Friday, 22 February 2013

Alfred Wegener diaries available online

[Polarpol] Wegener diaries available online

"At its heart are the complete handwritten diaries from the three major Greenland expeditions of German polar researcher Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), made accessible for the first time in digital form. 14 original diaries are completely accessible and also major parts transcribed and translated into englisch. The exhibition also includes photos, documentary film footage, and a transcribed and translated digital edition of some two hundred selected diary pages. Christian Kehrt curated the exhibition and wrote the corresponding texts; Dorit Müller contributed a commentary on the film footage.

Wegener's writings offer first-hand impressions of Greenland's extreme environments, the dynamics of its ice sheet, and the challenges of collecting scientific data under extreme conditions. He reflects on science and technology, relationships with his colleagues, his professional aspirations for a future expedition to the south pole, and even his frustrations:

"But one thing is certain: I will not go on another expedition like this voluntarily. I'm too old for this, even if I'm only 31."

The Environment & Society Portal team edited and produced the exhibition; the Deutsches Museum, which holds the original diaries, provided their digitization. The RCC editorial team translated and copyedited the selections."

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