Friday November 27, 2009

Follow Scott's Last Expedition

So. Polar Expedition - Capt. Scott and his exploration ship: TERRA NOVA (LOC)

So. Polar Expedition – Capt. Scott and his exploration ship: TERRA NOVA (LOC) by The Library of Congress, on Flickr

The University of Cambridge are publishing day by day the expedition diary of polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, RN. It’s from this diary that we know of Lawrence Oates and his selfless act of sacrifice. Aware that his injuries were jeopardizing the lives of the party, Oates left the tent and walked to his death. Scott wrote that Oates’ last words were, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

The Scott’s Last Expedition blog is a chance to relive the daily events of the Terra Nova Expedition, as recorded by Robert Falcon Scott in his famous journal. By republishing the entries as a daily blog, we hope to give the reader new insights into the scale and scope of Scott’s experience.

Dividing the text into daily blog entries – combined with a twitter account and RSS feed – and linking to the famous photographs held in the Scott Polar Research Institute, means that the latest communication technology will add an extra dimension to a well known text: the dimension of time. We will follow the expedition’s progress day by day, over many months, beginning with its departure from New Zealand, and ending with its tragic and heroic conclusion.

This form of publishing is not new. Phil Gyford serialised Samuel Pepys’ London diary as a blog, with the entry of 1 January 1660 posted on the corresponding day in 2003. But it’s an effective and engaging form and we won’t be surprised to find more books and written works published like this in the future!

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