Discovery, building plans

Scope and Content

  • MS 342/5/1-3;D Correspondence and papers regarding the construction and installation of machinery on Discovery, 1900-1901 Sent to Reginald William Skelton [Largely correspondence with Gourley Brothers & Co. The Liverpool Engineering & Condenser Co. Clarke, Chapman & Co. Napier Brothers Ltd.] Circa 190 leaves (3 folders) holograph and typescript
  • MS 342/35;SL Specifications for building and equipping the hull of a single-screw wood ship to be engaged in Antarctic exploration [Printed by William Clowns & Sons Ltd. 1899, with manuscript annotations and corrections by Reginald William Skelton] 22 leaves, printed
  • MS 342/36;SL Machinery, specification for a single screw ship for Antarctic exploration 450 I.H.P. [Printed by William Clowes & Sons Ltd. 1899, with manuscript annotations by Reginald William Skelton] 57 leaves, printed
  • MS 342/6/1-2;SP Blueprints (2) of Discovery machinery, sent to Skelton, 1900 to 1901 [Propeller, Engs. No 369, 18 December 1900 and Steam Capstan Windlass for 1 5/8 cables, 10 April 1901] 2 sheets
  • MS 371/1-28;SP Blueprints (28) of engineer's drawings of the Discovery, built 1900-1901, 28 sheets
  • MS 417/1-4;SP Plans (4) of Discovery, [Sketch of sails, plan of lower deck, deck plan showing proposed cabin entrance, lower deck and sections] 4 sheets
  • MS 416/1-3;SP Profile, deck plans, capacity plan, 3 sheets
  • MS 415/1-4;SP Plans (4) of Discovery by Harold Underhill, Glasgow, undated [Based upon ship but compiled from photographs, the rig shown is the original] 4 sheets, blue prints

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection comprises of correspondence predominately with Reginald Skelton regarding the building of Discovery. There are various plans showing different elevations and areas of the ship.



Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which includes images of Discovery. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

The Institute holds over seventy archival collections relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 including a collection for Reginald Skelton, see SPRI collection GB 015 British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 for more information.

The Institute's archival collection for the Boy Scouts Association contains a large amount of correspondence regarding the transfer of Discovery to the Admiralty and her later return to Dundee.


See Discovery Point for information on Discovery in Dundee today.