Scott’s 99-year-old Antarctic manuscripts found

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 6:29p.m.

By Hamish Clark

A 99-year-old manuscript has been discovered detailing captain Robert Falcon Scott’s plans to be the first to reach the South Pole.

The handwritten notes, acquired by Canterbury Museum, are a lecture Mr Scott gave to his men on the ice, setting out the journey to the pole.

Hand bound in royal blue, captain Robert Scott’s plans for his southern journey to the pole were thought to have been lost forever.

“It was really amazing the first time I got to read it and see and feel the paper and you can smell the tobacco smoke,” manuscript curator Joanna Condon says.

Mr Scott loved his pipe and loved to write inside his hut at Antarctica.

The eleven page document dating back 99 years was discovered in a London bookstore.

It reveals new details of what Mr Scott thought he needed to be the first to the pole.

“This lecture is the one everyone was interested in because it was about the pole journey and everyone wanted to know what his plans were and maybe whether they would be included,” Ms Condon says.

Mr Scott set off for the pole in November 1910, only to find Norway’s Roald Amundsen got there a month before him.

Mr Scott and his remaining team of four perished on their return.

Mr Scott’s flag was found by his body, and it is also on display at the museum as part of the royal collection for the museum’s Antarctic exhibition.

Also on display are the original photos taken during Mr Scott’s and Shackleton’s expeditions – that have never before left the royal family.

“This is a once in a life time experience to see the marriage of the objects with the photos and it is the first time and the only time this will happen,” says Royal Collection co-ordinator Stephen Weber.

Mr Scott’s original manuscript will be on display for the first time in 10 days time and there will also be a digital copy for the public to flick through.

Original article here

Knud Leem, 18th-century specialist on Sami language and culture – Part I – token of civilty

“…when the Sami lack tobacco they will share the same pipe. The pipe will be sent from one to the other which, in this manner, is to be taken as a token of civilty.”


The Norwegian Knud Leem was the leading 18th-century specialist on Sami language and culture. On the initiative of Thomas von Westen (1683-1727), Leem arrived as a missionary in Finnmark, in 1725. Leem collected large quanitities of ethnological documentation on the Sami in his work as a vicar at Talvik and Alta, up until 1734. His observations and understanding of Sami behavior, living conditions and disposition are recorded in a publication called Beskrivelse over Finmarkens Lapper, deres Tungemaal, Levemaade og forrige afgudsdyrkelse. This was published in 1767, in Copenhagen. The Danish text is accompanied by a parallel Latin text. An extract was also released in German, in 1771 (Leipzig), and in English, in 1808 (London). The English volume was titled An Account of the Laplanders of Finmark, their Language, Manners, and Religion, and this was the first volume in the serial called A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in all Parts of the World, which was published from 1808-1814, by John Pinkerton.

More on Knud Leem here.