William Beardmore collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Beardmore to the geographer and meteorologist Hugh Robert Mill regarding the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Beardmore was born on 16 October 1856 at Greenwich, London. He was educated at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, and at the Royal School of Mines, South Kensington, before serving his apprenticeship at his father's Parkhead Forge in Glasgow. On the death of his father in 1879, he became a partner in his engineering business and later founded William Beardmore & Company, a firm of naval ship builders and armour plate manufacturers based in Glasgow.

After employing the explorer Ernest Henry Shackleton as his personal assistant in 1906, Beardmore acted as guarantor for Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909. Shackleton named the Beardmore Glacier after him. In 1914, Beardmore was created a baronet and in 1921 raised to the peerage as Baron Invernairn of Strathnairn. He severed his connection with the firm in the late 1920s, and the shipyard was acquired by National Shipbuilders' Security Limited in 1930. He died on 9 April 1936 at Flichity, Scotland.


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 Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-1940, Oxford University Press London (1950) and Who was who, Adam & Charles Black London (1947)

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