Contributions to the 5th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium. Editors: Prue McKay and Alana Treasure. Canberra, ACT: AICCM (Inc.), 2008.


Latitude 77’33’ 10.7”S, longitude 166’10’ 6.5”E g Ernest Shackleton and his team probably never envisaged that their humble hut at Cape Royds would still be standing after 100 years, but they had built it to be as robust as possible. It was their refuge, their base and the centre of their lives for some 14 months, providing shelter, light and warmth through the blizzards and extreme cold of an Antarctic winter. The hut is far more than the physical structure of weather beaten timbers. The Antarctic Heritage Trust1 has been involved in the conservation and preservation of the historic huts on Ross Island for the past ten years. The sites cared for by the Trust include the expedition bases of both Robert Falcon Scott and Henry Ernest Shackleton. These are Scott’s Discovery Hut at Hut Point (1901) and his Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans (1910-13), and Shackleton’s Nimrod Hut at Cape Royds (1907-09). In 2006 a major new phase of the Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project commenced. This involved removing almost all of the objects from inside and outside Shackleton’s hut and bringing them to Scott Base to be conserved during the winter of 2007. Our aim, as members of the 2007 ‘winter-over’ team, was to alter the appearance and nature of the objects as little as possible but to stabilise them for return and display inside the hut. This had to be balanced against the difficulty of future treatment and the lack of a range of available conservation materials. This presentation will cover aspects of conserving site specific items at Scott Base and of being the first paper conservator to assess the collection.

5th Book, Paper & Photograph Symposium, 2008
Paper author:
Durkin, Phillipa