Caroline Oates collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Caroline Oates to members of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and other polar explorers. The collection also contains letters written to Mrs Oates in the aftermath of the expedition and her sons' death.

Administrative / Biographical History

Caroline Oates (nee Buckton) was the daughter of Joshua Buckton of Meanwood, nr Leeds. The mother of the Antarctic explorer Lawrence Edward Grace Oates she was married to William Oates, they had four children, Lilian, Lawrence, Violet and Bryan. Widowed in 1896 she lived at Gestingthorp, Essex until her death in 1937.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Conditions Governing Access

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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 Captain Oates by Sue Limb and Patrick Cordingley, Batisford Press, 1982 SPRI Library Shelf 92[Oates]

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