Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00020 2B Annex - Thomas Griffith Taylor Papers

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00020 2B Annex


Thomas Griffith Taylor Papers


  • [190-]-1996 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

27 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Griffith Taylor was an Antarctic explorer and pioneer geographer at the University of Toronto. Born in 1880 in Walthamstow, England, the son of a metallurgical chemist, he was educated in England and Australia, receiving a degree in mining and metallurgy from the University of Sydney in 1905. He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society, London in 1909 and was hired as a physiographer for the Commonwealth Weather Service in 1910. Taylor was selected by Robert Falcon Scott as a senior geologist and representative of the Commonwealth Weather Service for his Terra Nova Expedition to Antarctica (1910-1913). Five of Taylor’s fellow explorers, including Scott, would perish after reaching the South Pole. Taylor was the leader of the western geological party, which led successful expeditions to the Koettlitz Glacier and Granite Harbour region, which led to Taylor being made a fellow in the Royal Geographical Society of London and awarded the King’s Polar medal upon his return. He would use his topographical and glaciological research of Antarctica in his doctoral dissertation from the University of Sydney (1916). He founded the first University geography department at the University of Sydney in 1920, and became the chair of geography at the University of Chicago in 1927. In 1935, he became the founding chairman, and first professor, of the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography, a post he would hold until 1951. He retired to Australia and continued writing and publishing until his death in 1963. Taylor published over 20 books and 200 scientific articles.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of Taylor's research notes, typescripts and galley proofs for his books on geography, urbanography and similar subjects. It also includes correspondence with Taylor's family and colleagues, photographs and offprints of his articles in connection with Marie Sanderson's biography, Griffith Taylor: Antarctic Scientist and Pioneer Geographer (1988).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Language of material

  • English

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Uploaded finding aid

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Notes area

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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