Original owners of individual copies of the Aurora Australis

Launched: 7 March 2010. Last updated: 23 December 2011.

In most cases the original ownership has been determined by the inscriptions and/or presentations appearing in a copy or by accompanying letters or by entries in an institution's catalogue or similar.

In some instances the Original Owners were noted by John Millard or Robert Stephenson in their census work of the late 1970s and into the early 1980s.

Missing from this list are some obvious names: Sir Joseph Causton and Sons Ltd (as they supplied the press and paper and trained Joyce, Wild and Marston, the firm would have been an obvious recipient of a copy [see below]). Members of the shore party not included below or elsewhere (e.g. Brocklehurst [201], Wild [102], though these may not have been presentation copies): Adams, Armytage, David, Day (surely he would have had one), Mackay, Marston (and so would he), Murray and Roberts.

Further as to the Causton firm having a copy: With the Bodleian Library copy (No 19), there is a brochure about the Aurora produced by Caustons. It shows the press, a tube of ink and a copy of the book which is opened showing the stencilling EXPEDITION | 1907. There is no known copy with that stencilling of the same design. An obvious conclusion is that Caustons did have a copy of the Aurora and used it in this publicity brochure.

At the moment 44 copies are noted below.

Original Owner Current Owner Copy No Notes, Evidence and Sources
Edith Shackleton
Huntington Library
On upper recto of front free end-paper: "Purchased in April, 1925 from Miss Edith | Shackleton, and on June 8, 1925 is | presented to Henry E. Huntington with | the warm regards of | A.S.W. Rosenbach". One can assume, perhaps, that EHS gave a copy to Edith, and that she was the original owner, but it's unclear how Edith related to EHS. This needs more research. Rosenbach, of course, was the prominent Philiadelphia bookseller who assisted Huntington in developing his collection, now the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
J. P. Morgan
Morgan Library
This copy is inscribed: "To J. Pierpont Morgan Esq with gratitude from The Editor. E.H. Shackleton."
Loosely inserted is a letter from EHS to Morgan (dated 25 July 1911) which says, in part, "… as a slight remembrance of your kindness would ask you to accept this book I send you: This is the first book ever printed in the Polar Regions."
J. P. Johnson
According to John Millard in a letter to Robert Stephenson May 1, 1982, "Originally owned by J.P. Johnson & Family for many years. He was a Canterbury N.Z. area Sheep Farmer and an Expedition Benefactor."
Raymond Priestley
Christ's College, Cambridge
This copy resides in the Old Library at Christ's College. His sister, Doris, married Thomas Griffith Taylor, which seems to be the source of AA copy 28, now at the University of New England, Armidale, N.S.W. (see below).
Rudyard Kipling
Dulwich College
Kipling and EHS were friends, or at least acquaintances. The guest book at Kipling's house, Bateman's in Sussex has EHS's signature. The copy of AA at Dulwich has the following inscription on the title page: "To Rudyard Kipling with | Ernest Shackleton's regards. | 1911 | Frank Wild | 8/6/14" [Exactly how Frank Wild comes into this is curious.]
Attached to the verso of opposite leaf is an ALS reading "This book was given to my father (the late Mr. Rudyard Kipling) by Sir Ernest Shackleton on his return from his antartic expedition in 1908…"
Mrs J.B. Joel
Dundee Heritage Trust
Transferred to the Dundee Heritage Trust from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, in 1995.
Elizabeth Dawson-Lambton
National Maritime Museum
"Shackleton, E H (to) Dawson-Lambton, E : 25 Dec 1909"
Elspeth Beardmore, Lady Invernairn
National Maritime Museum
"To Elspeth from Ernest. Nov 1907. The Editor." [Almost certainly the 7 is actually a 9.]
HRH King Edward VII
Royal Collections, Windsor Castle
Lady Emily Shackleton
Scott Polar Research Institute
"To Hugh Robert Mill. | In memory of his friend | Ernest H. Shackleton | and of the years 1901-1922 | from Emily Shackleton | Dec 7th 1922"
