Walter Henry Hannam collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 (leader Douglas Mawson).

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Henry Hannam was born in Sydney ca. 1885. He was educated at the Technical College in Sydney, gaining a science diploma. He joined the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 (leader Douglas Mawson) as wireless operator and mechanic on board Aurora and assisted in establishing wireless stations at Macquarie Island and Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay. The first radio contact was made from Macquarie with Australia on 4 January 1912, and with Antarctica on 25 September 1912. He was awarded the Polar Medal for his part in the expedition.

During the First World War, he served as a lieutenant with the Australian Motor Transport Corps.


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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 home of the blizzard, the story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 by Douglas Mawson, Wakefield Press Kent Town, SA, Australia (1996) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1911-1914 Mawson] and British polar exploration and research, a historical and medallic record with biographies 1818-1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Neville W. Poulsom and Rear Admiral John A.L. Myres, Savannah Publications, London (2000) SPRI Library Shelf 737.2

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.