Henryk Arctowski was born in Poland in 1871. He was educated in Belgium and Paris and also studied in London and Zurich. He joined the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, 1879-1899 (leader Adrian Victor Joseph de Gerlache de Gomery), and was in charge of the geological, oceanographical and meteorological programmes. He was connected with the Belgian Weather Service until 1909 and then became Chief of the Science Division of the New York Public Library. In 1920, Arctowski returned to Poland to become professor of geophysics and meteorology at the University of Lwow, and was attending a conference of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Washington D.C. when Poland was invaded at the beginning of the Second World War. After a period in England, he was appointed to a position in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. He died in America on 20 February 1958.
From the guide to the Henryk Arctowski collection, 1896-1940, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)