Using the Blog

I am using this Blog to talk about my Web Site - Scott's Northern Party 1911-1913 - - and about items of interest relating to it. From time to time, as I find new material, I will update the existing web pages. When this happens, I shall use this Blog to let you know of significant changes.


Papers of captain Victor Campbell - MUN Library Archives Coll-010

Recently, I visited the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s and visited Campbell's grave in Corner Brook.  I spent several days at the University going through Victor Campbell Papers (Coll-010).  This collection, acquired by the University in 1979, holds some interesting items relating not only to his time in the Navy and the Antarctic but also his home at Black Duck and his life in Newfoundland. I was fascinated to go through his Antarctic photograph albums, see his drawings and field sketches, read entries from his field books and through these papers get to know more about the man.
One box I opened contained a typed signed letter from Scott, address to Campbell, outlining the orders for the Eastern Party's second year’s activities.  Another box had a small grubby battered notebook that originally had navigation and other data written on the Terra Nova’s trip out from England.  However, it soon became clear this book was also used during the party’s enforced wintering in the snow cave on Inexpressable Island.  Penciled communications, overwriting the original entries were randomly scattered through the book – silent communications not to be overheard by others in their 12 x 9 foot snow cave.  Questions and answers between Campbell and Levick about Browning's condition; Discussions about cleanliness problems with the cooking utensils; Levick reporting to Campbell about Priestley’s health.  Turning the soot stained pages my fingers touched the fingerprints of the writers.  I am very pleased that such a book has been preserved. 

Since coming home with photocopies of the book, I have a notice a faint pencil sketch of Melbourne Glacier (Browning Pass) and the Boomerang Glacier area with small dated triangle that I suspect are the camping spots. Here is a photo copy of two of the pages from the notebook. (File item 5.08 from Coll 010 MUN library archives)

On the left is the map mentioned above and on the right a conversation between Campbell and Levick. Campbell is suggesting letting Browning have a nip of brandy. Note the dirty pages, fingerprints, and some torn out pages.

Campbell, like many a serving officer of the time was able to sketch. Here is photocopy of his drawing of the Terra Nova. (File item 5.01 from Coll 010 MUN library archives)

The original drawing, in pencil was 260 x 210 mm or about A4 size.The detail in the drawing is amazing as can be seen from the following two enlarged sections - the first shows detail of the rigging and the second precision in the drawing of the Ensign and the aft deck. 



  1. Very Interesting information. I like the idea of them having to write notes to keep a communication secret from others in the cave. A most impressive sketch of the Terra Nova.

  2. Just caught up with this. Great stuff!