Gathorne-Hardy Papers

Scope and Content

Transcript drafts of translations of Arnold Jacoby's biography of Thor Heyerdahl, translated by Gathorne-Hardy, n.d.. Plus letters between Gathorne-Hardy and his publishers, George Allen and Unwin, 1964-1968. The biography was published in 1968 as 'Seor Kon-Tiki' by George Allen and Unwin.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian ethnologist and adventurer who organized and led the Kon-Tiki (1947) and Ra (1969-1970) transoceanic scientific expeditions. Both expeditions were intended to prove the possibility of ancient transoceanic contacts between distant civilizations and cultures.

Geoffrey Malcolm Gathorne-Hardy was born on 28 January 1878. He was the son of Hon. Alfred Erskine Gathorne-Hardy and Isabella Louisa Malcolm. He married Kathleen Eleanor Goschen, daughter of Henry Goschen, on 12 March 1914.

Gathorne-Hardy was educated at Eton College, Eton, Berkshire, England. He graduated from New College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, with a Master of Arts (M.A.). He held the office of President of the Oxford Union Society in 1899. He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 4th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment. He fought in the Boer War. He fought in the First World War, where he was mentioned in despatches. He was decorated with the award of Military Cross (M.C.). He was decorated with the award of Croix de Guerre (Belgian). He was assistant librarian, House of Lords between 1923 and 1928. He wrote the book 'The Norse Discoverers'. He wrote the book 'A Short History of International Affairs'. He wrote the book 'A Royal Imposte'r. He graduated from Oslo University, Oslo, Norway, in 1946 with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). He died on 7 January 1972 at age 93, without issue.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Found in the Librarian's room, Sep 1988, with gift label stating given by G M Gathorne-Hardy, 1969 (probably with his gift of Scandanvian books). Old accession no. 14440.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description