Sir Michael Foster collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Foster to Robert Falcon Scott relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (led by Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Foster was born in Huntingdon in 1836. He was educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and at University School and College, London. Between 1860 and 1866, he practised as a surgeon in Huntingdon and in 1867, was appointed lecturer at University College, London, holding the chair of practical physiology two years later. In 1883, he became the first professor of physiology at the University of Cambridge, a post he remained in until 1903. He was knighted in 1899 and between 1900 and 1906, served as Member of Parliament for the University of London. He died in 1907.


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 Who was who, 1897-1916, A & C Black Ltd. London (1920) and Cambridge University, Whipple Library and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.