By Josefin Jiménez
The work to conserve the artefacts from Cape Adare, the base established by Carsten Borchgrevink’s British Antarctic Expedition (Southern Cross) 1898 ̶ 1900, has just begun. Due to Cape Adare’s inaccessible location the artefacts won’t be conserved on the ice at Scott Base this winter but have instead been frozen and transported to Christchurch for treatment.
The team is made up of four conservators, some of whom are old hands with AHT and some of whom are new faces.
Sue Bassett, lead conservator, has led AHT Winter teams through 2013 and 2014, has experience with many interesting conservation projects in Australia and elsewhere, and has a passion for Antarctic history.
Stefanie White, objects conservator, has also wintered in Antarctica twice before, working with AHT in 2013 and 2014 on objects from Captain RF Scott’s Discovery hut and Terra Nova hut.
The newcomers to the Trust are Ciarán Lavelle, objects conservator, and Josefin Jiménez, paper conservator. Both have been following the project with interest for some time and are delighted to join the team.
Surprisingly the team has a strong Irish connection as both Stefanie and Ciarán are Irish and Josefin, albeit Swedish, has been living and working in Dublin for a year before coming to New Zealand.
It is going to be an exciting year with many fantastic objects to uncover. It is already amazing to see the new objects emerge and, as Borchgrevink’s hut is located in the middle of the world’s largest Adelié penguin colony (population 750,000), some of them are quite literally emerging … from vague shapes covered in guano and feathers, into recognisable historic artefacts (with a very distinct aroma).