Innokentiy Tolmachev collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material written by Tolmachev regarding Arctic exploration including the Russian Scientific Expedition, 1905 (led by Tolmachev) and correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

Innokentiy Pavlovich Tolmachev [Tolmachoff] was born in 1872 in Russia. In 1905, he served as leader of the Russian scientific Expedition, sponsored by academician F Schmidt and the Imperial Russian Geographical Society to make topographical and geological surveys of the Khatanga River region, including Khatangskiy Zaliv and the coastal area between the mouths of Khatanga and Anabar Rivers. He returned to the Russian Arctic on the Russian Hydrographic Surveying Expedition, 1909-1910, sent by the Russian government to determine whether there was a navigable sea route for commercial shipping between the Lena River and Bering Strait. Tolmachev was to examine the route between the Kolyma and Bering Strait. Two other expeditions under his general command, but operating independently in the field, were to examine the route from the Lena to the Kolyma and the mouth of and approaches to the Kolyma. Tolmachev reported very favourably on the possibility of commercial shipping between Bering Strait and Kolyma River, and, partly as a result of his report, the steamer Kolyma made its inaugural voyage from Vladivostok to the Kolyma the following year. His account of the expedition Siberian passage an explorer's search into the Russian Arctic was published in 1949.

In 1922, he was appointed curator of invertebrate palaeontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, also serving as professor of palaeontology at the University of Pittsburgh. He wrote on a broad range of topics from Siberian geology to Cenozoic foraminifers, publishing sixty-eight articles during his tenure at the museum. Retiring as curator in 1945, he died in 1950.


The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of papers 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 Carnegie museums

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