William Walker collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Exploring Expedition, 1873 (leader Benjamin Leigh Smith) to Svalbard

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1873, William Walker served as captain of Samson, tender to the steamer Diana, on the British Exploring Expedition (leader Benjamin Leigh Smith), a private venture to explore in waters north of Svalbard. Walker set out in Samson on 29 April and Smith followed with Diana in May. After delivering supplies to Nils Otto Gustaf Nordenskild's expedition at Mosselbukta, Smith met Samson in July off northwest Nordaustlandet, planning to continue east from there to survey Kong Karls Land. However, the two vessels encountered much ice north of Nordaustlandet and Diana was beset for a short time off Kapp Platen, thus preventing further progress. The expedition returned to Dundee in September with a variety of natural history collections and observations.


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 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

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