Isaiah Bowman collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Bowman on polar matters and personalities to the meteorologist and geographer Hugh Robert Mill

Administrative / Biographical History

Isaiah Bowman was born on 26 December 1878 at Waterloo, Ontario, in Canada. He was educated at Harvard and Yale universities. Between 1905 and 1915, he taught geography at Yale, leading the first Yale South American expedition in 1907 and serving as geologist and geographer on the Yale Peruvian Expedition in 1911. In 1913, he led the American Geographical Society Expedition to the Central Andes and between 1915 and 1935 served as director of the American Geographical Society. He acted as chief territorial adviser to President Wilson at the Versailles conference and during the Second World War was appointed territorial adviser to the Secretary of State.

Between 1919 and 1929, Bowman was a member of the executive committee of the National Research Council, serving as its chairman from 1933 to 1935. In 1935, he was appointed president of Johns Hopkins University, where he remained until his retirement in 1948. Bowman served as a member of many geographical and scientific societies and was president of the International Geographical Union between 1931 and 1934, and vice-president of the National Academy of Sciences between 1940 and 1945. He died on 6 January 1950.


The correspondence with Mill 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 Bartleby and Who was who, 1941-1950, Adam & Charles Black London (1952)

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