David Lack collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Cambridge University Expedition to Bear Island, 1932and the Cambridge Expedition to East Greenland 1932

Administrative / Biographical History

David Lambert Lack was born on 16 July 1910. He was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read zoology. A keen ornithologist and active member of the Cambridge Bird Club, he participated with Colin Bertram in the Cambridge University Expedition to Bear Island in 1932, during which a programme of ornithological research was conducted. The following year, he returned to the Arctic as a member of the Cambridge University Expedition to East Greenland, in company with Bertram and the ornithologist, Brian Birley Roberts. Between 1933 and 1940, Lack served as zoology master at Dartington Hall School, travelling on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands between 1938 and 1939. During the Second World War, he served in the Army Operational Research Group, assisting in the development of radar techniques. In 1945, he was appointed director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology at Oxford, a post he held until his death on 12 March 1973.

Published work Population studies of birds by David Lambert Lack, Clarendon Press Oxford (1966) SPRI Library Shelf 598.2:577.48


The collection 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 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 and 'David Lambert Lack' by Brian Roberts in Polar Record volume 16 number 105 September 1973 p879-881 and Who was who, 1971-1980, Adam and Charles Black London (1989)

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