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SPRI Review 2012: The Thomas H Manning Polar Archives

The Thomas H Manning Polar Archives

During 2012, the archive welcomed a number of the descendants of Terra Nova expedition members who came to view the many letters and diaries in the Institute’s collection. Throughout the Scott centenary many items from the archives have been quoted or reproduced in publications; for example, SPRI’s collaboration with J. and S.L. Bonham produced the final volume, with critical apparatus by Ann Shirley, of the South Polar Times (SPT IV), the expedition newspaper of both Captain Scott’s Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions, which completed publication of the full set. Volume IV was written during the second Antarctic winter of the Terra Nova expedition and, unlike the earlier editions, was not published on the expedition’s return. This year the Folio Society has also brought out a facsimile version of the separate monthly issues.

New additions to the archival collections included material relating to the Discovery Investigations, a fifty-eight page letter from Frank Wild written during Scott’s first Antarctic expedition and papers relating to the British Arctic Air Route expedition. Researchers from universities in the UK, Europe, America and New Zealand visited the Archive along with writers, broadcasters and those undertaking family research. The archive has also been working with the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat on a digitisation project to make the papers of their meetings more widely available.

Volunteers Sally Stonehouse, Deirdre Hanna and Michael Laughton have, as ever, provided excellent support; in 2012 they were joined by Judy Skelton, Sarah Greswell and Laura Kirby. Volunteer projects have included work on Greenlandic art, Shackleton’s Endurance expedition and the papers of Hugh Robert Mill and Michael Barne.

Naomi Boneham