Colin Bull Collection

The Colin Bull collection is a private collection of polar books now housed in the Kelburn Library, Victoria University of Wellington.

The Colin Bull collection is a private collection of polar books gifted by Emeritus Professor Colin Bull’s estate to the Friends of Victoria University of Wellington in the United States of America and recognises the longstanding Antarctic Research Centre’s collaboration internationally. Colin Bull played a significant role in the development of the Antarctic research programme at Victoria University in the late 1950s. He has had a lasting relationship with the centre since then.

Colin Bull, 1958Colin Bull was senior lecturer in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington from 1956-1961, and led Victoria University’s 1958-59 Antarctic expedition to the McMurdo Dry Valleys helping establish the annual expeditions that continue to this day.  In 1961 he left New Zealand to assist in establishing the Institute of Polar Studies at Ohio State University where he held the positions of Professor of Geology and Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The collection consists of 1819 books covering Antarctic, Arctic and both Polar Regions’ studies. The collection is a valuable polar research resource complementing the Library's existing collections with items including reports and books of British, American and Scandinavian explorations, as well as scientific studies, historical resources and fiction.

For more background on his life visit

Read the review of Colin Bull’s Book “Innocents in the Dry Valleys: An Account of the Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1958–1959” written by one of his colleagues Terence J. Hughes