Shackleton Centenary Expedition

The South Polar Times September 17 2006


Over-wintering in Antarctica is a long and dull business.

During the 1902 Discovery Expedition, where Shackleton first served under Scott, he created and edited The South Polar Times, a lively and unique journal established to both maintain morale and document the lives and work of the small colony at Cape Royds.

The South Polar Times contains news, poetry (presumably with some contributions by EHS, or "Nemo" as he styled himself in his editorial role) notable observations on the taste of penguin-meat, satirical cartoons and illustrated essays on geological, climatic, biological and other scientific topics, all produced in situ on the expedition's single typewriter during the long wait for the Antarctic summer, and hence for favourable conditions under which tackle the Pole.

The illustration above, 'Dawn' by Dr. EA Wilson, is reproduced from Vol. 1 of the collected South Polar Times, which was compiled in 1907, on the Discovery's return.

We will be posting more from this excellent and highly unusual journal, never originally intended for publication, here in the SCE Polar History Archives.

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"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all." - EHS 1909

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