russian participant in Scott's expedition to the South Pole, 1910-1913' by Vicheslav Innokentievich Yuzefov in The Polar Record (July 1998) volume 34 number 190 p251-254 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.

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Further accessions possible.