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Polar Diaries

The Archives of the Scott Polar Research Institute preserve many of the manuscript sources - journals, logbooks and correspondence - for the history of British polar exploration. The Polar Diaries project aims to make these materials accessible either as blogs or transcripts.


Henry Bowers (SPRI P2005/5/1172)Stop Press

Bullet icon The South Pole Journals

The diaries of Henry Robertson Bowers are to be published for the first time
in a limited edition available via the Museum Shop. Publication date: 1 March 2012.

Bullet icon Scott's Last Expedition - the diary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, RN

Capt Scott writing his journal in the Winterquarters Hut

Capt Scott writing his journal in the Winterquarters Hut

© SPRI, University of Cambridge.
Image reference: P2005/5/518
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The 'Scott's Last Expedition' blog is a chance to relive the daily events of the Terra Nova Expedition, as recorded by Robert Falcon Scott in his famous journal. By republishing the entries as a daily blog, we hope to give the reader new insights into the scale and scope of Scott's experience.

Dividing the text into daily blog entries - combined with a twitter account and RSS feed - and linking to the famous photographs held in the Scott Polar Research Institute, means that the latest communication technology will add an extra dimension to a well known text: the dimension of time. We will follow the expedition's progress day by day, over many months, beginning with its departure from New Zealand, and ending with its tragic and heroic conclusion.

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Further reading

Scott's manuscript diaries were given to the nation by his family and are held in the British Library. The journals have appeared in numerous editions since their first publication in 1913. The following is a selection:

Scott's last expedition : the journals of Captain R.F.Scott / illustrated with photographs by Herbert Ponting.
London: Folio Society, 2009. xxvi, 496 p., [27] leaves of plates : map. 26 cm.
Abstract: Volume I of the account of Scott's 1910-13 Terra Nova expedition first published by Smith, Elder in 1913, including an introduction by J.M. Barrie first published in the 1914 edition and E.L. Atkinson's account of 'The finding of the dead' which first appeared in the 1923 edition published by John Murray.

Journals : Captain Scott's last expedition / edited and with an introduction and notes by Max Jones.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. lxii, 529 p. : ill., tables, maps. 21 cm. ISBN 0192803336.
Abstract: New edition of Scott's journals of the 1910-13 British Antarctic (Terra Nova) expedition, including for first the time a complete list of changes made to Scott's original text.

Scott's last journey / edited by Peter King; foreword by Beryl Bainbridge.
London: Duckworth, 1999. 192p., ill. 25.5 cm. ISBN 0715629387.
Abstract: Scott's diaries from the Terra Nova expedition, including sections not used in the original publication, extensive marginalia, and additional quotations from diaries of other members of the expedition.

The diaries of Captain Robert Scott: a record of the second Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1912. Vols. 1-6.
Tylers Green: University Microfilms, 1968. 6 vols. variously paged.
Abstract: Facsimile of Scott's base and sledging diaries held in the British Library, covering the period October 1910-March 1912. (B.M. Add.MSS. 51024-51038). Vol.4. reproduces South Polar Times 1911. (B.M. Add.MSS. 51039-51041).


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