Shackleton and Bruce: disentangling Antarctic geological collections at National Museums Scotland

Stone, Philip; Walcott, Rachel; Aspen, Peder. 2023 Shackleton and Bruce: disentangling Antarctic geological collections at National Museums Scotland. Geological Curator, 11 (8). 527-534.

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Amongst the Antarctic geological specimens held by National Museums Scotland are those from collections made during early 20th Century expeditions led by William Speirs Bruce and Ernest Shackleton. Historical circumstances and ambiguous labelling led to the Shackleton material, from his 1907–1909 Nimrod expedition, being incorporated into the Bruce collection and incorrectly assigned to the latter’s 1902–1904 Scotia expedition. The recent identification of the Shackleton specimens, examination of their surviving labels and a review of the relevant Polar literature has now allowed the confusion to be resolved and explained. The Shackleton collection proves to comprise ten basaltic rock specimens from Ross Island, from the vicinity of the active Mt Erebus volcano, and two granitic rock specimens from mountains further inland at the western margin of the Ross Sea. The geologists likely to have been involved in the collecting were Tannatt William Edgeworth David, Douglas Mawson and Raymond Edward Priestley. Two additional specimens can be assigned to a subsequent Australian expedition led by Mawson in 1911–1913.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Date made live: 12 Jan 2024 12:23 +0 (UTC)

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