William Goddard collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating the 1819 discovery of the South Shetland Islands.

Administrative / Biographical History

The South Shetland Islands comprise of 11 large and several smaller islands. Volcanic activity on Deception Island has been reported throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. William Smith first sighted Livingston Island, part of the western group on 19 February 1919 during a British Mercantile voyage between Buenos Aries and Valparaiso. Both sealing and whaling was carried out amongst the islands and Shackleton's crew found refuge on Elephant Island during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916 (Weddell Sea Party).

William Smith visited the South Shetland Islands three times on board Williams during 1819, the first two during the Buenos Aries to Valparaiso voyage and then on a voyage from Blyth to Valparaiso dispatched with the intention of surveying the islands.

Goddard produces a chart of part of the group then called New South Britain.


The collection 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 signs the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester ISBN 0471 986658 SPRI Library (7) and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.

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.

Personal Names

Geographical Names