Monday, October 22, 2012

Heroic Age of Antartica

Did you know that… almost one hundred years ago…

… the discoveries made for the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration were kept in a journal by the leader of the expedition, Captain Robert Fallon Scott, along with the scientific journals by E.A. Wilson, both of whom died of the conditions and exposure in 1912?

"The ramparts of Mount Erebus", a photograph, faces the chapter "The Ascent of Erebus, December 1912". Mount Erebus is a volcano on Ross Island in Antarctica.

This week the Library received a donation of two books about the earth’s poles, north and south, and the people involved in expeditions in the early years of the 1900s. The first, Scott’s Last Expedition in Two Volumes, gives the journals of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and the reports of E.A. Wilson, a scientist while at work on the ice of Antarctica.

"E.W. Nelson with the Nansen_Petersen Insulated Water Bottle", a photograph, faces the chapter, "Marine Biology--Winter Quarters, 1911-1913".

Before reading the volumes, which are some 500 and 600 pages long, you could visit the Google Project site to get an idea of what life might have been like for the expeditions. The site shows two places in Antarctica, where two small museums are dedicated to exploration of the vast iced continent. Shackleton’s Hut and Scott’s Hut are the two known remaining structures. They are 100-year-old, pre-fabricated wooden buildings in the process of being restored as monuments to the explorers. Pictures show the interiors of the wood frame structures. You can see 360 degrees around the hut which is all but submerged in snow drifts.

The site was put together by the Google Cultural Institute, Getty Images and World Monuments Fund.

For better pictures and close-up detail for those interested in defining exactly what items were kept on the shelves of the hut, see the BBC’s site:

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