Thomas Griffith Taylor collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), life in Cambridge and correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Griffith Taylor was born on 1 December 1880 in Essex. His family emigrated to Australia in 1893 and he was educated there, reading geology and physics at the University of Sydney. After teaching for two years, he spent three years as an Exhibition Science Research Scholar in geology at Cambridge University.

He was selected as senior geologist for the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), during the expedition he explored extensively among the mountains and glaciers of the Royal Society Range and Dry Valleys west of McMurdo Sound.

After the expedition, he returned to Australia to become lecturer in geography at Melbourne University, after which he held chairs in geography at Sydney University (1917-1918), the University of Chicago (1929-1935) and the University of Toronto (1936-1951).

He was a foundation member of the Australian National Research Council, president of the American, Australian and Canadian Institutes of Geographers and an active member of many other societies. He died in Sydney on 5 November 1963.

Published work With Scott, the silver lining by Thomas Griffith Taylor, Smith, Elder & Co. London (1916) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1910-1913] and Journeyman Taylor, the education of a scientist by Thomas Griffith Taylor (abridged and edited by Alasdair Alpin MacGregor), Robert Hale, London (1958) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Taylor, T. G.] and Antarctic adventure and research by Thomas Griffith Taylor, D. Appleton & Co. New York (1930) SPRI Library Shelf (7)


The collection is split into three sub-fonds covering expedition material, correspondence and biographical papers 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 The Polar Record (May 1964) volume 12 number 77 p230-231 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.