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Polar Exploration: Townsend Thorndike Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.7481-7490
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Polar Exploration: Townsend Thorndike Collection
Date(s): 1746-1920
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 10 items
Name of creator(s): Thorndike | Townsend W | 1872-1929 | dermatologist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1872; graduated from Harvard Medical School,1902; assistant visiting physician for diseases of the skin in the Boston City Hospital, 1906; taught dermatology at Tufts Medical School, 1917; Professor of Dermatology, Tufts Medical School, 1929-1929; founder member and first Vice President of the New England Dermatological Society; died, 1929.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers collected by Townsend W Thorndike relating to exploration, chiefly in the Arctic including manuscript material, cuttings from periodicals and printed ephemera, 1746-1920.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Described in Richard Aspin and Christopher Hilton's typescript supplement to S.A.J Moorat's Catalogue of Western Manuscripts.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The bulk of this material appears to have been brought together by Dr. Townsend W. Thorndike (fl. 1908-1915) of Boston, Massachusetts, who was an associate member of the Arctic Club of America and a collector of material relating to exploration, chiefly in the Arctic.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The details of how the material collected by Dr. Thorndike was acquired by Henry Wellcome or his successors are not known. Other items related to the theme of Arctic exploration appear to have been acquired from other sources and added to the collection whilst it was in the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum stores.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Prints, photographs and other illustrative items have been transferred to the Wellcome Institute's Iconographic Collections and a few pamphlets to the Institute Library's main collection of published material. Further papers relating to some of the Polar explorers and travellers documented here can be found in MS.7328.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

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