Sir Henry Lyons collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Lyons regarding the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and the geologist Hartley Travers Ferrar who served on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry George Lyons was born on 11 October 1864 in London. He was educated at Wellington College, and in 1882 entered the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. In 1884, he attended a two-year course of military engineering at Chatham, after which he was posted to Gibraltar and then to Egypt, where he studied geology in his spare time. In 1901, Lyons retired from the army and was appointed director of the geological survey in Egypt, a post he held until 1909 when he returned to Britain. During the First World War, Lyons served with the Royal Engineers, retiring with the rank of colonel in 1919, and in the same year was appointed secretary-general of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. In 1920, he became director of the Science Museum in London, where he remained until his retirement in 1933. He was knighted in 1926 and died on 10 August 1944 at Great Missenden.


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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 Dictionary of National Biography, 1941-1950 Oxford University Press

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.