James, British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party]

Scope and Content

  • MS 1650/1;BJ Diary, 27 October 1914 to 15 February 1915, 1 volume, holograph
  • MS 1650/2;D Diary, October 27 1914 [Account of South Georgia] 4 leaves, holograph
  • MS 370/1:BJ Journal, volume I, 27 October 1914 to 20 October 1915 [In two parts with different pagination] typescript copy
  • MS 370/2;BJ Journal volume II, 16 February to 20 October 1915, holograph
  • MS 1605/4/1;D Diary, 24 October 1915 to 15 July 1916, 121 leaves, typescript
  • MS 1537/3/2/1-3;D Diary, 24 October 1915 to 3 September 1916 [Point Wild, 30 July 1916] 90 leaves
  • MS 370/3;BJ Journal, volume III, 30 October 1915 to 15 July 1916, 1 volume, holograph,
  • MS 1605/4/2;D Notes about Cape Wild, 30 July 1916 [Part of diary] typescript
  • MS 370/4;BJ Journal, volume IV, 16 July to 3 September 1916, 1 volume, holograph
  • MS 370/5;BJ Journal, volume V, 30 July 1916, 1 volume, holograph
  • MS 1650/3;D Diary, 15 September 1916 to 3 October 1916 [Punta Arenas to Mendoza] 11 leaves, holograph
  • MS 1605/4/3;D Notes on Ice Formation, compiled August 1916 [From observations written 1915] typescript
  • MS 1650/5;D Noon positions of Endurance, 18 leaves, typescript
  • MS 1241;D Final list of noon positions of the Endurance, undated, 22 leaves, typescript
  • MS 1605/14/2;MSM Manuscript map of Point Wild, May 1916 [Rough survey]
  • MS 1605/14/3;MSM Cartography map, May 1916 [Cape Wild, Elephant Island Survey]
  • MS 1605/14/4;D Sketch map, [1916] [Cape Wild, Elephant Island]
  • MS 1650/6;D A paper given to the Philosophical Club of the University of Cape Town, 1942, [Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916] typescript

Administrative / Biographical History

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Weddell Sea Party] 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton) set out to cross the Antarctic continent. When Endurance was beset this goal was abandoned. The ship drifted for ten months before being crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and sinking in 1915. The entire company spent five months on the ice before escaping in the three lifeboats to Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands. Two of the life boats were made into a shelter for the company while Shackleton, Thomas Crean, Frank Worsley, Timothy McCarthy, Harold McNish and John Vincent sailed 1450Km to South Georgia in the James Caird. Arriving at South Georgia Shackleton, Crean and Worsley made the first major trek across the island to the whaling station at Stromness. The steam tug Yelcho rescued the men on Elephant island in August 1916.



Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers this expedition. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

The Institute holds over thirty archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collection GB 015 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Weddell Sea Party] 1914-1916, for more information.