Terence Armstrong Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of papers and maps by Armstrong relating to Polar regions.

The Institute also holds a copy of Armstrong's PHD theses on The development of the North Sea Route, 1950, 337 leaves, typescript

Administrative / Biographical History

Terence Edward Armstrong was born on 7 April 1920. He was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Cambridge, where he obtained first class honours in Russian. In 1940, he joined the Army Intelligence Corps, serving in North Africa and Europe, and was wounded as a parachutist at Arnhem. After the war, he became the first research fellow in Soviet Arctic studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, where he established his reputation as an authority on the Soviet Arctic with a PhD thesis on The Northern Sea Route. In 1954, he joined the maiden voyage of HMCS Labrador through the Northwest Passage, he published an ice atlas Sea ice north of the USSR in 1958. In 1957, Armstrong was appointed an assistant director of research at the Scott Polar Research Institute, establishing the Institute as a leading centre of Soviet Arctic studies. In a collaborative publication, The circumpolar north, Armstrong reviewed the Arctic and sub-Arctic's political and economic geography and he compiled a UNESCO report on the Arctic's cultural and economic problems. In 1977, he was awarded an ad hominem readership in Arctic studies and received the Victoria Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1980. He was a founder fellow of Clare Hall graduate college, and served as joint honorary secretary of the Hakluyt Society, for whom he edited an edition of Yermak's voyages in 1975, and treasurer of the Glaciological Society. Retiring in 1983, he was appointed visiting professor at Trent University, Ontario, and chaired the Natural Environment Research Council's working group on Arctic science policy. He died on 21 February 1996.

Additional published work Russian settlement in the North by Terence Edward Armstrong, Cambridge University Press Cambridge (1965) SPRI Library Shelf (50):325 The Russians in the Arctic; aspects of Soviet exploration and exploitation of the far north, 1937-1957, by Terence Edward Armstrong, Greenwood Press Westport (1972) SPRI Library Shelf (50)[pub.1972]


The collection 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 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 'Terence Armstrong' by Gordon Robin, George Bertram and William Fleming in Polar Record volume 22 number 136 January 1984 p3-5 and Scott Polar people

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