David W Wilton collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence to Bruce.

  • MS 101/95/1-11;D Letters (11) to William Speirs Bruce, 1906 to 1913. [All written from St. Petersburg or Moscow. Including news of Russian North Polar Expedition, 1912-1914 (leader Georgiy Yaeovlevich Sedov) and other Russian polar expeditions]12 leaves, holograph

Administrative / Biographical History

David W Wilton had extensive experience of Arctic life and work, having lived for some years in the north of Russia, where he became an expert ski runner and adept at sledging. In 1896, he joined the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, 1894-1897 (leader Frederick George Jackson) to Franz Josef Land. Sledging expeditions were undertaken during which much of the western archipelago was charted and some scientific programme conducted.

After the expedition, Wilton returned to Edinburgh where he read zoology and botany at the University and Royal Colleges. He gained a sound knowledge of meteorology at the Observatory on the summit of Ben Nevis, and took part in an expedition to Turkestan and Western China.

In 1902, Wilton was selected for the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904 (leader William Speirs Bruce) as assistant zoologist on board the Scotia. Wilton undertook the zoological work and also tested the specific gravities of water samples obtained on the expedition.

On his return, Wilton contributed to the scientific reports of the expedition. He died on 10 January 1940.

Published work, 'Zoological log of Scotia' by David W. Wilton in, Scottish National Antarctic Expedition. Report on the scientific results of the voyage of S.Y. Scotia during the years 1902, 1903 and 1904, under the leadership of William S. Bruce volume 4, Zoology, edited by William Speirs Bruce, Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory Edinburgh (1907) SPRI Library Shelf (7):91(08)[1902-1904 Bruce]



Access Information

By appointment.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance by R. Stancombe and reference to SPRI Library Antarctic Biographies Card Index and The voyage of the Scotia, being a record of a voyage of exploration in the Antarctic Seas by Robert Cockburn Mossman, James Hunter Harvey Pirie, and Robert Neal Rudmose Brown, C. Hurst London (1906) SPRI Library Shelf (7):91(08)[1902-1904 Bruce] 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.

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Further accessions possible.