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Historical Magnetic Observation Records

Magnetic surveys and observatory operations were often undertaken during expeditions or voyages. The BGS holds a substantial collection of primary and other archive records related to such surveys and operations. These paper records are currently being sorted and catalogued. We list what we know of these records below. We hope to digitally capture these records and make them available online in time.

The digital data from some of these records may already be found in our Global Survey Data database, or as part of the database of historical records developed by Jackson et al” and available on request from the BGS, or as part of the World Data Centre for Geomagnetism (Edinburgh).


The data presented in these records are provided for personal, academic, educational, non-commercial research or other non-commercial use and are not for sale or distribution to third parties without written permission from BGS.

Reproduction of any part of these records should be accompanied by the statement: 'Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey ©NERC. All rights Reserved.'.

Commercial users can contact the geomagnetism team for Informationrmation on the range of applications and services offered.

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UK

Information to be added as it is catalogued.

Europe

Information to be added as it is catalogued.

Africa

More information to be added as it is catalogued.

Year(s) of Coverage Author Title Imprint View
1901-1904 Beattie, J.C. Report of a magnetic survey of South Africa Royal Society by Cambridge University Press, 1909 View record33.0MB pdf

Asia

Information to be added as it is catalogued.

Americas

Information to be added as it is catalogued.

Antarctica/Arctic

National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904

A British expedition to the Antarctic. Led by Robert Falcon Scott on expedition ship Discovery.

  1. Primary archives - Magnetograms - Magnetograms are held in the BGS collections, not yet available as scans.
  2. Primary archives - a range of original recording books and other data is held. At the moment this collection is uncatalogued.
  3. Two published volumes on the expedition are available as PDF.
Year(s) of Coverage Author Title Imprint View
1901-1904   Physical observations with discussions by various authors. National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904 London : Published by the Royal Society, 1908 View record 29.4MB pdf
1901-1904   Magnetic observations. National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904 London : Published by the Royal Society, 1909 View record 20.7MB pdf

British (Terra Nova) Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913

A British expedition to the Antarctic. Led by Robert Falcon Scott on expedition ship Terra Nova. The expedition aim was to continue the scientific work of the 1901-1904 expedition and to be the first to reach the South Pole. Further information about Scott's scientific legacy in geomagnetism (from BGS website).

  1. Primary archives - Magnetograms - Magnetograms are held in the BGS collections, not yet available as scans.
  2. Primary archives - a range of original recording books and other data is held. A preliminary catalogue is available here.
  3. A published volume on the expedition is available as a PDF.
  4. Some example photos of the collection are available.
Year(s) of Coverage Author Title Imprint View
1910-1913 Chree, C. Terrestrial magnetism. British (Terra Nova) Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 London : Harrison and Sons for the Committee of the Captain Scott Antarctic Fund, 1921. View record 53.2MB pdf

Oceans

Collection of Royal Navy and Survey ship logs

  1. Primary archives - a extensive collection of log books recording magnetic data. At the moment this collection is uncatalogued. An unchecked preliminary listing is available.