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At the turn of the 19th Century the waters around the Dependencies of the Falkland Islands were rich in whales and on 16 November 1904 Carl Anton Larsen, a Norwegian whaler, founded Grytviken Whaling Station on South Georgia and ‘modern’ commercial whaling operations rapidly developed.  By the 1912-13 season, the whaling industry in the Dependencies had become the largest in the world and there were 21 whale catchers in South Georgia waters and 32 around the South Shetlands.

Almost from the beginning, the Falkland Islands Government controlled the industry with a system of leases and licenses which were given legal form in the Whale Fishery Ordinance of 1908.  However, this was not considered enough therefore the Falkland Islands Government sought to prevent waste and over exploitation.  The first was easy to solve but data for the second was scant.  The problem had to be shelved during World War I but in 1920 the Inter-Departmental Committee on Research and Development in the Dependencies of the Falkland Islands published a report and the Discovery Investigations, named after the first research vessel, were the outcome of that report.

The archives also hold the 37 volumes and charts of the Discovery Reports, the published findings of the series of surveys which began in the 1920's. 

Captain Scotts old ship RRS Discovery at anchor in Deception Island Hamilton collection JCNA Captain Scott's old ship RRS Discovery at anchor in Deception Island - J E Hamilton collection, JCNA


pdfSGD-DIS-1-1. Inter-Departmental Committee on Research and Development in Dependencies of Falkland Islands Report of.pdf880.79 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-2. Purchase of Discovery for research work in Dependencies.pdf12.62 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-3. SS Discovery. Appointments of officers for.pdf22.15 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-4. Dr Adalbert Szekany. Applies for post of Director of Research Expedition.pdf230.68 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-5. Mr J E Hamilton. Seconded to ss Discovery for scientific work in connection with research expedition.pdf1.35 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-6. Manner of accounting for the expenditure in connection with the erection of the various buildings at South Georgia and of apportioning the cost between the Colony and the research fund.pdf3.17 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-1-7. Mr A J Clowes. Respecting selection and appointment as assistant hydrologist to Discovery Expedition.pdf552.42 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-1. Discovery Expedition. Allotment of wireless call signals to research steamship William Scoresby.pdf489.7 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-2. Discovery Expedition. Allotment of a fresh wireless call signal to RRS Discovery.pdf299.46 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-3. Rescue of two boys from drowning by the cook of RSS William Scoresby.pdf1.76 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-4. Representations by Hon HHR Gresham MLC regarding Dependencies Research and Development Fund.pdf15.76 MB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-5. Paul Bachmann. Requests copies of time tables of RRS Discovery and William Scoresby.pdf307.46 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-6. Lloyds confidential index. Particulars required for in respect of Discovery and Scoresby.pdf583.6 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-7. Mrs M C Hardy requests information regarding whereabouts of Mr T Dinning Discovery Expedition.pdf359.96 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-8. Damage to public jetty caused by RRS Discovery II.pdf204.67 KB

pdfSGD-DIS-2-9. Assistance afforded by Mr W H Luxton of Chartres West Falkland and others to Mr J E Hamilton of the scientific staff of the Discovery Committee.pdf962.46 KB



pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-1. Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Research and Development in the Dependencies of the Falkland Islands.pdf12.22 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-2. Requisition No 1460. Contract No 3. Specification of Repairs and Alterations to Antarctic Research ss Discovery.pdf3.06 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-3. Falkland Islands. Contract for the Construction of a Steel Screw Whale Marking Vessel with General Conditions Specification and Form of Tender.pdf2.31 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-4. Falkland Islands. Contract for the Construction of a Steel Screw Research Vessel with General Conditions Specification Bond and Form of Tender.pdf2.63 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-5. Discovery Expedition. Note on the Scientific Work to be Undertaken by the Discovery.pdf700.49 KB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-6. Falkland Islands. Discovery Expedition. Uniform Regulations for Officers Petty Officers and Men of the Discovery Expedition. 1925.pdf570.2 KB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-7. Discovery Expedtion. First Annual Report. 1926.pdf2.02 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-8. Discovery Investigations Second Annual Report. January 1927-May 1928.pdf3.6 MB

pdfR-DEP-DIS-1-9. Report on the Progree of the Discovery Committees Investigations.pdf5.65 MB


Maps and Plans

pdfDiscovery Expeditions.pdf1.96 MB

pdfPlans for the refit of RRS Discovery - 1924 to 1925.pdf30.74 MB



While every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy the Jane Cameron National Archives does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in these records.

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