About urack

I am a polar historian, specialised in social and environmental history

NZ Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship

I am very glad that I have been awarded the NZ Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship. The Press release announced the recipients today.

My project has the title: Frozen History: Researching, Recording and Communicating Antarctic History

More details will be released soon.

Mount Erebus with clouds

Mt. Erebus December 2015

Advertisements

HASSEG video released

The HASSEG conference was held in Hobart in July 2017.  Now a video about the conference has been released.  I am in it with a part of my presentation Geographical Societies, mapping, and interests in the Antarctic (time in the video 13:29 – 14:15). This video gives a great overview of the content and the quality of the presentations.

Click on this link and the video should appear. Enjoy!

SONY DSC

Antarctic, 2014 – an inspiration for my historical research

Exhibition in the EPS library

An exhibition in the EPS (Engineering Library University of Canterbury) is open since last week until the end of October. It promotes the Antarctic Collection which is on permanent loan at UC since 1999. Last weekend was the Season Opening and IceFest.

The display shows the history of the last 60 years in the Antarctic and New Zealand’s involvement in Antarctic science. The artwork is provided by Adele Jackson, an artist and Ph.D. candidate at Gateway Antarctica.  A handout gives more information to the display.

Christchurch is one of the 5 Gateway Cities

Gateway Antarctica is the research unit at the UC

Antarctic Collection holds valuable information (books, reports, etc.) on Antarctic expeditions and research events.

Antarctic History is important to understand the current situation in the Antarctic (from the first scientific/research events to the Antarctic Treaty and the current situation with new team players (e.g.: China, Korea, India, Malaysia) who are establishing stations in the Antarctic.

Come along and see the exhibition:

Oct 09
Monday
Oct 10
Tuesday
Oct 11
Wednesday
Oct 12
Thursday
Oct 13
Friday
Oct 14
Saturday
Oct 15
Sunday
EPS 8am – 9pm 8am – 9pm 8am – 9pm 8am – 9pm 8am – 6pm 10am – 5pm 10am – 5pm
 Opening hours of the EPS library.
P1040790

Display in the EPS library.

Some images from the Whaler’s Bay at Stewart Island

The artefacts left behind when the Whalers left in 1932 are still to see today. It is a heritage site and of great value for resesarcher of maritime history and for the history of whaling in the Southern Ocean.

 

P1040600

Propellers from the ships on the shore

 

P1040603.JPG

Part of an engine used at the base

 

P1040605

Part of the slipway

 

 

 

 

Public Talk – Cashmere Friendship Club

19 September: I gave a public talk in the Cashmere Friendship Club in the afternoon. 3 men have been to the Antarctic in the 1980s and 1990s. They were astonished how much has changed about the gear and the health and safety procedures. It was interesting to talk to them about it. My presentation was well received and I could once again talk about my passion: Research and Antarctic.

SONY DSC

Weddell Seals – picture from 2016

 

Work at Stewart Island

4 – 8 September I was in at Stewart Island to collect images from whaling logbooks in the Rakiura Museum. It took some preparation time but I found some data in the end. The Museum is run by volunteers and so it took some time to arrange the meeting. I had also the chance to see the Norwegian Whaler’s Base – it had nothing to do with the whaling process as such but the whaling ships were repaired there when they came back from the Ross Sea. The business closed in 1932. It is a very interesting part of the whaling history in the Southern Ocean.

Now I am cataloging the images and write my final report – my work ends for NSC-DS at 29 September 2017.

P1040504

One of the whaling logbooks in the Rakiura Museum

 

Some new material for NSC-DS

I was today at the museum at Stewart Island and found some material for the project. However, most of the whalers’ logbooks are back in Norway. When they were out for the catch, they were often not very keen to write down their position – so sometimes the information is a bit on the thin side.

I saw also the Whaler’s Base. It was interesting to learn that in a short time the whalers built a great Base but it was not profitable enough to sustain. It ended in 1932 in Stewart Island. It was closely linked to the Ross Sea Whaling.

P1040504