Sir Ernest


Discoverer of the South Magnetic Pole

Recently Credited with Innovative Management Techniques due to the survival of 100% of his crew

His Huge Manuscript Map of Antarctica and of

His Heroic and Epic Expedition

Drawn in blue and red crayon on paper in 1918

A manuscript map, hand-drawn by Shackleton, recording tracts and giving details of his epic expedition of 1914-1916 and his heroic rescues of his crews.

The aim of this expedition was to cross the continent with a sledge party to be landed by the Endurance in the Weddell Sea, while another party in the Aurora was to lay depots into the interior from their base at McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea. Shackelton and the trans-polar party would find the depots, which contained supplies sufficient enough to allow the completion of the trek.

The various tracks on the map (accompanied by explanations) tell the story of what actually happened. The Endurance was beset by ice and drifted for nine months before Shackleton abandoned her and drifted on the ice for a further five months eventually reaching the uncertain safety of Elephant Island. It was from here that Shackleton made his epic open boat trip to South Georgia in an effort to bring help to those left behind. After three abortive attempts in various rescue ships the remainder of the party were rescued. Shackleton then went to New Zealand and proceeded to McMurdo to bring back the depot-laying party.

Sadly, World War I was still raging & many of the rescued were immediately sent to the front to assist in the war effort. Shackleton was appointed major with the North Russian expeditionary force, where he was responsible for organizing winter equipment.

Shackleton has also identified, on the map, his "farthest point south" which he reached in his earlier expedition in 1909. It was then that Shackelton also discovered the South Magnetic Pole.

Shown here is a "minature reproduction of the original map preserved at the Karpeles Manuscript Library. The original is almost 4' wide and 6' tall.