Skip to content

Your Cart

×

You have 0 items in your cart.

‘the greatest treasure in the library’

An exhibition ran in the Press Museum from October 2014 to February 2015, which told the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Press edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

100 years ago, Sir Ernest Shackleton took two sets of the Eleventh Edition Encyclopaedia Britannica published by Cambridge University Press on his expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. When disaster struck the expedition ships Endurance and Aurora, words and paper helped the survival, both mental and physical, of explorers on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Published in 1910-11, these volumes could fill hours, expand horizons and settle any argument. 40,000 articles could inform, educate, delight and engage. Words were vital for survival so volumes and torn-out pages were saved when so much else was abandoned to the ice.

Meredith Hooper, Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge, curated this exhibition. She calls the Encyclopaedia Britannica the ‘internet before the internet’. Her archival research reveals for the first time the names of benefactors who gave the volumes to the expedition, and identifies the volumes which survived tough decisions about what to keep, what to destroy. She writes, ‘The pristine volumes that sank in the Weddell Sea, the well-used blubber-impregnated volumes abandoned on floes, the pages burnt as fire-lighters, or wrapping the comfort of addictive tobacco substitutes, the remnants left behind in the hut contrived by balancing the two remaining boats, upturned, on low stone walls on Elephant Island. Ocean-drowned, or ice-buried, the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was in truth a trusty guide and, most precisely, as the editors had confidently claimed, to ‘all class of readers’. *

With the aroma of seal-blubber stoves still lingering and paper blackened by sooty fingers turning pages, two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, borrowed from the Royal Geographical Society, are testimony to the lesser-known men of Shackleton’s expedition. Based in the Ross Sea area, they would lay supply depots towards the Pole for the explorers hauling their sledges across the ice. Marooned ashore when their ship drifted north, ten men endured the extremities of polar winter, sustained by the power of words to engage their minds.

Along with volumes loaned from the Royal Geographical Society, London, we are privileged to show an original diary written by expedition physicist R.W. James from The Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. Evocative images by expedition photographer, Frank Hurley, bring the explorers’ lives into sharp focus.

* Quoted with kind permission of Meredith Hooper and Stephen Scott-Fawcett, editor of the James Caird Society Journal.

  • Share:

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×
This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close
<var id="iLnLmwA"><dl id="iLnLmwA"></dl></var>
<menuitem id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></video></menuitem><var id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></span></var>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"><var id="iLnLmwA"></var></span></ins>
<cite id="iLnLmwA"></cite>
<var id="iLnLmwA"></var>
<cite id="iLnLmwA"></cite>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"></span></ins><ins id="iLnLmwA"></ins>
<cite id="iLnLmwA"></cite>
<var id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"></span></var>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"><var id="iLnLmwA"></var></span></ins>
<menuitem id="iLnLmwA"></menuitem>
<var id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></video></var>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"></video></ins>
<menuitem id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></video></menuitem>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"></ins>
<menuitem id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></span></menuitem>
<var id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"></span></var>
<var id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></video></var>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"></ins>
<menuitem id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"><thead id="iLnLmwA"></thead></video></menuitem>
<cite id="iLnLmwA"></cite><cite id="iLnLmwA"><video id="iLnLmwA"></video></cite>
<ins id="iLnLmwA"><span id="iLnLmwA"><cite id="iLnLmwA"></cite></span></ins>
  • 971141080 2018-02-25
  • 33491079 2018-02-25
  • 3829761078 2018-02-25
  • 5407581077 2018-02-25
  • 53631076 2018-02-25
  • 9928501075 2018-02-25
  • 4926241074 2018-02-25
  • 2002821073 2018-02-24
  • 1548131072 2018-02-24
  • 974451071 2018-02-24
  • 8715451070 2018-02-24
  • 8747571069 2018-02-24
  • 484431068 2018-02-24
  • 6171861067 2018-02-23
  • 2609311066 2018-02-23
  • 2511881065 2018-02-23
  • 3958501064 2018-02-23
  • 7669661063 2018-02-23
  • 7379941062 2018-02-23
  • 7526351061 2018-02-23
  • cheap jerseys | wholesale jerseys |