The collection comprises of correspondence by Filchner relating to the preparation of the German South Polar Expedition, 1911-1912 (led by Filchner)
Wilhelm Filchner collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Wilhelm Filchner
- Dates of Creation1910-1911
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish. , German
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (9 leaves)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Wilhelm Filchner was born in Germany in 1877. He trained in a military academy and was commissioned in the German army. Interested in survey and geophysics, he led two expeditions to the Polar Regions. His first expedition to Spitsbergen in 1910 was undertaken to provide polar experience and to test equipment for his forthcoming Antarctic expedition. Filchner then planned and led the German South Polar Expedition, 1911-1912, intending to cross Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. He was the first to reach the head of the Weddell Sea, discovering Vahsel Bay, but the tabular iceberg on which he established his base camp broke free in a storm and drifted out to sea. Everyone was rescued but his ship Deutschland was then beset and drifted for nine months in the Weddell Sea before reaching open water. The observations made during this period were valuable since the area was completely unknown. His further Antarctic plans were abandoned because of the First World War. In later life Filchner continued to explore, travelling in central Asia and Tibet. He died on 7 May 1957 in Switzerland.
Published work, Ein Forscherleben Eberhard Brockhaus Wiesbaden (1951) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Filchner]
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to The Polar Record, (January 1958) volume 9, number 58, p56 and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941
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