Photos From Captain Scott's Doomed Polar Expedition Revealed 100 Years On

Unseen Photos From Captain Scott's Doomed Polar Expedition Revealed 100 Years On

Photographs taken by Captain Scott on his final expedition are to be saved for the nation - exactly 100 years since his team reached the South Pole.

The collection consists of 109 photographs and gives a view of the Antarctic as seen through Captain Scott's eyes as he documented the first part of his epic journey.

Subjects include his companions, the ponies and sledges, the scientific work they were undertaking and the breathtaking Antarctic landscape.

For most of the past 70 years the images were considered lost as original negatives were misplaced and the pictures were held mostly in private ownership.

Now the Scott Polar Research Institute has purchased the pictures, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The team were famously beaten to the pole by Norwegian Roald Amundsen. They arrived 33 days later on January 17 1912, and died on their return journey.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the institute, said: "Scott's photographs bring to life, in vivid detail, his party's sledging journey into the interior of Antarctica.

"From men and ponies struggling through deep snow, to panoramas of the trans-Antarctic mountains, the images are very powerful.

"They are a superb complement to the Antarctic photographs of Herbert Ponting, which the Heritage Lottery Fund also helped us to acquire."

The photographs themselves were printed in the Antarctic by members of the expedition team as they waited for Captain Scott's ill-fated return from the Pole.

Captain Scott, who perished along with his four companions, was never to see the images he had taken.

They were returned to the UK by members of the expedition in 1913 and it was intended that they be used to illustrate books, reports and lectures.

However, difficulties with establishing copyright meant that only a handful were ever used.

The purchase of the photographs by the institute will allow the images to be reunited with Scott's camera, which was given to the Institute by the late Lady Philippa Scott in 2008.

Once they have been fully conserved, the photographs will be digitised and made available online.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: "This stunning collection provides a fascinating insight into Captain Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition.

"Although he was never to return, the research and records that were undertaken by his team are of historic and scientific importance."

The polar institute will hold a symposium tomorrow to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Terra Nova expedition. It will be attended by descendants of Captain Scott's party.

Prof Dowdeswell said: "The centenary gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on Scott's achievements and his legacy and to celebrate a century of Antarctic science."


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