George Abbott collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Abbott written during the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and later correspondence to fellow expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Percy Abbott was a petty officer in the Royal Navy and served on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) as petty officer on board the expedition ship Terra Nova.

On arrival in Antarctica Abbott was transferred to the shore party and was chosen as a member of the Northern Party led by Victor Campbell, this group spent the first year at Cape Adare and the second year exploring and sledging along the Victoria Land coast. When Terra Nova was unable to relieve the party they wintered for seven months in a snow cave on Inexpressible Island without adequate supplies before returning safely to the base at Cape Evans. Abbott was awarded the polar medal for his part in the expedition.

After the expedition, Abbott served in the navy throughout the First World War. He died in 1923.


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 signs the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to 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John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.

Personal Names