Davis, Nimrod and Aurora

Scope and Content

  • MS 575/8;MJ Log and diary extracts, 1909-1917 [Nimrod, May 1909 during visits to Macquarie Island, Royal Company Islands, Emerald Island, Nimrod Islands, with sketches of Macquarie Island, running diary of steam yacht Aurora during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914, 8 December 1911 to 9 March 1914, running diary of steam yacht Aurora during the Ross Sea Relief Expedition, 1916-1917, 20 December 1916 to 9 February 1917] 1 volume, holograph and typescript, microfilm

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton) sailed south on board Nimrod. A shore party of 15 set up base on the Antarctic continent; they discovered nearly 500km of the Transantarctic Mountains flanking the Ross Ice Shelf. A party climbed Mount Erebus (3794 m), Ross Island. A southern party consisting of Shackleton, Jameson Adams, Eric Marshall and Frank Wild found a route up the Beardmore Glacier and sledged to within 180km of the pole.

A second party sledged to he region of the South Magnetic pole and exploration of the area around the Ferrar Glacier was also conducted.

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 (leader Douglas Mawson) established three bases, one on Macquarie Island, the others at Cape Denison and the Shackleton Ice Shelf. Sledging parties from the Cape Denison base explored the eastern coast, the southern area towards the Magnetic Pole and the western coastal mountains. A sledging party consisting of Mawson, Ninnes and Mertz explored the icecap to the south beyond Cape Freshfield. (Only Mawson returned). The party on the Shackleton Ice Shelf carried out explorations including the assent of Gaussberg on the Davis Strait. The party on Macquarie Island led by George F Ainsworth established a wireless station and explored the island during their 23 month stay. Aurora searched for the non existent 'Royal Company Island' and visited Auckland Islands.

The Aurora rescued the remaining members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Ross Sea Party] 1914-1917.



Related Material

The Institute holds over a fifty archival collections containing material relating to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909, see SPRI collection GB 015 British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 for more information. The Institute holds archival collections for several members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 including Douglas Mawson.

Material on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914 is also held at the State Library of New South Wales, Australia Mitchell Library

Additional Information

MS 575/8;MJ Original in Mitchell Library, part of State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, (Uncat. Mss. Set 171)