Douglas Mawson - Lines on the Ice

In 1911 a group of scientists and adventurers left Hobart under the leadership of Douglas Mawson. They were bound for Macquarie Island and the then unknown parts of Antarctica.

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Young and relatively inexperienced outside their specific fields, these men found the intoxicating beauties and terrible harshness of the south a delight and a challenge. As they worked from their bases at Macquarie Island, Cape Denison and Queen Mary Land, they found new lands and experienced the friendships and conflicts fostered by close living in extreme climates. Two died and another lost his mind.

But it was not all in vain. The scientists of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition produced information that later made an extraordinary contribution to the knowledge of the south and the site of their main base has become a national heritage site. The exploration of new lands was formalised in 1936 as the Australian Antarctic Territory.

It is the human record - of tragedy, conflict and effort - that remains as the most accessible story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914. The Library's collection features original diaries, logs, maps and photographs of these dramatic and dangerous expeditions.

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