Capt J. K. Davis (?)
Australian Antarctic Division
The bookplate on the recto of the first blank is of W.B. Firth who appears to have lived in the Hobart area according to an Internet search. No other details on who he was have been found, however. How and when this copy came to the AAD is not known. Below the bookplate is a rubber stamp:"A.N.A.R.E. | LIBRARY". At the top the following is handwitten: "91 (08) (*7) 1907-09 | Br. Ant. Ex. | (Shackleton)". Within a rectangular rubber stamp is written "Aq564". In a letter dated 15 April 1982, A.W. Jackson of the AAD wrote John Millard of Toronto stating that: "The Antarctic Division's copy is contained in the rare book collection of our library, which is composed mainly of the book collection of Captain J.K. Davis. We acquired 'Aurora Australis', and other volumes, from a personal friend of Davis after his death. This person is, or was, resident in New South Wales. He is the person referred to, but not named, on page xi of Davis' biography 'High Latitude', published in 1962." This mystery person could conceivably be W.B. Firth but if so one would think that Jackson would say so or at least suggest it. John King Davis died on 8 May 1967 so if this copy was indeed Davis's then it would have come to the Anare/AAD after that date. (Confirmed as copies once owned by Davis are copy 24 at the State Library of Tasmania in Hobart and copy 28 at the University of New England in Armidale. According to Millard, Davis also gave a copy to Herbert D. Murphy but exactly which copy this is, is unclear [see #45/copy 300 below].)
Capt J. K. Davis
State Library of Tasmania
Ernest Joyce to Captain John King Davis. Davis presented it to the Library in 21 December 1961.
Campbell D. Mackeller
Museum Victoria
Our copy was presented to the people of Victoria by Campbell D. Mackeller. It is the copy given him by Shackleton "on behalf of the members of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09, as a remembrance of his unceasing interest, great generosity and personal friendship to all."
Sir Douglas Mawson
University of Adelaide
"The copy in Special Collections in the Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide was originally held by the University of Adelaide Dept of Geology, presumably donated by Mawson (although I have nothing to substantiate this)."
Capt. J. K. Davis
University of New England
"Our copy has a book plate Ex Libris Mrs Griffith Taylor. In his letter dated 5 May 1960, to Professor Gilbert Butland of the University of New England, Griffith Taylor states that the book was being donated by his wife (Priestley's sister, Doris). According to a label provided by him, the book was given to Mrs Griffith Taylor by Capt JK Davis, captain of the Aurora, on Mawson's 1913 expedition."
Henry Nuttall
Canterbury Museum
"To Henry Nuttall with | Kindest regards from the Editor E.H. Shackleton, | in remembrance of the | practical help to our | Scientific Results and | always sympathetic | attitude towards the Expedition | August 1911 | This book was made in | the Antarctic. | E.H. Shackleton."
Eric S. Marshall
Newberry Library
Signed by Shackleton, Marston and Marshall. No presentation as such but the original owner assumed to be Marshall.
Raymond Priestley
Scott Polar Research Institute
Incomplete copy.
H.J.L. Dunlop (#1)
Scott Polar Research Institute
Incomplete copy.
H.J.L. Dunlop (#2)
Scott Polar Research Institute
Incomplete copy.
Sir Douglas Mawson
South Australian Museum
This copy "(presented by Lady Mawson in 1962) was originally held in the Strong Room [of the Barr Smith Library] but was part of the Mawson Institute for Antarctic Research collection, at that time part of the University of Adelaide. This collection has since been transferred to the South Australian Museum."
George Buckley
Formerly John Levinson
Inscribed to Nimrod expedition member George Buckley and signed by Shackleton, Wild, Marston, Joyce and Day.
Shackleton family member
Shackleton family member
