Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    The Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic expedition aboard the "Quest", 1921-1922 / photographed chiefly by George Hubert Wilkins and Alexander Hepburn Macklin
  • Call number
    PXD 890
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    Photographs - 28 x 40 cm. or smaller - 473 silver gelatin photoprints in four albums
    Photographs - 30 x 30 cm. or smaller - On cardboard mounts 42 x 40 cm. or smaller - 3 silver gelatin photoprints

    The Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic expedition was launched with the intention of surveying the last unmapped regions of Antarctica, however Shackleton died of a heart attack on board the "Quest" as it approached South Georgia on 5 January 1922. Though the expedition proceeded under the command of Frank Wild it did not complete its objectives
  • Scope and Content
    The collection consists of 4 albums and 3 mounted photographs.

    ITEM 01:
    48 photos of shipboard life and duties on the "Quest" and shots of other ships including "Aquitania" and "France". Many photos of crew. Includes shots of St. Helena and one image of Napoleon's house

    ITEM 02:
    133 photos covering sequences in the Tropics, at Rio de Janeiro, on the way to South Georgia, South Georgia, going south, in "the pack", held up, overboard onto the floe, the scientists at work, the escape from "the pack", frozen in, the break away, escape into open sea, Elephant Island, back in South Georgia, off the coast of South Georgia, a cairn in memory of "The Boss" [i.e. Shackleton], the grave, goodbye to the ice, Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island, en route for Cape Town

    ITEM 03:
    172 images of the interiors, equipment and crew of the "Quest", as well as sponsors such as John Quiller Rowett. Includes shots of shipboard life and other vessels encountered in port and on the ocean, such as "Aquitania" and "France". Scenes of a whaling station in South Georgia, icebergs and the "Quest" traversing icy seas, inhabitants of Tristan da Cunha and numerous Antarctic vistas are also captured

    ITEM 04:
    Antarctic and unidentified Southern landscapes, flora and fauna, including inhabitants of Southern villages. Also the cairn to Shackleton and mourners at the gravesite. Group photos of the expedition members and life aboard the "Quest", some in heavy seas. Also included are photos of weather charts and maps of the voyage route, St. Paul Rocks, South Georgia, Larsen Harbour and Gough Island

    ITEM 05:
    5. [Shackleton's last anchorage]

    ITEM 06:
    6. [Man surveys a Polar landscape with sled dogs at his side]

    ITEM 07:
    7. Pyrrhus [ship]
  • Source
    Purchased Sept 2001
  • General note

    Attribution of images: Although Bee Mason was appointed photographer and cinematographer to the expedition, he left the Quest at Madeira due to sea sickness. From comparison with the photographs in "Shackleton's Last Voyage-the story of the Quest" by Frank Wild [ML 989.8/W], it is possible to give definite attribution of the photographs in the larger two numbered albums as follows: Sport & General 7 11 12: Topical 10 13 17: Central Press 14 15: George Hubert Wilkins 21 22 23 29 30 37 42 48 50 512 56 61 62 66 67 71 77 82 89 96 97 102 106 115 119 122 126 129 130 131 137 138 140 157 161 167 168 177 197 198 203 212 218 221 225 227 230 231 233 242 245 251 245 246 247 264 277: Alexander Hepbourne Macklin 40 45 52 91 92 104 116 135 139 144 146 147 151 169 173 175 176 178 182: John Lister unnumbered vertical photograph of the Quest after 281:
    From examination of these images, it is possible to assign most photographs to Wilkins or Macklin by the following : All Macklin's photographs are postcard size 8.3 x 14.0cm. Wilkin's photographs are either larger 10.8 x 15.8cm to 11.6 x 16.0cm or cut down to 7.9 x 10.5cm.
    The provenance of the albums was given as the Macklin family.
    Many of the untitled photographs are used with titles in Shackleton's Last Voyage by Frank Wild
    Reference sources:
    Shackleton's Last Voyage. The story of the Quest / Commander Frank Wild. New York: Frederick A Stokes Company Publishers, [1923]
    A history of Antarctica / Stephen Martin. Sydney: State Library of NSW Press, 1996
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Detailed inscriptions accompany each image in the margins of Album 2 and some images are inscribed on reverse in Album 1
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