Reginald Koettlitz collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprise of diaries, reports and journals written during the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, 1894-1897 (leader Frederick George Jackson), the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and correspondence by Koettlitz.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald Koettlitz was born on 23 December 1861. Of German extraction, he trained at Guy's Hospital and went into practice as a physician in Dover. In 1894 he volunteered as surgeon for the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, 1894-1897 (leader Frederick George Jackson) to Franz Josef Land and spent nearly three years in the Arctic Circle. Sledging expeditions were undertaken and the expedition met the Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896 (leader Fridtjof Nansen) on 17 June 1896.

His experience gained him a place on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) where he doubled the role of senior surgeon with that of bacteriologist. He took part in several sledging expeditions, including an attempt on Cape Crozier in March 1902.

After the expedition he returned to his practice in Dover but failed to settle down, and in 1911 emigrated to South Africa. He and his wife died of influenza within a few days of each other at Port Elizabeth in 1916.


The collection is split into three sub-fonds covering the two expeditions and correspondence respectively.

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 signs the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 and Scott of the Antarctic Elspeth Huxley, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1977) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, RF] and SPRI Library Antarctic Biographies Card Index

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 are possible.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library. This material includes collections for the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, 1894-1897 and the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.