James Ferrier collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Ferrier regarding the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904 (leader William Speirs Bruce) and correspondence with Bruce (Ferrier was apparently Bruce's secretary).

Administrative / Biographical History

James G. Ferrier worked for the accountancy firm, Messrs Whitson and Methuen in Edinburgh. He was appointed honorary secretary to the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904 (leader William Speirs Bruce). This expedition conducted the first oceanographic exploration of the Weddell Sea and discovered Coats Land. Bruce also surveyed Laurie Island in the South Orkney Islands where a meteorological station (Omond House) was established on 1 April 1903.

Ferrier organized the reception of the Scotia on its return from the Antarctic in July 1904. In 1909, Bruce through Ferrier and the Scotia committee applied to Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for a grant to publish the scientific findings of the expedition. Although the application was initially turned down, a small grant was given and the seven scientific reports were published.


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 The log of the Scotia Expedition, 1902-1904 by William Speirs Bruce, edited by Peter Speak Edinburgh University Press (1992) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1902-1904] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.

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Further accessions possible.

Personal Names