John Mather collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Mather.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Hugh Mather was born in 1887 in Stroud Green, England. While helping to load the expedition ship Terra Nova in London as a junior member of the RNVR, Mather applied successfully to join the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). He served as Petty Officer for three years, but his experience of clerical work led to his being frequently taken from that rank to help with secretarial work and he became particularly adept at taxonomy.

Mather served at sea with distinction in the First World War, retiring with the rank of Commander. In 1929, he founded the Antarctic Club, an annual dining club for former members of the British expeditions, and was its dedicated Honorary Secretary until his death on 10 April 1957 in Farnborough, England.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

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 The Polar Record (September 1957) volume 8 number 57 p562 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events,(1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.