UCLA Library Department of Special Collections
Exhibits / April 2002
Michael H. Rosove, Clinical Professor of Medicine in UCLA’s Department of Medicine, has had an interest in Antarctica for more than twenty years and has made several trips to high south latitudes. In addition to his comprehensive Antarctica bibliography, he is the author of Let Heroes Speak: Antarctic Explorers, 1772 - 1922, published by the Naval Institute Press in 2000 and scheduled for paperback release by Penguin Putnam. Dr. Rosove’s bibliography, which brings together published materials covering 150 years of Antarctic history, includes rare and virtually unknown works from the continent’s classical and heroic periods of exploration. This publication is the result of ten years of research in private collections and in the world’s most important libraries for Antarctic research, including UCLA Special Collections.
The core of the Antarctica holdings at UCLA is the Mary Joe Goodwin Antarctica Collection. The collection was compiled by Goodwin, a prolific and award-winning medical illustrator, who was a member of the first public expedition to Antarctica in the mid-1960s and returned twice thereafter. The collection contains books and serials, Goodwin’s research materials and writings, correspondence, catalogues, slides, scrapbooks, films, and memorabilia. Important expeditions to the continent, mapmaking, geology, and natural history are a few of the potential areas of study for researchers using this collection. Many of the Goodwin materials also complement the Department’s Sir Maurice G. Holmes Collection relating to Captain James Cook. A small selection of UCLA’s Antarctica materials is on display in honor of Dr. Rosove’s new bibliography and his lecture in the Department of Special Collections on April 22, 2002.
Antarctic Exploration, 1772 - 1922
Dr. Michael H. Rosove’s Antarctica bibliography documents works on the exploration and study of the region between 1772 and 1922. In his preface, Rosove reviews the characteristics of this period and the major events that occurred during these 150 years of Antarctic history:
"In 1772, [Captain James] Cook opened the ‘classical’ period of Antarctic exploration by circumnavigating at high southern latitudes and proving that no previously known lands constituted part of the postulated but unknown southern continent. During this period, lasting to the 1840s, Antarctica was discovered, the periphery of the continent was examined from ships powered by wind, and sealers destroyed nearly all the fur seals of South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsular regions.
"After a ‘latency’ period of fifty years, the ‘heroic’ period of exploration took form and began in the 1890s. Ships were no longer dependent solely on sail, and small, intrepid parties of men penetrated the continent’s interior, culminating in the first arrivals at the South Pole. [Ernest] Shackleton’s death in 1922 during his Quest expedition closed that period; the broad swath of one and a half centuries from Cook to Shackleton delineate the pre-modern period of Antarctic history making. After Shackleton, Antarctic exploration and science became increasingly large-scaled and mechanized."
Captain James Cook in the Resolution and Adventure (1772 - 1775)
Captain James Cook undertook three major voyages between 1768 and 1779. Rosove describes the achievements of his second expedition, noting:
"During the course of this . . . voyage, Cook in the Resolution and Tobias Furneaux in the Adventure became the first to circumnavigate the globe at high southern latitude and cross the Antarctic Circle. Cook achieved a new farthest south record of 71º10' S and proved that no previous land sightings [had] constituted an Antarctic continent. He rediscovered, named, and made a first landing on South Georgia and discovered all but three northerly islands in the South Sandwich Islands."
[John Marra.] Journal of the Resolution's voyage in 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. On discovery to the Southern Hemisphere, by which the non-existence of an undiscovered continent, between the equator and the 50th degree of southern latitude, is demonstratively proved. London, Printed for F. Newberry, 1775.
The first published book containing a firsthand account of the Antarctic regions was also the first printed account of Captain James Cook's second voyage. Marra's Journal, originally published anonymously and surreptitiously, appeared eighteen months before Cook's own official account. The author was a gunner's mate aboard the Resolution whom Cook had picked up in Batavia during the first voyage. A Dublin edition was issued in 1776, as was a German translation. A French translation was also published in Amsterdam in 1777.
According to Sir Maurice Holmes, whose Cook collection is now in the Department, "This is a curious compilation. Marra . . . was incapable of writing a consecutive account of anything. His contribution was therefore limited to factual extracts from his journal, the great bulk of the work being supplied by an editor, who padded the book with geographical descriptions extracted from accounts of Cook's first voyage and other even less relevant material."
James Clark Ross in the Erebus and Terror (1839-43)
Rosove writes of the Ross expedition in the preface to his bibliography:
"Ross’s Antarctic voyage of 1839-43 was the most important since the circumnavigation of Cook and the discovery of South Shetland by William Smith. Among all Antarctic voyages and expeditions it remains preeminent. In the first season, the two ships Erebus and Terror became the first to penetrate the pack ice engirdling the Ross Sea."
"During the second season, Ross bettered his own farthest south of the previous season: 78º 9.5' S. . . . The expedition came close to destruction at the end of the second season when the ships, in foul weather during the middle of the night, collided and sustained severe damage to the rigging as they drifted toward colossal icebergs in their lee." But Ross and his party did continue into a third season, during which they discovered several new territories.
