Heroic Era Huts, Antarctica

PROJECT DATE : 2006-PRESENT
project
Heroic Era Huts, Antarctica
client
Historic Trust of New Zealand
services
Collection Management, Built Heritage, Objects Conservation, Monument Conservation, Industrial, Conservation Planning

Overview

ICS has had a long and major association with the conservation of the huts and contents of the sites from the Heroic Era of Antarctic Exploration (1899-1916).

Beginning with Carsten Borchgrevink's first winter in 1899 at Cape Adare and finishing with Shackleton's second expedition in 1917, there were five expeditions in total, with Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton each leading two.

The surviving huts house roughly 15,000 relics and comprise of an array of sledging gear, dog and pony tack, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, scientific equipment and, above all, a large number of canned and bottled foodstuffs.

ICS has been involved in assessing and cataloguing these collections since 1996, with regular visits to the huts. Between 2002-2004, ICS contributed to the Ross Sea Artefact Conservation Programme. Such a programme had never been undertaken before. It involved the planning and development of the long-term management, care, display and maintenance of the artefacts. In the winter of 2006, a six-year-long conservation project began.

Treatment

Ross Sea hut’s Artefact Conservation Programme:

  • Designing and equipping a specialist laboratory at Scott base
  • Developing a conservation strategy for the long-term care of the huts and relics
  • Developing specific treatment methodologies for cold climates
  • Assisting in the employment of conservators
  • Providing technical support for conservators on site

More information

project
Heroic Era Huts, Antarctica
client
Historic Trust of New Zealand
services
Collection Management, Built Heritage, Objects Conservation, Monument Conservation, Industrial, Conservation Planning
Boots, during treatment
Chaff bales

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