Explorers rarely ventured to the Antarctic until advancements in air travel and thermal gear, but a recent discovery of a 100-year-old frozen notebook unearthed by scientists revealed interesting exploration records by the late British explorer and Royal Navy Officer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team showed shedding light on earlier expeditions.
A century-old photographer’s notebook, belonging George Murray Levick who was a surgeon and photographer and part of Scott’s 1910-13 expedition has been discovered in the ice at one of Scott’s expedition bases in Antarctica. Explorer Robert Falcon died in 1912 as he was exploring Antarctica, but thanks to discoveries like this, we are able to learn a great deal about this vast region on planet Earth.
“It’s an exciting find,” said Nigel Watson,the director of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. “The notebook is a missing part of the official expedition record. After spending seven years conserving Scott’s last expedition building and collection, we are delighted to still be finding new artifacts.” The notebook discovery made in January 2013 at the Cape Evans base was made possible only after the summer snow had melt around a building which exposed it, Paula Granger, communications manager for the Trust, told CNN.
A 100 years is a big deal, due to the extreme conditions the notebook’s binding had dissolved and the pages were stuck together making the study and research of this antique piece a very difficult process. The Trust hired Aline Leclercq, a paper conservator, to separate and clean the pages, which were digitally recorded. researchers managed to rebuild the notebook and sewed it back together using cover remnants. The remarks in the notebook refer to photos now held by the Scott Polar Research Institute. According to CNN, after the restoration of the notebook, it was returned to Antarctica where it joined other 11,000 artifacts at Cape Evans. Scott was a British explorer who became famous during what historians call the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He arrived at the South Pole in January 1912 to discover his rival, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, had beaten him to the spot by an estimated 33 days.
According to the International Business Times the notebook detailing their doomed polar journey suffered from a lot of water damage; however researchers managed to digitise and rebind the pages for display.
“It’s an exciting find”, said Nigel Watson, executive director at the Antarctic Heritage Trust, in a statement. “The notebook is a missing part of the official expedition record. After spending seven years conserving Scott’s last expedition building and collection, we are delighted to still be finding new artefacts”.