James Clark Ross. A voyage of discovery and research in the southern and Antarctic regions, during the years 1839 - 43.
London: John Murray, 1847.
Rosove describes Ross’s narrative as "a cornerstone of the Antarctic literature and a monument to one of mankind’s greatest expeditions of geographical and scientific exploration."
Frederick A. Cook.
Through the first Antarctic night, 1898 - 1899.
New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900.
Surgeon and anthropologist Frederick Cook was a member of the Antarctic expedition party organized by Adrien de Gerlache. In the course of their explorations, Gerlache’s group made numerous landings on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and was the first to travel extensively there by sled. Later, as Rosove writes, "The ship was frozen in, and the party became the first to pass a winter south of the Antarctic Circle. . . . The men did not escape the ice until the following March."
The South pole : an account of the Norwegian Antarctic expedition in the "Fram," 1910-1912 .
London: J. Murray, 1912.
Amundsen and his men were the first to reach the South Pole. Rosove relates the unusual beginning and successful ending of this expedition: "Amundsen originally intended an expedition to the Arctic and borrowed the Fram from the great Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen. When Frederick Cook and Robert Peary announced the results of their North Pole exploits, Amundsen secretly changed his plan for the South Pole, informing only a few of his party, and telling the rest only just before the final departure from Madeira. . . . Amundsen’s party reached the South Pole before Scott, taking sun sightings and closely circumscribing the spot from 14 to 17 December 1911. The men arrived back to base safely after a 99-day journey of 1,860 miles."
Ernest Shackleton and the British Antarctic Expedition (1907-1909)
Rosove summarizes Shackleton’s first famous voyage:
"Shackleton and his men achieved a full measure of greatness on this remarkable expedition. After establishing a base at Cape Royds in McMurdo Sound, members of the fifteen-man shore party made the first ascent of Mount Erebus, discovered the Beardmore Glacier, attained a new farthest south of 88º23' on the polar ice cap and were the first to approach the south magnetic pole located high in the Victoria Land interior."
[Ernest Henry Shackleton, editor.]
Printed at the sign of ‘The Penguins' by Joyce and Wild, Latitude 77º -- 32' South, Longitude 166º -- 12' East, Antarctica, .
Aurora australis is the first book ever written, printed, illustrated, and bound in the Antarctic. It was published at the winter quarters of the 1907 British Antarctic expedition between April and July 1908 and is made up of loose printed sheets bound in wooden boards made from packing crates which had originally contained provisions.
James Murray and George Marston, in Antarctic days: sketches of the homely side of polar life, by two of Shackleton’s Men (London, 1913), wrote of the conditions under which the work was produced: "The reader, contemplating the finished work, would have no glimmering of suspicion of the immense difficulties under which the work had to be produced. It was winter, and dark, and cold. The work had to be done, in the intervals of more serious occupations, in a small room occupied by fifteen men, all of them following their own avocations, with whatever of noise, vibration and dirt might be incidental to them."
Rosove writes that the work has "rightfully achieved legendary status as the ne plus ultra of the Antarctic bibliography for its manner of production, rarity, charisma, and association with one of the greatest of all Antarctic expeditions."
Ernest H. Shackleton.
The Antarctic book: winter quarters 1907-1909.
London : William Heinemann, 1909.
Selections from Aurora Australis were extracted for The Antarctic Book, which was issued as part of the deluxe 1909 edition of Shackleton’s The Heart of the Antarctic. These volumes were published soon after the party’s return, as the expedition had received attention around the world and both author and publisher wished to capitalize on this publicity. The book was an immediate success and was translated into Italian, German, Swedish, French, and Hungarian.
Rosove describes this three-volume special edition as "one of the most handsome productions in the Antarctic canon. Nothing was spared by the publisher and printer to style the volumes as beautifully as possible. . . . The Antarctic Book possesses the coup - - a double page signed by all members of the shore party."
Ernest H. Shackleton and the Imperial Transantarctic Expedition (1914 - 1917)
As Robert F. Scott and Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole, Shackleton turned to the final objective of Antarctic exploration - - traversing the continent through the South Pole. Although the expedition failed in this goal, Shackleton and his party did discover the Caird Coast in the Weddell Sea, which connected Coats Land and the Luitpold Coast.
Shackleton had planned a two-pronged approach, overland and by sea, with members of his party proceeding from different points. Following a number of mishaps, including the loss of ships and men, Shackleton managed to rescue the survivors of his expedition. He would mount one last expedition to the Antarctic, his final voyage in 1921 - 1922. He died on January 5, 1922, just before his party entered the Antarctic region.
Ernest Henry Shackleton.
South: the story of Shackleton's last expedition, 1914-1917.
New York: Macmillan, 1920.
Rosove describes Shackleton’s account of this expedition as a "classic and one of the finest in the Antarctic literature. With his inimitable style he chronicled a great tale - - an epic of leadership, loyalty, and survival. . . . [Shackleton] immediately immerses us in the far south as the Endurance plies its way through the abstract Weddell Sea, its shifting skies, winds, waves, and ice."
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