Pelham Aldrich collection

Scope and Content

The collection relates to the British Arctic Expedition , 1875-1876 (leader Sir George Strong Nares), the British Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and the subsequent British Relief Expeditions, 1902-1903 and 1903-1904 sent to Discovery in McMurdo Sound.

Administrative / Biographical History

Pelham Aldrich was born in 1844. He joined the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-1876 (leader Sir George Strong Nares) as First Lieutenant on the HMS Alert. He led the Western ('Challenger sledge') party, making important discoveries along the north coast of Ellesmere Island including Cape Aldrich and Cape Columbia, its northernmost point. He died on 12 November 1930.


For the purpose of this guide the collection is split into three sub-fonds, the Arctic expedition, the Antarctic expedition, and the relief expeditions to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904. Material within each sub-fond is arranged chronologically.

Access Information

By appointment.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to The Polar Record, (July 1931) volume 1 number 2 p39 and Clive Holland Arctic Exploration and Development, 500bc to 1915, an encyclopaedia Garland Publishing, London (1994)

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.

Related Material

MS 116/63/111-112;D Penny, W. Letters (2) to Sherald Osborn, 1851 [Reference made to Aldrich]