Archibald Douglas collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Douglas to Robert Falcon Scott regarding both the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (both led by Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Archibald Lucius Douglas was born in Quebec in 1842. He was educated at Quebec High School, joining the Royal Navy in HMS Boscawen in 1856. In 1860, he served with the Naval Brigade in the Congo and Gambia and the following year was promoted lieutenant. Advancing to commander in 1872, he held the directorship of the Japanese Imperial Naval College between 1873 and 1875. Douglas was commander-in-chief of the East Indies Station from 1898 until 1899, when he was appointed lord of the admiralty, a post he retained until 1902. Promoted vice-admiral in 1901 and knighted in 1902, he served as commander-in-chief of the North American and West Indian Stations between 1902 and 1904. He served as commander at Portsmouth from 1904 until his retirement in 1907. He died in 1913.


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reference to Who was who, 1897-1916, A & C Black Limited, London (1920) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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

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.