John Mathieson collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Mathieson to the polar explorer William Speirs Bruce.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Mathieson was born in 1855. In 1909, he served as chief surveyor on the Scottish scientific expedition to Svalbard (leader William Speirs Bruce). The expedition was sponsored partly by Prince Albert of Monaco to continue the survey of Prins Karls Forland begun by Bruce, and partly by the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate, to examine the company's mineral claims there and in the Isfjorden region. Mathieson led the surveying party on Prins Karls Forland, and during the summer completed Bruce's survey, leaving only some details for later verification or amendment. Bruce's map of Forland, based on these surveys, was published in 1913. He died in 1945.


The correspondence 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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 Arctic exploration and development C 500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Anthony Holland, Garland Publishing Inc. New York (1994)

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.