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Diary of George Dovers, Antarctica 1911-1913


Diary of George Dovers, Antarctica 1911-1913

Object information


Written by George Harris Sarjeant Dovers, surveyor for AAE 1911-1913. The diary has entries dating from 7 November 1912 to 4 February 1913. It is titled 'Diary of George Dovers, Western Party, 2nd Base, A.A.E 1911-1913'. Although the diary does not have entries for every day, it lists rations, personal gear worn, carried and kit bag contents, as well as several sketches of the camps, topography and lists members of the team.

Physical description

A black hardcover book, used as a diary. The internal pages have hand-written entries in pencil over printed red vertical lines. Handwritten text in pencil on inside of front cover reads 'George Dovers. / Western Party / 2nd Base, / A.A.E. / 1911-1913'. A printers plate is adhered inside the front cover with black print and text that reads, 'No 8765 Date 23-11-1911 / SANDS & M.cDOUGALL / ENGRAVERS, PRINTERS / & MANUFACTURING STATIONERS. / ADELAIDE'. A number is written on the next page, in the top right corner reading, '900.333A.'

Statement of significance

The collection consists of a pair of dog-sled runners, an icepick engraved 'Australasian Antarctic 1911' and a diary, all used by George Harris Sarjeant Dovers (1887-1971) in Antarctica. The collection also includes a pair of wooden skis used by his son Robert George Dovers (1922 - 1981) in two later Antarctic expeditions; the first to Adelie Land in 1951-52 and then to the Antarctic continent to establish the new Mawson Station in 1953-55. Robert also used his father's icepick in Antarctica.

Douglas Mawson led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) from 1911 to 1914. Three bases were established at Macquarie Island, Cape Denison (main base) and the Western base station at Queen Mary Land for which George Dovers was the cartographer. After the Second World War the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) was formed and the first expedition was to Heard Island in 1948. Robert Dovers served as the surveyor on this and the 1949 expedition to Macquarie Island. He also served as the Officer-in-Charge and Surveyor for the party which established the Mawson Station during the 1954 ANARE. Mawson is now one of the longest continuously operating stations in Antarctica and the oldest south of the Antarctic Circle. Australia continues to be one of the leading Antarctic nations, taking an intense strategic, economic and scientific interest on the continent. The collection is intimately linked to key events in Australia's Antarctic story.

Object information

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