Ernst Vanhffen collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Vanhffen to the polar explorer William Speirs Bruce (leader of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904) regarding the German South Polar Expedition, 1901-1903 (leader Erich von Drygalski).

Administrative / Biographical History

Ernst Vanhffen was born in 1858 in Wehlau, East Prussia. After studding at Knigsberg university he travelled to Naples and Greenland. He was a member of the German Deep-Sea Expedition, 1898-1899 (leader Carl Chun). This was an oceanographic voyage to the Indian and Atlantic oceans. In 1901 he joined the German South Polar Expedition, 1901-1903 (leader Erich von Drygalski). As part of the scientific team he was responsible for the zoological and botanical programme.


The correspondence 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 and The Southern Ice-continent by Erich von Drygalski, translated by M M Raraty, Bluntisham Books, 1989 SPRI Library shelf (7)91(08)[1901-1903] and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)

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