The summer thaw in Antarctica has revealed a century-old notebook from one of the frozen continent's early European explorers, the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust announced Monday.
The trust's conservation specialists found the notebook outside British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition base at Cape Evans, according to the trust.
The photographic exposure notebook had belonged to surgeon, zoologist and photographer George Murray Levick (1876-1956), who took part in Scott's 1910-1913 expedition.
It contained his pencil notes detailing the dates, subjects and exposure details for the photographs he took during 1911 while at Cape Adare before undergoing a harsh winter in an ice cave on Inexpressible Island.
"It's an exciting find. The notebook is a missing part of the official expedition record. After spending seven years conserving Scott's last expedition building and collection, we are delighted to still be finding new artefacts," trust executive director Nigel Watson said in a statement.
The notebook's binding had been dissolved by 100 years of ice and water damage allowing the pages to be separated and digitized before repair.
Close examination revealed links between the notations in the notebook and photographs held by the Scott Polar Research Institute, in Britain, and attributed to Levick.
Each page of the notebook had been conserved by the trust in New Zealand before being rebuilt into sections and sewn back together in a reconstructed cover, before it was returned to Antarctica as one of 11,000 artefacts at Cape Evans.
Last year, the trust discovered photographic negatives left in Scott's 1911 Cape Evans expedition base.
Levick was a part of the six-man Northern Party of Scott's expedition who spent the summer of 1911-1912 at Cape Adare.
The Northern Party was notable for their surviving the winter of 1912 in a snow cave before sledging back to the Cape Evans base.
Scott died in 1912 on an ill-fated race against Norwegian Roald Amundsen to be the first man at the South Pole.