Charles Reginald Ford collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Reginald Ford was born in London in 1880. He joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen and volunteered for the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), as a steward. He served also as Scott's secretary and accountant. In 1902, he broke a leg skiing, but in 1903, participated in a sledging trip to lay a depot for the Southern Party at Minna Bluff. On his return to Britain, Ford completed the expedition's financial affairs, which included the sale of the expedition ship Discovery. He then toured England as Scott's secretary during the latter's lecture tour and himself lectured in Canada and Australia. In 1906, he settled in New Zealand where he qualified as an architect, forming a partnership, which designed several public buildings in Auckland.

Ford published a short book on his experiences in Antarctica and a book on English ceramics, on which subject he was an expert. He died in Auckland, New Zealand, on 19 May 1972, the last survivor of the British National Antarctic Expedition.

Published work, Antarctica, leaves from a diary kept on board an exploring vessel by Charles Reginald Ford, Whitcombe & Tombs, Christchurch (1908) SPRI Library Shelf, Special Collection (7)91(08)[1901-1904 Scott]


The collection is split into two sub-fonds covering expedition material and later correspondence.

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 1972) volume 16 number 102 p446 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.