David Silver Allan collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Allan to Robert Falcon Scott written some time after the return of Discovery in 1904 regarding the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

David Silver Allan was born in Montrose, Scotland in 1870. He was serving with the Royal Navy onboard HMS Majestic when he joined the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), as petty officer. He participated in several sledging journeys including the sledge support party on the second Southwestern journey in 1903. On return to the United Kingdom, he was promoted chief petty officer. During the First World War, he served with the Royal Navy and from October 1917 to March 1918 was attached to the Royal Air Force.


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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 British polar exploration and research, a historical and medallic record with biographies 1818-1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Neville W. Poulsom and Rear Admiral John A.L. Myres, Savannah Publications, London (2000) SPRI Library Shelf 737.2 and SPRI Library Antarctic Biographies Card Index and Antarctica unveiled, Scott's First Expedition and the quest for the unknown continent by David E. Yelverton, University Press of Colorado, Boulder (2000) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1901-1904 Scott]

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.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers 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.

The Institute holds over a seventy archival collections containing material relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).