This copy was in the possesson of Lord Shackleton in 1980 when Robert Stephenson corresponded with him. It is thought that this copy has GRANULATED SUGAR as stencilling.
Belle Donaldson
Seamus Taaffe
"To Belle Donaldson | from E.H. Shackleton | Xmas 1910." on recto of first blank.
Ernest Mills Joyce
Private collector, New Jersey
Appeared in Webb's auction, Auckland, NZ, 9 December 1992. Purchased by present owner along with Joyce's 'Sledge Log' from Ross Sea Party.
Mr Honey
Antipodean Books
The handwritten note affixed to the recto of the first leaf is in ink and on the letterhead of the 'Marlborough Club. | Pall Mall, S.W.' and is dated '14th. Oct 1912.' The letter reads: "Dear Mr Honey, I also am a devil to remember a promise so here send you with my warmest regards the book we made down South. I shall look forward to seeing you soon. In haste, Sincerely Yours, Ernest Shackleton".
Aeneas Mackintosh?
Bob Kucharek (formerly)
F. W. White Esq.
Private collector, New Zealand
To F.W. White Esq. with best wishes from the printers [signed] Ernest Joyce [an initial which could possibly be Joyce's.] Kia Oro" There is a loose leaf page inside front blank page with inscription: With the Comp.s and Kind regards of Monkshood.
Sir Thomas George Shaughnessy
Unknown (probably family member)
"To Sir Thomas Shaughnessy with best wishes from the Editor E.H. Shackleton. June 1910".
Thomas George Shaughnessy, first Baron Shaughnessy of Montreal and Ashford, co. Limerick (1853-1923).
F. W. White Esq.
Private collector, New Zealand
To F.W. White Esq. with best wishes from the printers [signed] Ernest Joyce [an initial which could possibly be Joyce's.] Kia Oro" There is a loose leaf page inside front blank page with inscription: With the Comp.s and Kind regards of Monkshood.
Ernest Perris
"To Ernest Perris from Ernest Shackleton. To one Editor of one million five hundred thousand copies per week from the Editor of ninety copies per year. With warmest wishes for his birthday. 15 Feb. 1914."
Emily Shackleton
"Lady Shackleton (pencilled initials on front blank: 'E.M.S.'), and thence by descent."
Cecily Jane Swinford Shackleton
"Cecily Jane Swinford Shackleton (pencilled signature on title), and thence by descent."
Roderick Murchison
"To Roderick Murchison in remembrance of his practical interest in the Australasian Antarctic Expedition from the Editor E.H. Shackleton 1911"
Janet Stancomb-Wills
"To my friend Miss Janet Stancomb-Wills this relic of another Expedition is presented by the Editor Ernest Shackleton July 1917."
Louis Bernacchi
"Louis Bernacchi by direct descent."
Lady Grey
"To Lady Grey from the Editor, E.H. Shackleton, June 1910". Viscountess Gray, wife of the fourth Earl and one time Governor General of Canada.
Charles Cooper
Presentation to Charles Cooper on the recto of the first blank: "Presented to Mr Chars Cooper | by one of the Printers. | Ernest E. Joyce | May 12th 1910"
Tom Eames
Presentation inscription from Ernest Joyce and Frank Wild. [On blank following title page.] It reads: "To our old Pal Tom Eames. Wishing him the best of luck. From the Printers Ernest E. Joyce" and further inscribed below by Frank Wild.
G. Wyatt Truscott
Inscribed by Shackleton to G. Wyatt Truscott, Lord Mayor of London.
Mrs Lysaght
Inscribed by Shackleton to Mrs Lysaght.
Mr and Mrs Hill
"With Best Wishes to Mr. & Mrs. Hill from the printer Ernest E. Joyce August 19th, 1911"
Laurence C. Wild
"To my grandson Nicholas J. Fright on his 21st. Birthday 31 December 1970. To keep in memory of his great-uncle Frank Wild, who made this book in the Antarctic. With best wishes, Laurence C. Wild." One can assume that Frank Wild gave this copy to his brother Laurence.
Frank Wild
"The fifth Aurora Australis went with Wild to South Africa and somehow it was acquired by POB Frost and eventually found its way to Brian Frost in Cape Town." (Angie Butler) This copy was sold at Christie's on October 25, 1995.
Herbert D. Murphy
"Herbert D. Murphy for his Antarctic Libary with the grateful thanks of the donor for the assistance given to him during a busy period in history for the above Expedition" From letter from J.K. Davis contained in this copy.