Century old Antarctic images discovered in Captain Scott's hut
Photographic negatives left a century ago in Captain Scott’s last expedition base at Cape Evans have been discovered and conserved by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The negatives were found in expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s darkroom and have been painstakingly conserved revealing never before seen Antarctic images.The Trust’s conservation specialists discovered the clumped together cellulose nitrate negatives in a small box as part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project which has seen more than 10,000 objects conserved at Scott’s Cape Evans hut.
The negatives were removed from Antarctica by the Trust earlier this year. Detailed conservation treatment back in New Zealand separating the negatives has revealed twenty-two images. The photographs are from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, which spent time living in Scott’s hut after being stranded on Ross Island when their ship blew out to sea. One of the most striking images is of Ross Sea Party member Alexander Stevens, Shackleton’s Chief Scientist, standing on-board the Aurora.
Although many of the images are damaged, the Antarctic Heritage Trust was able to recognise landmarks around McMurdo Sound, although the identity of the photographer remains unknown.
“It’s an exciting find and we are delighted to see them exposed after a century. It’s testament to the dedication and precision of our conservation teams’ efforts to save Scott’s Cape Evans hut,” said Nigel Watson, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Executive Director.
In 2010 the Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ) discovered three crates of whisky and two crates of brandy under Ernest Shackleton’s 1908 base during conservation work.
The images are available online at www.nzaht.org.
A portfolio of Trust photos is launched in Google Open Gallery today
The Trust is delighted to be one of 45 participants chosen to represent the launch of Google Open Gallery today. Anna Malaos, Antarctic Operations Manager, has produced a fantastic collection of photographs, covering four main topics: ‘Landscape and scenery’, ‘A living museum’, ‘Wildlife at Port Lockroy’ and ‘Conservation at British Antarctic Peninsula huts’. To view our collections, see our Cultural Spot website.
For the past few years, Google Cultural Institute worked with museums around the world to make their collections available on web. Now, they’ve opened up the technologies behind this project so that anyone with cultural content can publish it, creating exhibitions that tell engaging stories using Google Open Gallery’s free tool.
Our Flagship - Port Lockroy
The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust works to conserve Antarctic buildings and artefacts, and to promote and encourage the public's interest in its Antarctic heritage.
Besides its flagship site at Port Lockroy the Trust conserves five other British historic sites on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Trust supports sister organisations to look after heritage sites in other parts of Antarctica.
Each season a dedicated team lives and works at the base running the museum and post office at Port Lockroy and continue with the conservation of the buildings and artefacts.
Keep updated with team and follow the Port Lockroy blog:
Scott's and Shackleton's Centenaries
We have just finished celebrating Robert Falcon Scott's British Antarctic Expedition 1910 to 1913. It is one of the most famous and stirring stories of world exploration.
But we are about to start celebrating Ernest Shackleton's most famous expedition, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914 to 1917. He lost his ship Endurance in the Weddell Sea and was forced to make one of the most famous open boat journeys in history. Forthcoming information and events can be seen at www.shackleton100.org.
The Trust's sister organisations - Antarctic Heritage Trust (New Zealand) and Mawson's Huts Foundation look after historic huts from the heroic era built by Borchgrevink, Mawson, Scott, and Shackleton.
Why not get more involved and become a Friend of Antarctica