Elof Benson collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Sealing Voyage, 1819-1820 (Captain James P Sheffield)

Administrative / Biographical History

Elof Benson (Berndtson) was a Swede, born in Gothenburg, who emigrated to the United States of America during the first years of the nineteenth century. He joined the United States Sealing Voyage (from Stonington), 1819-1820 (leader James P Sheffield) as first officer onboard Hersilia. Benson wrote a logbook covering the voyage, which was discovered in 1956 in the possession of a descendant. After the expedition, Benson sailed from the United States to the Antarctic on several sealing voyages, he is thought to have died at sea in the late 1820s.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

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 item is signed by the author.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to New light on the activities of American sealing vessels in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica, 1819-1822 by Alexander O Vietor, Special Libraries Association Geography and Map Division Bulletin (1956) SPRI Library Shelf Pam 91(08)(7)[1819-1820 Sheffield] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events,(1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.

Personal Names