Spring melt reveals historic find

HISTORIC FIND: A notebook dated 1910 belonging to George Murray Levick, a member of Captain Scott's expedition, has been ...
© Antarctic Heritage Trust New Zealand

HISTORIC FIND: A notebook dated 1910 belonging to George Murray Levick, a member of Captain Scott's expedition, has been found outside Scott’s 1911 Terra Nova base.

A photographer's notebook has been found after lying buried in snow for more than 100 years in Antarctica. 

New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered the notebook of British surgeon, zoologist and photographer George Murray Levick at Captain Scott's last expedition base at Cape Evans, and have now conserved it.

Conservation specialists found the notebook outside Scott's 1911 Terra Nova base, where each year the summer snow melt around the building causes variations in run off patterns, exposing it for the first time.

British surgeon, zoologist and photographer George Murray Levick.
© Antarctic Heritage Trust New Zealand

British surgeon, zoologist and photographer George Murray Levick.

The notebook is a "Wellcome Photographic Exposure Record and Dairy 1910", with Levick's name clearly written in the opening pages.

Levick was a part of Scott's 1910-1913 expedition and a member of the Northern Party. The notebook contains his pencil notes detailing the date, subjects and exposure details for the photographs he took during 1911 while at Cape Adare before undergoing a harsh winter in an ice cave on Inexpressible Island.

Antarctic Heritage Trust's Executive Director Nigel Watson said it was an exciting find.

"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."

The notebook's binding had been dissolved by 100 years of ice and water damage, allowing the pages to be separated and digitised before repair. 

Close examination revealed links between the notations in the notebook and photographs held by the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge and attributed to Levick.

Each page of the notebook had been conserved by the Trust back in New Zealand, before being rebuilt back into sections and sewn back together with a cover reconstructed. 

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The notebook has since been returned to Antarctica to join 11,000 other artefacts at Cape Evans.

In 2013 the Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ) discovered photographic negatives left in Scott's 1911 Cape Evans expedition base. In 2010 the Trust discovered three crates of whisky and two crates of brandy under Ernest Shackleton's 1908 base during conservation work.

 - Stuff

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