Michael Barne collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of journals, reports and diaries written during the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). There are also loose sketches taken from the diaries and correspondence with other members of the expedition. The second part of the collection comprises of correspondence regarding future proposed polar expeditions.

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Barne was born in England in 1877. He was brought up at Sotterley Park in Suffolk and entered the Navy in 1893. He qualified as a Royal Navy officer in 1898 and joined the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) as second lieutenant on board the expedition ship Discovery. During the expedition he took responsibility for magnetometry and soundings, and was involved in several sledge journeys.

After returning to the Navy he had hopes of forming an Antarctic expedition of his own and was involved in experiments with motor sledges, but these came to nothing. He served in the Royal Navy in the First World War and was awarded the DSO retiring from the Navy with the rank of captain in 1919. During the Second World War, he re-joined the Navy to command an anti-submarine patrol ship. He died on 31 May 1961.


The collection is split into two sub-fonds consisting of expedition material and correspondence respectively.

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 Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Journal of Polar Studies (1985) volume 2 part 1 p357-359 SPRI Library Periodical and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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.