Dennis Lillie collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Lillie regarding the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Dennis Gascoigne Lillie was born in 1884. He was educated at Cambridge University and served as biologist on Terra Nova during the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). He was mainly concerned with collecting marine specimens and was also responsible for the expedition's official report on this subject. He made a number of penetrating caricatures of the expedition members while on board ship, some of which were later redrawn by Edward Adrian Wilson for the expedition newspaper The South Polar Times. He was awarded the Polar Medal.

After the expedition, he spent some time studying whales off New Zealand. During the First World War, he became involved in medical research, but had a mental breakdown in 1919 from which he never recovered. He died in 1963.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

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 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 and The kindly fruits of the earth, recollections of an ecologist by George Evelyn Hutchinson, Yale University Press, New Haven (1979) SPRI Library Shelf 92 [Hutchinson, G.E.] and National Portrait Gallery and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.