British Antarctic Expedition (1907-1909)

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The British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, also known as the The Nimrod Expedition, was the first of three successful expeditions to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton. Its main target, among a range of geographical and scientific objectives, was to be first to the South Pole. This was not attained, but the expedition's southern march reached a Farthest South latitude of 88° 23' S, just 97.5 nautical miles (180.6 km; 112.2 mi) from the pole. This was by far the longest southern polar journey to that date and a record convergence on either Pole.[a] A separate group led by Welsh Australian geology professor Edgeworth David reached the estimated location of the South Magnetic Pole, and the expedition also achieved the first ascent of Mount Erebus, Antarctica's second highest volcano.

The expedition lacked governmental or institutional support, and relied on private loans and individual contributions. It was beset by financial problems and its preparations were hurried. Its ship, Nimrod, was less than half of the size of Robert Falcon Scott's 1901–1904 expedition ship Discovery, and Shackleton's crew lacked relevant experience. Controversy arose from Shackleton's decision to base the expedition in McMurdo Sound, close to Scott's old headquarters, in contravention of a promise to Scott that he would not do so. Nevertheless, although the expedition's profile was initially much lower than that of Scott's six years earlier, its achievements attracted nationwide interest and made Shackleton a public hero. The scientific team, which included the future Australasian Antarctic Expedition leader Douglas Mawson, carried out extensive geological, zoological and meteorological work. Shackleton's transport arrangements, based on Manchurian ponies, motor traction, and sled dogs, were innovations which, despite limited success, were later copied by Scott for his ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition.

On his return, Shackleton overcame the Royal Geographical Society's initial scepticism about his achievements and received many public honours, including a knighthood from King Edward VII. He made little financial gain from the expedition and eventually depended on a government grant to cover its liabilities. Within three years his southernmost record had been surpassed, as first Amundsen and then Scott reached the South Pole. In his own moment of triumph, Amundsen nevertheless observed: "Sir Ernest Shackleton's name will always be written in the annals of Antarctic exploration in letters of fire".

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Antarctic publication, Aurora Australis, 1908 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Rupert England collection, 1907-1924 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Alfred Cheetham collection, 1907-1913 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn George Mulock collection, 1902-1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Maud Dorman collection, 1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sidney Riches collection, 1907-1909 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sir Harry Rawson collection, 1904-1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn collection, 1926-1930 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Robert Mennell collection, 1907-1910 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Frederick Pryce Evans collection, 1907-1909 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Hodgson, Thomas Vere. Papers [manuscript]. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Fridtjof Nansen collection, 1893-1925 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Rupert Gould collection, 1921-1949 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Philip Brocklehurst collection, 1907-1908 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn George Marston collection, 1914 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Emily Shackleton collection, 1885-1935 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Alister Forbes Mackay collection, 1909 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Eric Stewart Marshall collection, 1907-1953 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Ernest Joyce collection, 1907-1930 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sir Raymond Priestley collection, 1907-1974 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Bernard Day collection, 1910-1911 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Tannatt William Edgeworth David collection, 1907-1930 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn C Howle collection, 1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
creatorOf British Antarctic Expedition (1907-1909). [Signatures of members of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909] [mansucript]. Newberry Library
referencedIn Nell Cochrane collection, 1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sir George Goldie collection, 1901-1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Leo Cotton collection, 1908 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Henry Dunlop collection, 1907 - 1914 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton collection, 1874-1992 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Arthur Edward Harbord collection, 1907-1986 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn The Lyttelton Times, collection, 1907-1909 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn James Murray collection, 1910-1913 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Stanley Beal collection, 1907 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Davis, John King, 1884-1967. Papers [manuscript]. Libraries Australia
referencedIn [Arrol-Johnston marque file. 1909]. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Herbert Asquith collection, [1909]-1916 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn James Paton collection, 1910-1916 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Charles Mackellar collection, 1908-1922 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn John King Davis collection, 1905-1951 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn John Robert Francis Wild collection, 1873-1939 Scott Polar Research Institute
creatorOf British Antarctic Expedition (1907-1909). [Envelopes] [manuscript]. Libraries Australia
referencedIn British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909, 1907-1909 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Douglas Mawson collection, 1903-1948 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Harold King collection, 1964-1992 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn John Scott Keltie collection, 1907-1919 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Sir William Ellison-Macartney collection, 1900-1922 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Alfred Reid collection, 1908 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn David, T. W. Edgeworth (Tannatt William Edgeworth) Sir, 1858-1934. With Shackleton : press cuttings. Libraries Australia
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Jameson B., inscriber. person
associatedWith Arthur Edward Harbord person
associatedWith Beal, Stanley person
associatedWith Bernard C Day person
associatedWith British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. corporateBody
associatedWith Brocklehurst, Philip L., inscriber. person
associatedWith Charles D Mackellar person
hasMember Cheetham, Alfred B., 1867-1918 person
associatedWith Cochrane, Nell person
associatedWith David, T. W. Edgeworth (Tannatt William Edgeworth) Sir, 1858-1934. person
associatedWith Davis, John King, 1884-1967. person
associatedWith Davis, John King, inscriber. person
associatedWith Emily Mary Shackleton person
associatedWith England, Rupert person
associatedWith England, Rupert A., inscriber. person
associatedWith Eric Stewart Marshall person
associatedWith Ernest Edward Mills Joyce person
associatedWith Frederick Pryce Evans person
associatedWith George Edward Marston person
associatedWith George Francis Arthur Mulock person
associatedWith Gerald F. Fitzgerald Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
memberOf Harbord Arthur, Edward, 1883-1961 person
associatedWith Harold (Harry) Godfrey Rudolph King person
associatedWith Henry Harry Dunlop person
associatedWith Herbert Henry Asquith person
associatedWith Hodgson, Thomas Vere. person
associatedWith Howle, C person
associatedWith John King Davis person
associatedWith John Robert Francis Frank Wild person
associatedWith John Scott Keltie person
associatedWith Joyce, Ernest E. Mills (Ernest Edward Mills), d. 1940, inscriber. person
associatedWith Kidson, Edward person
associatedWith Ledoux, Henri, former owner. person
associatedWith Leo Arthur Cotton person
associatedWith Mackay, Alistair Forbes, 1878-1914, inscriber. person
associatedWith Mackay, Alister Forbes, 1878-1914 person
associatedWith Mackintosh, A. L. A. (Aeneas Lionel Acton), 1879-1916, inscriber. person
associatedWith Marshall, Eric (Eric Stewart), 1879-1963, inscriber. person
associatedWith Maud Isabel Daisy Dorman person
associatedWith Mawson, Douglas person
associatedWith Mennell, Robert person
associatedWith Mitchell, W.A. Rupert, inscriber. person
associatedWith Murray, James person
associatedWith Murray, James, b. 1865, inscriber. person
associatedWith Nansen, Fridtjof person
associatedWith Nimrod (Sailing ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Paton, James person
associatedWith Philip Lee Brocklehurst person
associatedWith Reid, Alfred person
associatedWith Rupert Thomas Gould and others person
associatedWith Shackleton, Ernest Henry, Sir, 1874-1922, inscriber. person
associatedWith Sidney B Riches person
associatedWith Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and others person
associatedWith Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie person
associatedWith Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson person
associatedWith Sir Raymond Edward Priestley person
associatedWith Sir William Ellison-Macartney person
associatedWith Tannatt William Edgeworth David person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1907

Active 1909

Britons

English

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